Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday September 13, 2017
Jagmeet Singh praised for ‘calm and positive’ reaction to anti-Muslim heckler
Federal NDP leadership hopeful Jagmeet Singh is garnering praise for the way he reacted to a woman who accused him last week of supporting Islamic extremism, because he chose to come out against “all forms of hate” instead of emphasizing that he is Sikh rather than Muslim.
The Ontario MPP was interrupted by an angry heckler at a meet and greet last Wednesday in Brampton, Ont. The woman stood in front of the candidate and shouted as aides tried to usher her aside in an incident that was caught on video and shared widely on social media well beyond Canada’s borders.
The woman accused Singh of wanting to impose Shariah law, an Islamic legal code based on the Qur’an, and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, an 89-year-old religious and political group. The exchange was caught on video and lasted more than four minutes.
“Many people have commented that I could have just said I’m not Muslim. In fact, many have clarified that I’m actually Sikh,” Singh explained in a statement.
“While I’m proud of who I am, I purposely didn’t go down that road because it suggests their hate would be OK if I was Muslim.”
A political science professor told CBC News on Monday that Singh took the right approach.
“It suggests the fact that he is not Muslim is irrelevant,” said Erin Tolley, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto.
“You can just imagine for example a white politician standing in front of a room and heard something racist being said. The exact wrong reaction is to say, ‘Well, I’m white, I’m not a person of colour, so this isn’t important to me.’”
Singh wanted to defuse the situation, she said, highlighting that hate of all forms is wrong, whether it’s directed at your community or not.
His response also signals that Singh, who wears a turban, has experience dealing with direct threats because of his outwardly religious appearance. (Source: CBC News)
This cartoon received an unusual amount of criticism through the mackaycartoons Facebook Page:
Republished in a number of publications. Below the Edmonton Journal and the Western Star, Corner Brook, Newfoundland: