Canada Conservative MP slammed for reading Christchurch manifesto into record
A Canadian Conservative MP has been booted from a parliamentary committee after reading into the public record an excerpt from the Christchurch shooter’s manifesto while berating a Muslim witness.
Opposition Conservative leader Andrew Scheer - the main rival to unseat Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in upcoming elections - said in a Twitter message late Saturday that MP Michael Cooper “will no longer sit on the justice committee” as a consequence of his remarks.
“Reading the name and quoting the words of the Christchurch shooter, especially when directed at a Muslim witness during a parliamentary hearing, is insensitive and unacceptable,” Scheer said.
Ahead of the New Zealand mosque attacks that left 51 Muslim worshippers dead, the shooter, Brenton Tarrant, had posted a rambling manifesto on social media in which he described himself as a white supremacist out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.
Breaking with New Zealand-led efforts to suppress the declaration, Cooper read from it at a hearing on online hate.
Angrily accusing a Muslim witness of linking conservatism with violent extremizim, Cooper read a passage from Tarant’s manifesto to argue the shooter did not identify as a conservative and had more in common with China.
The committee hearing exploded into protests from other members before hastily adjourning.
With the Conservatives and Liberals neck-and-neck in opinion polls five months before Canadians are to vote in a general election, Scheer has sought to blunt criticisms that some MPs and fringe supporters of his party harbor extremist views.
“I find the notion that one’s race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation would make them in any way superior to anybody else absolutely repugnant,” Scheer said in a speech this week outlining his planned immigration policy, if elected.
“And if there’s anyone who disagrees with that, there’s the door.”