Volume 95, Issue 30

Thursday, October 25, 2001
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Tories shut out student media

The world at war

Protest group miffed

Muslims outraged by poster vandalism

Sex for money: all in the name of science

Picket 101: 'Toba profs on strike

Ivey program ranks 15th

News Briefs

Muslims outraged by poster vandalism

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

Western's Muslim Students' Association is crying foul after posters advertising an MSA-sponsored lecture disappeared this week.

MSA advertising commissioner Ayman Oweida said he put up posters all across campus on Oct. 14 and 15 publicizing today's talk entitled "Jesus, Son of Mary, Prophet of Islam."

Monday morning, while walking through University College, he noticed all of his posters had disappeared, he said.

After checking out other locations on campus, Oweida discovered all posters, except those locked inside glass cases, had been removed.

"I think it was planned – for someone to go around the entire campus and take them all down when the stamps on them said they were valid until Oct. 26. Someone would have had to go out of their way to do this," he said.

MSA president Khurram Khan said this is the first time something like this has happened to the MSA.

"It's hard to say why this happened, looking at the situation objectively; this has not happened in the past and we don't know whether or not it has happened to other clubs."

Shelia Wyatt, InPrint customer services supervisor, said InPrint, who oversee poster displays on campus, did not remove any of the posters.

"Once in awhile there is someone who is not pleased or has a complaint about the content of a poster and they take it upon themselves to remove them," Wyatt said.

She added posters with problematic content are not approved.

Sera Vavala, University Students' Council VP-campus issues, said the USC is disturbed by the removal of posters.

"We don't condone a lack of tolerance and we don't condone the taking down of any signs that have been paid for," she said. "In the same respect, I don't know if anyone can fairly draw conclusions on the situation. It's fairly subjective."

Vavala added she is not surprised Muslim students would feel targeted despite the fact there is no proof of malicious intent.

Khan said tonight's event was not meant to be controversial, rather, organizers hoped to showcase Christian and Islamic beliefs.

"[Lecturer Shabir Ally] is an educated man – he is a Christian scholar with a thorough understanding of the Bible. He brings a special flavour that we want to share with the university community.

"We wanted to help shed some light on and abolish ignorance about the illustrious messenger Jesus."

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Copyright The Gazette 2001