Western Standard Apologizes to the Muslim Community
Syed Soharwardy will Withdraw Complaint from AHRC
Today’s Protest at the City Hall Has Been Cancelled
(Calgary) Yesterday, the National President of Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, Imam Syed Soharwardy received a phone call from Mr. Matthew Johnston, the new owner of the Western Standard. Mr. Matthew expressed his regrets and apologised to Imam Syed Soharwardy and the Muslim Community for allowing the hateful statements against Muslims on the Western Standard blog. Mr. Matthew followed up with an email. In his email Mr. Matthew wrote;
“……………… In short, we will not allow the high quality of our online discussions to be compromised by a few insensitive and offensive comments that do nothing to further the important debates that take place on our site. While we have independently determined that we must address the problems we inherited when we purchased the lively and un-moderated Western Standard blog, your recent human rights complaint has brought all of our existing concerns about the website into sharp focus – and we will act on our plan.
I apologize to you and the Calgary Muslims who took offence to the comments found on our website. I took offence to these comments as well, as did the vast majority of our readers. On January 15, 2008, the new Western Standard website will be launched. I invite you to judge our commitment to fostering respectful debate at that time. In the future, please contact us directly with any concerns you might have about our content. You’ll find us to be very responsive”.
In the spirit of Eid al Adh-ha and the Christmas, Imam Syed Soharwardy has decided to withdraw his complaint from the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission and the Canadian Human Rights Commission inOttawa. Moreover, ISCC has decided to cancel today’s protest in front of Calgary City Hall. However, ISCC requests Calgary Police to continue their investigation and find out who posted the hateful statements on Western Standard’s blog.
Imam Syed Soharwardy thanked Mr. Matthew for his courage and offered his cooperation to Western Standard. Imam Syed Soharwardy has also invited Mr. Matthew Johnston to visit Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Centre and talk to the Muslim community on any Friday. Mr. Matthew has accepted the invitation.
Today, in his Friday sermon, Imam Soharwardy will read Mr. Matthew’s letter in front of his congregation. He will deliver his sermon on the dangers of hate, racism and violence. The Friday sermon starts at 11:45 AM at the Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Centre, 5700 Falsbridge Drive, Calgary N.E.