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‘Real Canadians hate Syrians’: Calgary school vandalized again, Saima Jamal infers that Syrians could be attacked on streets

‘Real Canadians hate Syrians’: Calgary school vandalized once again with hateful messages

Clara Ho, Postmedia News | February 21, 2016 10:47 AM ET
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Police are investigating the new graffiti at Wilma Hansen School in the Queensland area of Calgary, Alta.

Lyle Aspinall / Postmedia Network Police are investigating the new graffiti at Wilma Hansen School in the Queensland area of Calgary, Alta.

Calgary police are investigating after the walls of a southeast junior high were once again sprayed with hateful messages directed at Syrians and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Officers were called just before 9:30 a.m. Saturday to Wilma Hansen junior high school in the community of Queensland after someone in the neighbourhood reported the vandalism to police.

“We are still doing neighbourhood inquiries,” said Sgt. Kelly Todd, adding the incident could potentially be investigated as a hate crime.Capturesyrianrefsuppcalgary

On the walls of the school, in black spray-paint, someone wrote messages including “Syrians are animals” and “real Canadians hate Syrians” as well as “burn all mosques.”

Some of the messages also targeted Trudeau including “Syrians go home and take Trudeau” and “While Syrians feast in hotels, Canadians starve on the street, kill the traitor Trudeau.”

The windows of the school were also smashed.

The incident comes a week after the same school was vandalized with similar anti-Syrian and anti-Trudeau sayings.

I’m afraid they might now take the graffiti to the next level. What if they see a Syrian family on the street? (Saima Jamal)

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Saima Jamal, co-founder of the Syrian Refugee Support Group Calgary, was horrified to learn of Saturday’s incident, calling it “full-fledged Islamophobia” and “full-fledged refugee hate.”

She said she has no idea why this school, in particular, was hit twice by similar graffiti but implored investigators to locate the person or persons responsible as soon as possible.

Cameron Ahmad with Justin Trudeau

Cameron Ahmad, press secretary for the Prime Minister’s Office

“I’m afraid they (the perpetrators) might now take the graffiti to the next level. What if they see a Syrian family on the street? What if they do something?” she said.

But Jamal said she’s buoyed by how welcoming most Calgarians have been to the newcomers, adding she’s often flooded with calls from people asking how they can help and what donation items are needed.

“That’s the kind of love and support that we’re seeing from Canadians,” she said. “The graffiti of one kid is not going to change that.”

When reached for a comment, Cameron Ahmad, press secretary for the Prime Minister’s Office, said in an emailed statement Saturday: “I will reiterate the Prime Minister in saying that Canadians have shown the best of our country in welcoming refugees, and they will not be diminished by fear and hate.”

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