Poster Ouranos

28-05-2009

I am an exchange student at the Faculty of Law and a member of study association Ouranos. I write this letter to complain about one of the advertisements that has been posted by Ouranos in the faculty.

I am a muslim, a strict practicing one where my life is heavily influenced by and based on my religion. I pray five times a day, and believe in full submission to God. After seeing the ‘debate’ poster all over the law faculty, I have felt insulted and even my religion being discriminated against.

The poster included a stereotypical cartoon of a man with a beard, turban and a bomb about to explode causing great offence to me. This image has been banned from Geert Wilders’ film Fitna and has been banned ever since due to causing religious hatred. This image was actually taken from the Danish cartoons criticising Prophet Mohammed, then it was implemented in the Fitna film. I had never seen the cartoon and refused to see it, as I knew it would upset me. However Ouranos despite all the banning publicised it, when they were aware it has been banned.

I would not have been offended if a replacement image was advertised. But this stereotype cartoon had a verse from the Holy Quran on the turban. This verse of the Quran is the most holy, most sacred, most important verse and part in the Islam and for any muslim in the world. The poster advertised a negative image of my religion, not thinking about any views of the small muslim community in Maastricht. I am extremely disappointed and upset about what Ouranos has done, surely there were other means of them gathering students to come to their debate than to discriminate against the Islam. Maastricht University has a high rate of many international students, and if there were more muslim students here, I am sure they would also complain, and some would maybe even become violent.

Please be open to respect all religions, and develop your knowledge upon the religion of Islam, do not attack it so openly. Please do not publicize any posters or images attacking anyone’s religion.

 

Saiqa Riaz

exchange student at the European Law School

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