June 13th, 2024

Anti-Islamic comments condemned by Muslims and Christians alike

By Gillian Slade on July 20, 2018.

SUBMITTED PHOTO
Members of the Muslim Community of Brooks celebrate Eid in June. The group has officially condemned the remarks made by Todd Beasley, who had to withdraw from the United Conservative Party nomination contest for Brooks-Medicine Hat after comments he made in 2017 about Islam resurfaced online.


gslade@medicinehatnews.com 
@MHNGillianSlade

The Muslim Community of Brooks condemns the derogatory 2017 social media remarks about Islam by Todd Beasley that resulted in having to withdraw from United Conservative Party nomination.

Mohammed Idriss, a member of the Brooks Mosque Committee comprised of about 1,000 people, says Beasley’s remarks were insensitive, hateful, uninformed and ignorant.

“Statements of this nature, especially when they come from leaders in the community, mark the beginning of intolerance, racism, discrimination and Islamophobia,” Idriss said. “They spread hateful values and endanger the lives of many community members.”

Idriss says Beasley had some time back called the Brooks Mosque Committee and suggested getting together, which they agreed to do. In the end, the meeting never took place.

Beasley’s Facebook comments were discovered online by his own party during its vetting process, and copies of the posts were subsequently released.

Jim Bredeson, president of the Medicine Hat Ministerial Association, says he was “taken aback, shocked and disturbed” by Beasley’s comments, adding he strongly rejected them.

“While I certainly have profound disagreement with the theology of Islam, I absolutely believe that we as Christians are to respect the faith of others both as Christians and also as Canadians,” said Bredeson.

Beasley has claimed the May 2017 comments were made in a specific context in response to a call for action against Christians.

“The Muslims that call for that … are acting contrary to all of our beliefs, all of our teachings. These people are using religion for their own political agenda,” said Idriss.

“That’s the danger of discrimination and prejudice,” said Bredeson. “There are good people and bad people who are Muslims just like there are good people and bad people who are Christians.”

Just like it would not be appropriate to call all Christians hypocrites or accuse all Christians of holding extreme views, said Bredeson.

The Brooks Community Committee applauds the UCP for disqualifying Beasley from the race and says they hope this situation will be an opportunity to engage in dialogue and promote understanding.

Bredeson is also the Pastor of Victory Lutheran Church, which together with several other churches in Medicine Hat, formed a group called Medicine Hat & Area Refugee Team (MHART) to privately sponsor Syrian refugees coming to settle in Medicine Hat. Religion did not factor in the group’s process of deciding on a family to help. In the end it was a family from Aleppo, which happened to be Muslim, they supported.

“This is our Christian duty that we love and serve everyone regardless of their faith. Again, we may disagree with that faith, however that does not take away from respect,” said Bredeson.

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