In a resurfaced post on Facebook, Erik Schomann, the Canadian Green Party’s Ontario candidate, had apparently posted a picture of himself roasting a pig with the caption: “We sent the leftovers to Denmark in support of the protesters of the Muhammad comic”.
His reference to the “Muhammad comic” is to the 2005 incident in where the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten had posted cartoon drawings of the Prophet Mohammed, insulting both the Prophet as well as the religion of Islam.
In response to Schomann, there was an outcry against his Islamophobic rhetoric, with the National Council of Canadian Muslims issuing a statement urging the Green Party leader Elizabeth May to drop Schomann from the race. The National Council of Canadian Muslims’ executive director Mustafa Farooq stated:
While we greatly cherish the free speech rights of all Canadians, when you start promising to mail pieces of a pig carcass, you can no longer stand with the integrity and moral commitment that all those who wish to be elected must have.”
The Canadian Green Party was founded in 1983, focusing heavily on social justice, environmentalism, and nonviolence. Now led by Elizabeth May, the Party has responded relatively quickly to this controversy, stating that they had formally accepted Schomann’s resignation:
The Green Party has zero tolerance for sexism, Islamophobia, antisemitism, misogyny, homophobia, or hate speech of any kind.”
While this may be a small victory in terms of battling Islamophobia at the political level, it still remains deeply troubling that blatant cases of Islamophobia are still publicly displayed at the top levels of government. Schomann has resigned from the Green Party, and yet it still remains to be seen where he will go next, and whether he will continue to hold onto deeply troubling Islamophobic ideals on a public platform.