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The paper wrote, (The cartoon was not anti-Muslim, just anti-Hussein)

By IOL Canada Correspondent

TORONTO, Aug 3 ( – The Muslim community here are irked by an extremely offensive cartoon that constitutes a flagrant mockery of the Islamic belief in Paradise and presents a stereotyped and distorted image of how Muslims conceive life after death.

The Toronto Sun newspaper published on July 24 a derogatory cartoon by caricaturist Andy Donato, who is said to be known for his hate for Islam and Muslims, showing the two sons of ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, Qusay and Uday, being greeted by a Sheikh in Paradise, who rewarded them with two naked ugly women, one of them wearing a niqab (long veil that covers the entire face except the eyes), in a brazen mockery of Hur El-Ein (maidens of Paradise).

The cartoon reads: “Ah….Odai and Qusai. Welcome to Paradise. Here are the first of your many virgins.”

The cartoon, breaking all laws of respect of religions and beliefs, has created uproar among Muslims in Toronto and all Muslims who saw the cartoon or heard about it.

A flood of letters and complaints have been written to the editor of the newspaper Toronto Sun to express their condemnation to such defamatory attacks on Islam and its beliefs.

“The portrayal of such reputedly infamous men as Odai and Qusai Hussein being rewarded with obese virgins by God who is portrayed as an Arab steeps the Islamic creed in derision and incites contempt toward the beliefs which are cherished by hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide,” David Kolinsky, Toronto, wrote

Jeewan Chanicka, Toronto, said: “It is abhorrent and extremely rude that you would choose to make fun of two criminals by linking them to the faith of over one billion people. Such immature and vile depictions only serve to reinforce stereotypes and link criminal activity to a people’s faith and belief system.”

Imam Shaaban Sherif, Imam of Al Rashid mosque, highly condemned the cartoon and considered it a campaign against Islam and Muslims.

“There are the insinuations that they offer in order to taint Islam and Muslims. They do not like this (spread of Islam) to happen,” he said.

Scorn U.S., Sharon Instead

Sheikh Tamir Abu As-Su’ood, Imam of Edmonton Islamic School, condemned the cartoon and Donato’s way of defaming Islam, saying that he had better made fun of the U.S. or even Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

He challenged the caricaturist to do the same mockery of America who brought Saddam Hussein to power, compromised the lives of thousands of Iraqis under the disguise that they came for their freedom.

He further challenged him to do the same mockery of Sharon who holds up to 8,000 Palestinians as hostages in Israelis jails and builds the separation wall amidst sepulchral silence from the whole world.

“…if the intent of the cartoon is to demonize Islam and Muslims, then you have to know that defamatory attacks on Islam only serve to harm our nation’s image worldwide and divide Canada along religious lines,” Sheikh Tamir addressed a gathering of Muslims in Friday prayer on August 1.

“Defamatory attacks on other faiths can only lead to a spiral of distrust and intolerance that will divide our society along religious lines.”

He asserted that Muslims could never accept that any faith be attacked on account of its followers’ misdeeds.

Concluding his speech, Sheikh Tamir demanded the daily publish a formal apology for Muslims and hold the caricaturist accountable for offending the Muslims’ faith.

“Muslims can never accept but a formal apology from the Toronto Sun and a trial for Caricaturist Andy Donato; otherwise a legal action should be taken to restore Muslims’ rights.”