Group wants Muhammad film screened in Toronto
Libyan military guards check one of the U.S. Consulate's burnt out buildings during a visit by Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif, in Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP / Mohammad Hannon)
Published Friday, September 14, 2012 9:51AM EDT
A Canadian Hindu advocacy group says it is planning to screen a controversial film depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a madman, which has led to violent protests throughout the Middle East.
Canadian Hindu Advocacy spokesman Ron Banerjee says he is working to secure a location in Toronto to show the film, which was attacked as anti-Islamic following its release last week.
The movie, shot by a California filmmaker, depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a madman.
It has been held up as the catalyst for a fatal attack on a U.S. embassy in Libya and angry demonstrations in Tehran, Yemen, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, among other locations.
Banerjee says the violent protests should not silence the film, suggesting it is a matter of protecting freedom of speech.
“There is an element of standing up for our values. In our society we are allowed to screen films, even if they are offensive,” Banerjee told CTVNews.ca on Friday
Banerjee said they are planning on showing pieces of other movies that are considered offensive to other groups, including Hindus, Christians and Jews.
He said the Hindu community is frequently portrayed negatively in films, but the issue is ignored because they don’t spark violent protests.
“My general message to Muslims is that you should act more like Hindus,” he said, adding that all groups and religions should be treated fairly.
The Canadian Hindu Advocacy has previously protested against the Toronto school board for allowing Muslim prayer inside a public school.