SHAFAQNA – A Realtor who has lived in Surrey for more than 25 years said he was surprised to discover racist graffiti written across one of his bus shelter ads in the city on Sunday.
“I was kind of surprised,” said Manni Gill, a Sikh. “We’re living in a multicultural society and people still think this way?”
Before it was removed, the graffiti on his bus shelter ad near 88th Avenue and 152nd street said “Kill all Muslims. They’re killing us.”
Gill discovered it after receiving messages from friends and family who had seen it.
He said he shared the photo on Facebook to remind others that racism still exists in Canada.
“People should know that there’s still people out there that have this thinking in mind. They don’t have enough knowledge. They need to be educated about other cultures as well.”
‘It’s important to record it’
Hasan Alam, a lawyer and community liaison with the B.C. Islamophobia hotline said it’s important to report instances of racism and Islamophobia.
“Recording it is a way of documenting the fact this is a reality and it exists in Canada,” said Alam.
“Islamophobia is defined as an irrational fear or hatred towards Muslim and Islam. This attack really illustrates the irrationality behind Islamophobia because this person wasn’t even of Muslim background. He had a very evident Sikh last name but for the perpetrator it didn’t matter. All they saw was a brown face and they associated it with being Muslim.”
Alam also said racist incidents aimed at the Muslim community usually spike in the days and weeks after international terrorist attacks, like the tragedy in London.
Gill — who said the graffiti particularly disturbed his young children — is contemplating reporting the incident to the RCMP.
“We’re all human …respect each other and get the respect back.”