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Response to the publication of cartoons depicting the Holy Prophet (saw) of Islam

February 21, 2006 -- The Ahmadiyya Muslim Studentsí Association (AMSA) at the University of Toronto condemns the publication of a series of cartoons about the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him). AMSA is very disappointed with Le Devoir in Montreal and the Western Standard magazine in Calgary for intentionally hurting the feelings of Canadian Muslims, knowing full well the pain these cartoons have already caused to Muslims around the world. The cartoons depicted the Prophet Muhammad in ways that were deeply hurtful to all Muslims around the world and insensitive to their beliefs.

The Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, stated that though we are deeply hurt, our response is to be peaceful. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that Muslims around the world should respond with the qualities of respect and tolerance, avoiding violence in any shape and form. The Holy Prophet Muhammad taught us not to respond with hate. We should take up the pen to bring out the beautiful teachings of Islam to the world. 

AMSA condemns the death threats, violence and boycotts that followed the publication of the cartoons. Mahmood Mirza, a fourth-year engineering student who is the president of AMSA, said that such actions "only serve to divide humanity and create further conflict." Mirza went on to say that Islam forbids the slandering of any other religion or prophet, regardless of their beliefs. 

The group also strongly disapproves the publication of a cartoon by The Strand, the student newspaper for Victoria University, depicting the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him) and the Prophet Jesus (May Allah be pleased with him) as kissing. The cartoon is a mockery of freedom of speech, serving only to deliberately inflame and offend Muslims and Christians. AMSA joins with a chorus of student groups in asking The Strand to remove this cartoon from their website. AMSA does not feel that such a blatantly inflammatory cartoon is the way to encourage discussion and critical thinking. 

AMSA plans to create a dialogue by presenting the true character of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him) as well as the true teachings of Islam to the University of Toronto community. For more information, please email Mahmood Mirza at amsa@utoronto.ca or visit the AMSA website at http://amsa.sa.utoronto.ca.

 

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