Toronto’s Jihad Mural – Video

Posted on Wed 11/06/2013 by

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TORONTO – The city is investigating a controversial publicly funded
mural which critics say promotes a holy war against non-Muslims.

The city-funded piece of art on the wall of a building housing the
Al-Tawakal mosque, in the city’s east end, incorporates a verse from the
Qur’an, which is written in Arabic and scrawled in modern, urban-style
graffiti.

Critics charge it is a jihadist battle-cry against the West — an assertion disputed by the artist and at least one academic.

“There was an extensive amount of community consultation that went into the
design of the mural and there were no issues raised at that time,” city
spokesman Lynne Kyle said in an e-mail in which she also confirmed staff
are investigating the matter.

Taken from a chapter of the Muslim holy book, it is a verse that talks of Allah’s blessing and an Islamic victory of some kind being close at hand.

Salim Ahmad, a member of the Muslim Canadian Congress, has launched a petition calling on Mayor Rob Ford to remove the contentious image.

“It’s an excerpt from the Qur’an, (and) it is used as a slogan when you’re fighting a jihad,” he said. In the petition, Ahmad claims the verse is used by both the Taliban and al-Qaida.

Adrian Hayles, a non-Muslim artist commissioned to come up with the mural, said Tuesday he chose that Qur’an verse because he was attracted to the look of the Arabic script and felt the English translation conveyed a positive message.

Anver Emon, a professor of Islamic law at the University of Toronto, says the word “victory” has many meanings in Islam, depending on the reader’s interpretation.

“The words themselves can take on a large number of meanings. It all depends on how you think the language works,” Emon said. “Could these words be used by someone wanting to espouse the virtues of jihad? Sure. Could these words be used to give patience and endurance to someone who is suffering economic hardships? Absolutely.”

The "black flag of jihad" as used by...

The “black flag of jihad” as used by various Islamic terrorist organizations (since the late 1990s) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)