Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Canadian taxpayers and the graffiti jihad

Public money paid for this mural on the wall of a Toronto mosque, and ironically it is a Muslim who is most incensed over the message it sends.

Salim Ahmad who is a member of the Muslim Canadian Congress says the saying, from the Qur'an is a call to jihad.  He has started a petition to have it removed, also claiming that it is a battle cry used by both the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Critics of the removal say it is nothing more than an ancient reference to a battle between Muslims and non-Muslims over land and property.  Hmm, sounds familiar in today's world, doesn't it?

The artist says he liked the way the letters looked in graffiti style and chose them for that reason.

Whatever the reasons it looks like this will not end anytime soon.

From the Toronto Sun October 8 by Terry Davidson

City probes publicly-funded mural critics say promotes holy war

TORONTO - The City of Toronto is investigating a controversial publicly-funded mural which critics say promotes a holy war against non-Muslims.

The city-funded piece of art on the wall of a building housing the Al-Tawakal mosque on Gerrard St. E., near Greenwood Ave., incorporates a verse from the Qur’an, which is written in Arabic and scrawled in modern, urban-style graffiti.

Critics charge it is a jihadist battle-cry against the West — an assertion disputed by the artist and at least two Toronto academics.

“City staff are currently investigating the concerns raised about this mural,” city spokesman Lynne Kyle said in an e-mail, adding “there was an extensive amount of community consultation that went into the design of the mural and there were no issues raised at that time.”

Taken from a chapter of the Muslim holy book, it is a verse that talks of Allah’s blessing and an Islamic victory of some kind being close at hand.

Salim Ahmad, a member of the Muslim Canadian Congress, has launched a petition calling on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to remove the contentious image.

“It’s an excerpt from the Qur’an, (and) it is used as a slogan when you’re fighting a jihad,” he said.

In the petition, Ahmad claims the verse is used by both the Taliban and al-Qaida terrorist groups.

The Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre (RIWC), located just west of the mosque, applied for a grant and was awarded $17,000 in 2012 for mural projects under a city art program.

Laury Silvers, a part-time professor of Islamic studies at University of Toronto, said the mural’s message has been blown out of proportion.

The verse used in the mural, she added, is based on an ancient Muslim battle with those of polytheistic faith over land and property.

And Adrian Hayles, a non-Muslim artist commissioned to come up with the mural, added Tuesday he chose that Qur’an verse because he was attracted to the look of the Arabic script and felt the English translation conveyed a positive message.

He also said the community was consulted about the project before any paint was put to brick.

I am sure the "community" who were consulted spoke Arabic and saw the words as nothing more than a benign religious edict.

Uh huh.

Read it all

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