I personally would like to thank our Member Parliaments -- on behalf of the entire Pakistani Christian community everywhere -- for continuing to raise their voices in Parliament here in Canada to ensure that none of Canada's leaders and all Canadians, ever forget the sacrifices of Shahbaz Bhatti. Their words are powerful and sincere, and their support is so valued by our entire community here in Canada and around the world.
We all hope that this government continues on the right track to support freedom of religion, and condemn extremism, and continues to take REAL action against this; for the benefit of not only the persecuted, but Canadian citizens as well. Canada should remain steadfast in it's values, and learn from it's history, heritage and the conservative principles it was founded on.
Special thanks to Mr. Joe Daniel, Mr. David Anderson, Mr. David Sweet (my own extremely hard working and genuine Member Parliament), & Mr. Bob Dechert.
|Left to Right: MP Joe Daniel, MP David Anderson, MP David Sweet, MP Bob Dechert.|
Here are some of the debates raised in Parliament from these MPs recently:
March 2nd 2012
Mr. Joe Daniel (Don Valley East, CPC):
"Mr. Speaker, I draw the attention of this House to the first anniversary of the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's Minister of Minorities. He was only 42 years old when his life was brutally cut short. He was a remarkable man who fought for religious freedoms in Pakistan. He was a man of valour and courage who stood for the rights of minorities. His death was a huge loss, as he was a man who fought to make Pakistan a much better place.
A year ago, our Prime Minister called the killers gutless and this House passed a motion condemning his murder. I commend his brother, Paul Bhatti, for taking up his brother's cause as a special advisor on minorities to the Prime Minister of Pakistan and as a leader of the All Pakistan Minority Alliance.
Our government supports religious freedoms around the world. I extend my personal and deepest condolences to his family, sisters and brothers, especially his brother Peter Bhatti, as they commemorate the tragic anniversary this evening in Mississauga."
Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, CPC):
"Mr. Speaker, today is the World Day of Prayer and the first anniversary of the death of Pakistan's federal Minister of Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti.
Mr. Bhatti, a Christian, was assassinated for being one of the country's few influential politicians prepared to speak out against Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. His visit to our human rights subcommittee shortly before his death left an indelible mark on many of us in this House, strengthening our resolve to fight for human rights and religious liberty around the world.
I call on members of Parliament and Canadians to promote religious freedom through the rule of law. The theme of this year's World Day of Prayer, “Let Justice Prevail”, reminds us of the sacrificial work of the martyred defenders of minority rights such as Minister Bhatti.
To honour and respect his memory, on April 2 my office will once again be hosting in Ottawa a parliamentary forum on religious freedom. We will be discussing the issues of religious freedom and governance. Everyone is invited to join with us."
Mr. David Sweet (Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, CPC):
"Mr. Speaker, a year ago today a tragic shooting in Pakistan sent an ominous message to the world.
It was March 2, 2011 when Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian minister in Pakistan's government, was ruthlessly ambushed and shot dead in the streets of the capital.
We remember his legacy of advocating for peace and religious tolerance under the toughest of circumstances. He stood up for religious minorities and against extremism, and for that he was brutally murdered.
As Canadians, we must continue to advocate for those in the world who yearn for the freedom of religion and worship, a basic right that we hold so dear but that eludes millions.
We remember Shahbaz Bhatti's great legacy at a time when another example of intolerance of religious minorities is unfolding in Iran. There have been media reports that Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, jailed for the past two years, has been sentenced to death in Iran for peaceably practising the basic tenets of his faith.
I ask all members to join me in the urgent and renewed appeal for international pressure on the Iranian government on behalf of pastor Youcef Nadarkhani."
March 8th, 2012
(Thanks again to Mr. Dechert for inviting members of ICV including Peter Bhatti (Chair), Daud Bhatti, Vincent Samuel, Phoebe Samuel, Asher Khokhar, & Reuben Charles to sit in on that day's Parliamentary session to hear these remarks).
Mr. Bob Dechert (Mississauga—Erindale, CPC):
"Mr. Speaker, freedom of religion is something that is enjoyed by all Canadians. Canadians practise whichever religion they choose without fear of oppression or silencing by those who disagree with them. Unfortunately, this freedom is not enjoyed throughout the world.
March 2 marked one year since the horrific murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's minister of minority affairs. On March 2, 2011, Minister Bhatti was assassinated by gunmen who ambushed his car in broad daylight. Mr. Bhatti was the only Christian member of Pakistan's cabinet and was assassinated for his strong criticism of Pakistan's blasphemy laws.
Canadians and the supporters of religious freedoms around the world join with International Christian Voice and Shahbaz Bhatti's Canadian brother, Peter, to ensure that his vision will continue. Tragedies like the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti are what prompted our government to establish the Office of Religious Freedom. Our Conservative government is committed to protecting and defending the rights of religious minorities and monitoring the right to freedom of religion. The Office of Religious Freedom will reflect our commitment to promoting and protecting—"