Calgary-West MP Rob Anders defends his position
Published Friday, September 11, 2009 3:07PM EDT
Calgary-West MP Rob Anders is trying to mend ties with Calgary's largest Muslim organization. Anders attended a ramadan dinner at the Calgary Islamic Centre Friday night to try and defend his actions.
Muslim groups are angry over a political pamphlet recently sent from Anders office. It stated "it is now ilegal to hold opinions that offend radical muslim activists." and
"under section 13 of the so-called human rights code, canadians have been prosecuted for holding personal beliefs which offend radical Muslims, Iimams and Liberal Activists."
The examples refer to two canadian journlists, Mark Steyn and Ezra Levan, both of whom were taken to court by Muslim groups over editorials they published.
Anders didn't apologize for the pamphlets, but did try to explain his position.
" We want to gather a petition of people who are against section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act which is restriction of freedom of speech and freedom of expression." Says Anders
While the Muslim council of Calgary says the flyers were ill concieved, it also says having Anders attend the Ramadan dinner was a good first step to mending the ties between Anders and his Muslim constituents.
"We can't condem him for not building bridges if we don't do it ourselves" says David Liepert, spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Calgary.