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Canada: Toronto mayor condemns Islamophobic hate graffiti at Muslim school

23rd May 2018
Canada: Toronto mayor condemns Islamophobic hate graffiti at Muslim school

By Barry Ellsworth

 

TRENTON, Canada (AA): Two elected officials shocked at hate graffiti sprayed on a Toronto-area Muslim school wall stepped forward Tuesday to help clean off the offensive remarks.

“The first thing I thought is ‘I can’t let the kids see this tomorrow morning.’ It’s disgusting. It’s not who we are,” said Glenn De Baeremaeker, councillor for Scarborough Centre, who was out riding his bike when he noticed the red and black spray-painted messages on the exterior walls of Wali ul Asr school, East Campus, on Torrance Road, near Eglinton Avenue East and McCowan Road, Scarborough.

“I can’t imagine a 5-year-old or 10-year-old innocent child coming to school and parents having to walk past this type of hateful, racist graffiti,” he said.

Graffiti spray-painted in black along the brick wall read “expletive U MUSLIMS”. Other graffiti which crossed out words in red spray paint on a school sign and depicted a middle finger.

Police are investigating after the expletive-filled anti-Muslim graffiti was spray-painted on the brick wall at Wali ul Asr school, which has several campuses in Ontario ranging from kindergarten to Grade 12.

Toronto Mayor John Tory was quick to condemn the act.

“This hatred is unacceptable at any time, but it is disturbing someone would choose to do this during Ramadan,” Tory said on Twitter. He also thanked the pair of councilors who helped remove the graffiti before students arrived at school.

 

Twitter Toronto Mayor:

John Tory

@TorontosMayor

The anti-Muslim graffiti on Wali ul Asr is the kind of hateful act & language that has absolutely no place in Toronto. This hatred is unacceptable at any time but it is disturbing someone would choose to do this during Ramadan.

One of those councilors, Jim Karygiannis, said he spoke to the school principal and was told this was not the first time an offense like this has been committed.

“I was shocked at that,” Karygiannis said.

The other councilor, Glenn De Baeremaeker, said youngsters should not have to endure this kind of hatred.

“This has happened and one idiot has said some hurtful, horrible racist things, but we want the world to know and the local Muslim parents to know that we stand by them as neighbors and as friends,” he said.

A school spokesperson said in a statement that the school appreciated the support and dismissed the act as that of a misguided person.

“In these holy days of Ramadan, we thank Allah for being part of a respectful and tolerant society; the actions of a misguided individual does not change the spirit of co-existence that is an integral part of the fabric of the Canadian Society,” the school said.

The defacement took place sometime over the long weekend – Monday was a holiday in Canada.

Additional report by The Muslim News

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