Salmon Arm refugee advocate 'disappointed' by hateful graffiti
"This isn't a trend by any means; this is one wing nut who has had his say on a fence"
People who advocate for refugees in Salmon Arm, B.C. are disappointed by hateful graffiti that advocates violence against Muslims found along a public trail.
The graffiti, calling for violence against Muslims, was discovered last Friday on a fence along the Turner Creek Trail in the northeast area of Salmon Arm.
Workers from the City of Salmon Arm removed the offensive message, according to manager of roads and parks Rob Hein.
"You don't like to see that kind of stuff," he said. "It's disappointing to see that it's happening here."
Graffiti is common in Salmon Arm, said Hein, but this is the first time he's seen hateful graffiti like this.
The Salmon Arm Refugee Coalition has helped bring 32 Syrians — the majority of them Muslim — to the community since the start of 2016.
Another 14 Syrians are expected to arrive this year, according to chair Brian Ayotte.
Ayotte didn't see the actual graffiti, but he's disturbed by the message.
"This is a very, very small minority," he said.
"We have had nothing but a positive response [to the arrival of the refugees] from all levels of the community of Salmon Arm."
The hateful messaging doesn't reflect how people in the city of 17,500 people feel about Syrians, he said.
"This isn't a trend by any means," said Ayotte. "This is one wingnut who has had his say on a fence."