While searching the house of Amir Khadir, Montreal police were surprised to find a poster of him dressed as an armed revolutionary, standing over a dead Jean Charest.
Credits: JOURNAL DE MONTRÉAL/QMI AGENCY
MONTREAL - Ultra-left wing politician Amir Khadir is on the defensive over a picture on his kitchen table that shows him holding a gun and standing over Premier Jean Charest's dead body.
The separatist Quebec Solidaire Leader and his wife both defended the image, currently being used as evidence against their daughter as she fights accusations of masterminding student violence.
The image is a doctored version of an 1830 painting by French artist Eugene Delacroix depicting the French Revolution of that year.
Khadir's face is superimposed on the body of a revolutionary holding a musket. Charest's face appears on the body of one of several dead men lying at Khadir's feet.
Police snapped photos of the doctored painting last week as they raided Khadir's home and arrested his daughter, Yalda Machouf Khadir, 19.
She spent five days in jail before a judge released her on $12,000 bail Tuesday.
Met by reporters at the Montreal courthouse, the defendant's mother dismissed the picture as a satirical work by a local band.
"It's (an) album cover," said Nima Machouf, adding, "go check it on the Internet, it will make you laugh, too."
Charest had no comment Tuesday, but two of his ministers said such images in the home of a sitting MNA are no laughing matter.
Seniors Minister Marguerite Blais said the drawing was "in bad taste" while Transport Minister Lise Theriault had harsh words for Amir Khadir.
"I think it's a lack of judgment, a lack of respect towards the national assembly, towards the premier and towards the role of parliamentarian," Theriault told reporters in Quebec City. "It's frankly very cheap."
Among the charges laid against Khadir's daughter is intimidation against a legislature member after officers seized anti-capitalist literature and documents showing how to make paint bombs.
At a fiery news conference on Tuesday, Khadir defended his decision to display the picture in his home.
He suggested that the arrest of his daughter was part of a plot to silence Charest's critics.
"Why is Quebec Solidaire being pushed around and (intimidated)?" Khadir asked.
"(Our) determination and ... support for the student movement will not be undermined whether they arrest me, whether they arrest my daughter."
Quebec City police rounded up the outspoken politician two weeks ago for his part in a protest against Bill-78, the special law aimed at student groups and others that encourage civil disobedience.
His daughter is accused in the April ransacking of Education Minister Line Beauchamp's office, as well as acts of vandalism at the University of Montreal during a student protest.
She's also accused of attacking Chantal Poirier, a photographer who works for Le Journal de Montreal, QMI Agency's flagship French newspaper.
Yalda Machouf-Khadir was among a group of six people arrested last week in a series of co-ordinated smoke-bomb attacks that shut down the Montreal subway system on May 10.
Who's in on the Joke?
The controversial picture depicting the dead body of Premier Jean Charest is cover art by the Quebec band Mise en demeure (Notice).
The group's anti-police bent is clear on its homepage, which features the slogan "I set fire to the police and I wasn't cold."
The lead clip on the homepage is a Stephen Harper diss called "I hate you, son" that's ostensibly written from the perspective of the prime minister's mother.
Among the lyrics: "Had I known it was you (who would be born) I never would have f----- your father. I would have consulted a clairvoyant. Had she told me about my child, I would have chosen abortion."
The song also parodies God, Jesus and the Second Coming, portraying God as a free swearing deity who often uses his own name in vain.
Mise en demeure's latest album cover depicts four men sitting in a room with the heads of three men displayed on the wall - Charest, former Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard and Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau, owner of Sun Media.