Muslim Group Grills MP Anders over Shooting Range Picture

A Calgary Muslim leader has objected to recently circulated photograph of MP Rob Anders and federal candidate, Melissa Mathieson, posing at firing range in front of a target depicting a lifelike image of a terrorist. Even though not everyone is complaining about the photo, Muslim Council of Calgary claims that the picture promotes hatred. The debate around the image mainly focus on whether lifelike figures are appropriate targets for firing ranges and whether there is a line, even if extremely narrow, that should not be crossed.

The photo depicts both the MP for Calgary West, Anders, and the candidate vying for federal Conservative nomination in the upcoming Macleod byelection, Mathieson, standing back-to-back with guns in their hands at a Calgary shooting range last weekend. Background of the picture shows a caricature of a bearded Muslim man wearing a turban and torn clothes, with an assault rifle in his hands. According to the website selling the same target, i.e. ZombieTargets.net, the character is identified as a zombie version of Osama bin Laden.

In objection to the picture, Chairman of the Muslim Council of Calgary, Souheil Merhi, mentioned that the photo is offensive and promotes hatred, as he complained that it incorrectly represents Muslims as terrorists or “as people who should be shot or belittled.” Merhi alleged that “as leaders, they should promote tolerance and show the real image of Canada, a peaceful place where people come to enjoy freedom of speech and religion, and not being judged because of somebody else’s actions.”

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