Sandra Solomon, ex-Muslim of Palestinian descent, went on Monday, October 17, 2016 to the TTC Dundas Station in Toronto to protest against the display of a poster stating that “There is no god but Allah.”
She stood in front of the poster holding a sign with the following message: “This poster offends me as a Canadian.”
Speaking to CIJnews, Sandra said that as a Christian she does not believe that Allah is god, but a reminder of the emotional, physical and sexual abuse she experienced during the time she lived as a Muslim in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
“I am survivor of Islam,” she said. “This poster offends me, my faith and my Canadian values. I remember seeing posters with a similar message in public places in Saudi Arabia, while its religious police strictly banned any expression of other faiths, let alone building temples. I came to Canada to live in a democracy which cherishes the separation between state and religion, and not in Canadia Arabia.”
Sandra was born to a Palestinian Muslim family in Ramallah. Her uncle was a co-founder of Fatah movement and a close associate of Yasir Arafat.
She moved with her family to Jordan and subsequently settled in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where she grew up.
Forced into marriage to a Palestinian man at the age of 21, Sandra moved to Canada in 2004. In 2005 she returned to Saudi Arabia to divorce her husband. In 2012 she converted to Christianity.
Sandra sent an official complaint to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) asking to remove the “offensive” poster. She calls on Canadians to follow her example by sending complaints to the TTC and posting on social media pictures of themselves holding signs against the offensive poster.
“We all celebrate multiculturalism and diversity in Canada, but at the same we also have to send a clear massage that misusing diversity to offend other faiths or to impose one’s religious beliefs on others is unacceptable,” she said.
Recently, Sandra has launched a YouTube channel “Jesus for ISIS” (click HERE) to educate Canadians about radical Islam, to expose its dangers to Western secular democracies and to dissuade young people from joining radical groups.
In the coming months, she plans a series of speaking engagements across Canada to tell her personal story from the days she lived under Islamic Law until she became a passionate activist for human rights and freedom of speech. Sandra Solomon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org