Windsor residents roll up sleeves, paint over anti-Islamic graffiti

Two Windsor men spent their Thanksgiving Sunday removing anti-Islamic messages that were found spray painted around the city.

'I am covering up hatred in our society, in our community'

Ahmed Khalifa covers anti-Islamic messages with white paint Sunday afternoon. (Melissa Nakhavoly/CBC News )

Two Windsor men spent Thanksgiving Sunday covering up anti-Islamic graffiti spray painted across the city.

'I am covering up hatred in our society, in our community," said Jon Liedtke, while standing beneath an underpass on Huron Church Road, brushing white paint over the words 'Islam means surrender.'

"I have painted over six of these."

Jon Liedtke drove around the city Sunday afternoon painting over top messages that read "Islam means surrender." (Melissa Nakhavoly/CBC News )

Liedtke saw people posting pictures on social media of anti-Islamic messages that had popped up overnight. He decided to take matters into his own hands.

"This type of hatred can't exist in our community. When we see it we need to stamp it out and if that means grabbing a can of paint and painting over public infrastructure so be it, give me a ticket," he said.

He wasn't the only one horrified by the messages scrawled in black marker or red spray paint on underpasses, signs, bus shelters and garbage cans.

Ahmed Khalifa has been documenting anti-Islamic messages in Windsor for the past few months. So far, he has collected about 20 pictures of what he believes are statements of ignorance and bigotry.

"It is really concerning to me, being a Muslim in the community ... My whole family is Muslim we have been living here, born and raised here," said Khalifa. "To realize there is this type of hatred in this community is really scary."

Some of the pictures of graffiti he has collected read 'death to all Muslims' and 'Islam = Isis.'

"First step is to stand as a community united and make sure we stand against bigotry, misinformation, misrepresentation," he said. "I would encourage everybody first to do their research to see what Islam is actually about."

Windsor residents found messages like this one spray painted on underpasses, signs and garbage cans. (Melissa Nakhavoly/CBC News )

Khalifa has reported these incidents to Windsor Police.

Police say they have received a number of complaints from people concerned with the messages. Police are on the lookout for a suspect.

Windsor Police are asking the public to come forward if they have any information.