Gormley sorry for ‘dumb’ tweet as Muslims in Saskatoon urged to be cautious

Saskatoon StarPhoenix| November 17, 2015

Local Muslims are confident cooler heads will prevail and that Saskatoon will not experience the Islamophobia felt in other parts of the world in the wake of the attacks in Paris.

Radio host and Saskatoon StarPhoenix columnist John Gormley apologized on his show Monday for a controversial tweet about the attacks that he sent out and subsequently deleted.*

The Twitter post recounted an exchange the host had with his wife.

“Me: Next guy in a Western democracy who chants “Allah Ahkbar” we shoot. Wife: Don’t be this way. #Angry,” the tweet read.

It started a firestorm online; a handful of people called for Gormley’s resignation.

. . .

Still, Amira Elghawaby of the National Council of Canadian Muslims said Muslims should be cautious in the wake of the attacks.

She said the firebombing of a mosque in Peterborough, Ont. over the weekend was proof that a backlash against Muslims is already happening.

“It’s important that Canadians remain vigilant against any kind of hate,” she said, noting police in her hometown of Ottawa have been in touch with Muslim leaders, asking them to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity.

Maurice Jr. M. Labelle, a historian at the University of Saskatchewan who specializes in Arab history and the Middle East, said it’s not uncommon for average Canadians to misunderstand Islam.

“Islamophobia is not new. Western misunderstanding of Islam is not new,” Labelle said.

Following terrorist attacks like those in Paris, the misunderstandings often become more prevalent. Labelle said he hopes Muslims across the country work hard to defend their religion and show that it has nothing to do with terrorism.

“What I am most concerned about is the lack of defence, the lack of condemning Islamophobia,” he said.

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