POLITICS

Rob Anders Newsletter Slammed By Canadian Islamic Congress For Comparing 'Islamic Terrorism' With War Of 1812

09/13/2012 12:18 EDT
CP

Tory MP Rob Anders is under fire for comparing the War of 1812 with "Islamic terrorism" in a newsletter to constituents.

The Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) issued a statement Wednesday condemning Anders after HuffPost Canada reported on the mail-out from the MP for Calgary West.

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Amin Elshorbagy, CIC national president, expressed surprise and discontent with Anders' statements. "Not only is Mr. Anders’ analogy historically and contextually absurd; the term ‘Islamic terrorism’ is deeply offensive to all Canadians who believe in the values of diversity and multiculturalism," Elshorbagy said.

Elshorbagy also referenced September 11, 2012, on the day after the 11th anniversary of the attack, as an illustration that terror is not a "product of religion."

"Aside from the incorrect historical inference, we find it wholly unacceptable that Mr. Anders linked terrorism to Islam … Terror is a global and societal problem, not a product of religion. We learned that from 9/11, and have continued to learn it from tragic events like last summer’s massacre in Norway and the latest shooting in Quebec. Ignorance and fear are what feed terrorism," Elshorbagy said.

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The CIC was not alone in criticizing Anders for the newsletter. Users on Twitter were quick to mock the MP, attacking his spelling and grammar, historical knowledge and even his constituents for continuing to elect him.

Teacher Matt Henderson even tweeted about using the story as part of his Canadian history class. "It got them fired up," Henderson posted.

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The stern responses were triggered both by Anders' choice to use the politically radioactive term "Islamic terrorism," a phrase eschewed even by former U.S. president George W. Bush, and several historical mistakes.

The incident is just the latest in what has been a string of embarrassments for a man who once seemed to have a promising political future.

Anders has shared close ties to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and even took over his seat in 1997 after he resigned to take a position at the National Citizens Coalition. Harper has described Anders as "a true reformer and a true conservative."

Anders was part of the so-called "Snack Pack" of promising young Reform MPs elected in 1997 and their advisors. The group included Anders, now Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, former MP Rahim Jaffer and current Sun Media personality, Ezra Levant.

Anders has fallen a long way since then.

In March, he was removed from the Veterans Affairs Committee after being caught sleeping through the proceedings and last November a video of him napping in the House of Commons went viral. Anders blamed a recent car accident.

Anders has fallen so far out of favour with his own party that he has even taken to the airwaves to attack it. In July, he went on Sun News and slammed the Tories and Treasury Board President Tony Clement for honouring Norman Bethune, a Canadian communist doctor who has become a hero in China.

In June, HuffPost Canada's Ottawa Bureau Chief Althia Raj ranked Anders among the worst MPs in the Commons.

Despite all this, Anders seems likely to keep his job. He won Calgary West with more than 62 per cent of the vote in 2011, nearly 45 points ahead of his nearest competitor.

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Twitter Mocks Rob Anders' Newsletter

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THE NEWSLETTER

Rob Anders Newsletter