Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

2nd Session, 37th Parliament,
Volume 140, Issue 89

Monday, October 27, 2003
The Honourable Dan Hays, Speaker

Holocaust Memorial Day Bill

Second reading—Debate Adjourned

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to support this bill, but I am not prepared tonight. I intended to speak at another time.

I am very concerned that my name was not on that list. With my background, it is very offensive for the record to be read tomorrow and the world to think that I was not supportive of this bill. The reason for this bill is to unite us, not to divide us; to create harmony in society, not to divide us.

I leave next week to work in Israel with Muslim and Jewish women. I have been working this whole year across this country with Muslim and Jewish women to bring about harmony so that we do not have another Holocaust. I believe the method that has been used tonight is dividing us. When I grew up, my grandmother taught me to look at history and then see how we build harmony; then look at ways in which we can work together so that we can never have another Holocaust.

I am also a survivor of torture. It so happens that my husband is sitting in the gallery. Speak to him. He will tell you what torture is. He has suffered torture.

Let us not divide ourselves today by saying that some are on the list and someone like me, from a minority background, is not on the list. I was never even asked to be on the list. When I was growing up, my grandmother taught me that harmony means that you bring people together. Harmony means that you bring black and white together. She taught me how to play the piano. Unfortunately, I do not play it well, but she always told me, “Mobina, remember you have to play on the black keys and on the white keys.”

Honourable senators, we cannot afford to divide ourselves. We must include everyone here if we are to have lists. Just as there is no piano to create harmony, and we must play on both black and white keys to create harmony in society, we cannot exclude some to make a point.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!