The Muslim Council of Calgary staged a protest Sept. 15, at noon in front of the city hall to condemn an anti-Islam film produced in the United States.
The same film has sparked violent protests around several countries in the Middle East and northern Africa.
“Stop the hate,” said Mahdi Qasqas, 32, head of MCC youth services, in a speech directed to the more than 250 people who attended the protest.
Qasqas said it was was time to stop the animosity created by the perceived superiority of certain groups over other people.
“They fuel the fire of hate.,” he said.
Qasqas said it was the moment to “write a new chapter” for Muslims in Calgary, “one of love to stop the destruction of hate.”
“No race is superior to another. No white is superior to an Arab, like no Arab is superior to a white,” said Abraham Ayachd, 34, chairman of the Muslim Council.
“We want the government to play an active role in protecting religious communities in Canada,” said Ayachd.
For him, there should be a “limit on the freedom of speech” when it is used to “infringe in the beliefs of others.”
Ayachd, who saw the film that sparked the protests, said it is nothing more than the product of “a sick mind… someone who is trying to instigate hate between Muslims and non-Muslims.”
The film portrays the Islamic prophet Muhammad in an offensive way, which unleashed a wave of protest around the world, especially in countries like Egypt, Yemen and Lybia.
In Lybia, U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and other three Americans were killed in a protest.
Ayachd said that Muslims in Calgary condemned the attack, and that their “thoughts and prayers” were with the friends of the ambassador.