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Canada's Muslim Leader Calls For Curbs On Satirical Depiction Of Religious Leaders.

A Canadian Imam based in Ottawa has denounced the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris that killed 12 people. At the same time, the Muslim leader said satirical cartoons lampooning religious leaders should be declared illegal. Imtiaz Ahmed, an imam with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, called for an end to cartoons that depict religious figures in a derogatory manner. "Of course we defend freedom of speech, but it must be rational. There must be a limit. There has to be a code of conduct," Ahmed said.

The Imam said vulgar expressions about any sacred person of any religion should be condemned and it should not be justified as freedom of speech. Ahmed called for limits on freedom of speech to prevent the publication of offensive material, reported (http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/01/09/satirical-depictions-of-religious-leaders-should-be-illegal-says-ottawa-imam/) National Post. The Muslim leader said this applied not only on Islamic religion but also on events such as the Holocaust. Members of the public must denounce those who say the Holocaust never happened. "We don't want the Jewish community to be hurt by these sentiments," Ahmed says.

Majority Peaceful

Ahmed was of the view that the work of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, was offensive and based on conjectures that "hijacked the religion of Islam." He called up the public not to focus on a few "disturbed individuals" who committed such terrorist attacks, but noted the majority of Muslims remained peaceful.

Ahmed claimed that his Ahmadiyya Muslim Community had opposed comic illustrations in the past. But it was in a peaceful manner and recalled how members of his community had been going to universities to educate students about Prophet Muhammad. He also ran a campaign called "Stop the Crisis" to tackle the radicalisation of Muslim youth. Condemning the Paris attack, Ahmed said, "there is not a single verse by the Prophet that allows a Muslim to take law in his hands and commit horrific crimes against humanity."

Vigil in Montreal

Meanwhile, in Montreal people gathered to honour the victims of the Paris shooting Mayor Denis Coderre has invited Montrealers to the City Hall on Wednesday for conducting a candlelight vigil, reported (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/charlie-hebdo-paris-shooting-vigils-held-in-montreal-1.2892761) Cbc. Ca News. "We have a duty to protect our freedom of expression. We have the right to say what we have to say," said Coderre. At Montreal's French Consulate on McGill College Street, hundreds of people turned up to show their solidarity to the Paris shooting victims.

(The writer can be contacted with feedback at (mailto:kalyanaussie@gmail.com) kalyanaussie@gmail.com )

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Jan 12, 2015
Words:431
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