Green candidate resigns over anti-Muslim social media post

27th Sep 2019

Elham Asaad Buaras

A Green Party election candidate in Ontario, Canada, was forced to resign on September 12 following a row over a resurfaced anti-Muslim Facebook post.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) led calls for Erik Schomann resignation over the 2007 post showing him in a group at a pig roast with the caption ‘we sent the left-overs to Denmark in support of the protesters of the Muhammed comic.’

That was a reference to the controversy over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published by a Danish newspaper in 2005. “While we greatly cherish the free-speech rights of all Canadians, when you start promising to mail pieces of a pig carcass, you can no longer stand with the integrity and moral commitment that all those who wish to be elected must have,” NCCM’s Executive Director Mustafa Farooq said in a statement.

A spokesman for NCCM said sending a pig carcass is a common tactic for intimidating Muslims, noting that a pig’s head was left outside the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec in 2016, a year before the mosque was the scene of a gun attack that claimed six lives.

The Green Party said in a statement that it has accepted the Simcoe North candidate’s resi­­gnation adding the Party “has zero-tolerance for sexism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, misogyny, homophobia or hate speech of any kind.”

In an interview with CTVNews, Schomann apologised for the post and said he accepted the Party’s decision to release him but added that the comments do not reflect his thoughts on Islam or the Muslim community.

“I’m devastated,” he said. “What was said was stupid, and I regret it. I have to accept responsibility for my actions.” Schomann said he spent several years living in Muslim communities overseas — primarily in Nigeria — and has “no gripe with Islam, certainly.”

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