8662Canada Muslims File Cartoon Complaint
- Jun 20, 2008Canada Muslims File Cartoon Complaint
IslamOnline.net & Newspapers
Sat. May. 10, 2008
CAIRO – Canadian Muslims have filed complaint with the police and the Human Rights Commission against a local daily over an offensive cartoon linking Islam with violence, reported The Chronicle-Herald on Saturday, May 10.
"This is a horrendous thing in this day and age where you are feeding the seeds of hatred toward a whole community of 1.8 billion people," Zia Khan, director of the Centre for Islamic Development in Halifax, said.
Last month, The Halifax Chronicle-Herald published a cartoon of Cheryfa MacAulay Jamal, whose husband was among 17 men arrested on claims of plotting attacks in Canada.
The charges were later dropped against the men after spending 17 months in jail without trial.
Jamal and her husband, Qayyum Abdul Jamal, have filed a lawsuit to seek reparations from the government.
Jamal was quoted in the Chronicle-Herald as saying she wanted "millions" in compensation.
The daily published a cartoon showing Jamal holding a sign reading "I want millions" and saying "I can put it towards my husband's next training camp."
Khan, the Muslim leader, said that the cartoon was very offensive and risks to fuel hatred.
"Whether you do it locally or internationally, it does not have any bearing on the significance of the report itself," he said.
"[Halifax Muslims] are law-abiding citizens born and raised here, (who) speak English, eat French fries, eat hamburgers and at the same time (are) living in an environment where you have made it a hateful environment."
Will King, of the Islamic Center of Development, said the cartoon crossed the line of the freedom of expression.
"If someone wants to offend us, no problem," he has said.
"But when someone draws . . . references between terrorism and Islam and creating an environment of hate, that's where we have a problem."
Halifax Regional Police said the cartoon will be investigated under a section of the Criminal Code, which deals with hate propaganda.
Spokeswoman Theresa Rath said police will gather facts and review them with the Crown to determine whether a charge is warranted.
Muslims make around 1.9 percent of Canada's some 32.8 million population.
Their number has increased dramatically over the last decade and Islam has become the number one non-Christian faith in Canada.
A recent survey showed that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian, and that they are more educated than the general population.