Public outraged at graffiti at Tuscany station
While police haven’t officially labelled it a hate crime, many residents are outraged at a series of hate fueled messages sprayed in different locations at Calgary’s Tuscany LRT station.
The messages, laced with vicious profanity and death threats, all seem to be aimed at Muslims in the community.
At just before 6 p.m. on Thursday, police were called by officials with Calgary Transit that one of their trains had been covered in spray paint and needed to be cleaned.
Police soon arrived at Tuscany station where they found graffiti in many locations throughout the station, as well as on many cars in the parking lot.
While it has not been declared a hate crime, this is one in a series of similar attacks against Muslims in Canada in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.
On November 14, a mosque in Peterborough, Ontario, was deliberately set on fire, causing about $80,000 worth of damages to the building.
A mosque in Cold Lake was also vandalized last month, for the second time in a little over a year. On November 28, someone wrote the words ‘Go Home’ across the front door of the building.
Authorities in both incidents are still looking for suspects.
Calgarians passing through the station while police were at the scene were shocked at the graffiti.
Bhaveek Makan said he was shocked by the messages. "I don't really see them on transit. It was pretty shocking. I put it up on Twitter right away just to get the word out."
Bhavesh Chauhon, Makan's friend, came down with him to check out the extent of the vandalism. "It's surprising how hateful people can be. We weren't expecting it in a city like Calgary which is so tolerant and everyone gets along."
Makan says that with the situation as a whole, there is a lot of good coming out of Calgary's Muslim community. "I was a born Hindu, but I am agnostic and I have a lot of Muslim friends. It's just the kind of situation that, what if, really a nice Muslim man comes through and that's the first thing he sees when he goes to work?"
Police are looking over security footage, given to them by Calgary Transit, in an attempt to identify the suspects.
"We investigate every type of crime and that includes this crime. We will use all our resources to bring the offenders to the courts," says Ray Kelly with the Calgary Police Service.
They believe one or two offenders are involved.