The National Council of Canadian Muslims, an Ottawa-based Muslim civil liberties advocacy organization, condemned “jihad” remarks that Coun. Doug Ford made this week.
On Thursday, the Toronto Sun asked Ford about an integrity commissioner complaint filed against him recently by a father of an autistic child who took issue with his comments about a group home. The councillor replied, “It is a full out jihad against us right now.”
He also took issue with a line of questioning by CityNews reporter Cynthia Mulligan on Wednesday and asked her, “Are you finished your jihadist attack?”
NCCM executive director Ihsaan Gardee said in a statement, “The kind of inflammatory and highly offensive language used by Councillor Doug Ford is reprehensible and only serves to further demonize Canadian Muslims who, I would remind Councillor Ford, are a significant part of his constituents in the Greater Toronto Area.”
“No elected or public official should misuse terms like ‘jihad’ that are already widely misunderstood and which further promote stereotypes about Canadian Muslims…”
The organization demanded Ford retract his remarks, apologize and seek awareness training about Islam and Canadian Muslims.
Ford wasn’t immediately available for comment. But earlier on Friday during an interview with Mulligan, he apologized to her and Toronto Sun reporter Don Peat.
“There’s probably better terms to be using than that,” Ford said. “I’ll apologize to you 100 per cent and Don.”
The councillor is Mayor Rob Ford’s brother and campaign manager. Earlier on Friday, mayoral contender John Tory said Doug Ford’s comments were “disgraceful” and “unacceptable.”
“Using a loaded and inflammatory term like ‘jihad’ to describe legitimate criticism is pathetic and shows that the Fords just don’t get it,” Tory said.