Cartoonist angers Muslims in Canada

The controversy, which was sparked by a Muslim woman’s refusal in November to remove her veil in her French language class in Montreal, has been further inflamed by the controversial cartoon in the Montreal Gazette. In the cartoon, a Muslim woman is depicted in niqab from top to toes, with the slit space for her eyes shown in jail bars and a lock.
Defending it, the cartoonist Terry Mosher said he drew it to oppose the Muslim woman’s argument in favour of the veil and encourage debate over the issue. “In the (Montreal) Gazette, there is actually an editorial in support of the woman, and yet my cartoon is against it. So that is part of the discussion and I think that’s a very healthy thing,’’ the cartoonist said.

The controversy erupted after Naima Atef Amed, a mother of three who is a new immigrant to Canada, filed a petition with the human rights commission in Quebec province for violations of her religious rights two weeks ago.
But the director of the college — CEGEP de Saint-Laurent — in Montreal said they tried to accommodate the woman’s demands by allowing her to wear the niqab, giving her the front seat and letting her make her presentations from the rear of the classroom with her back to the class so that boys male students didn’t see her.
Matters came to a head when the woman asked male students to move away from her and refused to sit with them around a U-table for conversation skill development classes.

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