The Muslim Council of Calgary
5615-14 Avenue SW
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2009
MCC Deplores Inflammatory Mailing by Calgary-West MP Rob Anders
CALGARY – The Muslim Council of Calgary (MCC), the representative body of the city’s 60,000 mainstream Muslims, today deplored an inflammatory and divisive political mailing sent by Member of Parliament Rob Anders to his Calgary West constituents on September 4, 2009.
The political flyer, whose legitimate aim is to critique the work of Canada’s federal and provincial human rights commissions, crossed the line of fair comment by utilizing broad-brushed and inaccurate statements to unfairly target the Muslim community, many of whom reside in Anders’ Calgary West riding.
“By distributing such an intentionally provocative and inaccurate mailing as part of his political communications with Calgary West constituents that serves no good social purpose, Mr. Anders is doing a disservice to the larger community and fostering mistrust between Calgarians when he should be finding ways to build bridges,” said MCC spokesman David Liepert.
The false and incendiary statements in the mailing include (see attached document):
“Under section 13 of the so-called "Human Rights" code, Canadians have been prosecuted for holding personal beliefs which offend radical Muslim Imams...”
“Did you know... It is now illegal to hold opinions that offend radical Muslim activists.”
“Did you know... In 2007, best selling Canadian author, Mark Steyn, was hauled before the Human Rights Commission. His crime -- writing about the dangers of radical Islam. Muslim activists took offence with Mr. Steyn's writing and lodged ‘human rights’ complaints against him.”
Liepert also noted Mark Steyn was never the target of any human rights complaint.
“Mr. Anders did not mention human rights complaints launched by other religious faith adherents in the past, including Christians and Jews, but focused entirely on raising the issue of Muslims with the inflammatory ‘radical’ label,” Liepert added.
“Rob Anders is and should be the MP for all residents of Calgary West. We are profoundly disappointed by his actions and we observe that Mr. Anders clearly needs to interact with his Muslim constituents. We invite Mr. Anders to join us for a Ramadan iftaar (fast breaking) dinner at the Mosque in Calgary West (17th & Sarcee Trail) on Friday, September 18, 2009, so that he may get to know his constituents,” Liepert said.
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CONTACT: David Liepert, Spokesperson, 403.650.4025