Chanel Sethi and Olivia Levesque
Residents in the neighbourhood surrounding Wali Ul Asr Learning Institute in Scarborough were shocked Tuesday morning to find a hateful message painted on the school’s walls, during the sacred time of Ramadan.
The message read “F— Muslims” in bright red paint, but was quickly cleaned from the walls once spotted. Management at the McCowan Road school north of Eglinton Avenue released a statement saying the hateful message was made by a “misguided individual.”
“In the holy days of Ramadhan, we thank Allah for being apart 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 Canadian society” the school said in its statement.
Mayor John Tory was quick to react to the incident on Twitter.
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.
— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) May 22, 2018
Toronto police said they received the initial call on Monday about the graffiti, but weren’t able to attend to the scene until early this morning due to the the long weekend.
“Officers returned today to see if there were any cameras in the area, and there is currently a mischief to property investigation underway,” Constable Caroline De Klote said.
Neighbours from the area were shocked to see what had happened, especially parents from the school.
You go and ask yourself & please lemme know if you find anything hateful in their school or curriculum!
This is an act of terrorising young children who are studying there!
I can say that because my daughter goes to this school and she must be very upset after hearing all that.
— Zehra Rizvi (@Gesturezzz) May 22, 2018
Despite feeling upset, the school said it is planning to use the incident as a positive learning experience, having students focus on the positive support from the community.