Convicted "hate monger" holds controversial event

Eric Brazau 'willing to go back to prison'

A Toronto man convicted of wilfully spreading hate against Muslims says he's willing to go back to jail.

Eric Brazau, 50, spent the weekend at the corner of Yonge & Dundas asking passers-by to draw their rendition of Islam's Prophet Mohammed.

Dressed as an Imam and calling out 'Allahu Akbar ' (God is Great), Brazau had art supplies and easels available for participants. But the majority of onlookers had no interest in participating.

“It was tense”, Brazau admits. “I was threatened with violence.”

The self-proclaimed free speech activist organized the event as part of international 'Draw Mohammed Day', which falls on May 20th. Established in 2010 after a series of death threats against artists who drew representations of the Islamic prophet, the day has become a global rallying cry for those who say they fight for freedom of speech and artistic expression.

“It seems to be accepted in today's society that it's not polite to insult religion,” Brazau says. “If Christians told me tomorrow I couldn't draw Jesus, I'd be out there insulting him just because they told me I can't. Why do religious ideas trump my expression?”

A judge recently disagreed with Brazau's point of view. Calling him a '"hate monger", Judge S. Ford Clements ruled that Brazau abused his free speech rights on a series of occasions involving flyers he handed out in September of 2012 depicting a pregnant Muslim woman with a bomb as her stomach. Other images in the pamphlet associated Islam with bestiality, pedophila, and satanism.

Brazau was sentenced to nine months for wilfully promoting hatred against Muslims, criminal harassment, and breach of probation.

When asked if he was afraid of legal repercussions over his weekend activities, Brazau is firm.

“I see myself as a political prisoner....I'm dealing with a bigger and larger principle- freedom of speech. I believe in my soul that what I am doing is right.”

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  1. don was right posted on 05/20/2014 08:32 PM
    Hate Monger? You mean like boko harum? Was anybody kidnapped? Killed? beaten? sold for sex? He drew pictures? WTF?
    1. Brandon H posted on 05/21/2014 07:28 AM
      @don was right "Other images in the pamphlet associated Islam with bestiality, pedophila, and satanism." I think those aspects were probably the larger part of said ruling. But please, don't pay attention to all the details, makes your stance much harder to maintain.
  2. Tan posted on 05/20/2014 11:32 PM
    It's been long time since I read such a stupid article. I cam here because of google, searching for recent news on Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. And imagine my surprise when is saw "wilfully spreading hate against Muslims says he's willing to go back to jail"

    May be this web-sites is run by muslims, who want to put people in prison for drawing cartoons, or may be just idiots, who are OK that their sister is flogged for a beer
    1. Brandon H posted on 05/21/2014 07:27 AM
      @Tan So if you think he was put in jail for drawing just the cartoon you obviously didn't even bother to read the full article. Good job. No possible bias being shown by you at all. Oh no.
  3. Toby Wills posted on 05/21/2014 08:53 PM
  4. john posted on 05/22/2014 03:22 PM
    lucky he did not come across me i would have draw a pic of Prophet Mohammed. pissing on a sing that says raciest giving the finger as he is doing it .
  5. HAD posted on 06/04/2014 02:27 PM
    Good article. I do not see why everybody's freedoms should be sacrificed for one religion. As long as there is no call for the violence, it should be legal. I see nothing wrong with those cartoons. Many honest Muslims find them funny and sad together. Those who do not like pictures, should not look at them
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