Police investigate stickers depicting Prophet Muhammad in Toronto apartment building
'I want people to be educated more on other people's beliefs,' says resident Gouhora Khatun
Gouhora Khatun says she was shocked to find what she calls Islamophobic stickers earlier this week around her apartment building in Flemingdon Park — a neighbourhood with a large Muslim population.
"Honestly speaking, I felt extremely offended," Khatun told CBC Toronto Wednesday.
The stickers depicted the Prophet Muhammad. Beside the cartoon representation are the words: "Feminism is cancer" and "wage gap is a myth."
Depictions of the Prophet draw varied and complex reactions from many Muslims.
Toronto police are now investigating the incident.
"It was just very shocking to see that in our building, because it's a very multicultural neighbourhood," Khatun said.
Property management removed the stickers, and in a statement, Gateway Properties said the message does not in any way reflect its values.
"We are aware of the stickers with the disgusting messaging on them, as we removed them within hours of them being put up," said senior property manager Eric Clarke.
"We are an inclusive company who welcomes everyone and believes in equality for all people."
Khatun said she called police about the stickers Tuesday, but was told another resident had already filed a report.
Toronto police said the matter is being investigated, but right now it does not meet the threshold to be considered a hate crime. They're asking anyone with information to contact 54 Division or Crime Stoppers.
Khatun said for the time being, building management has done all it can — it's up to the community to be more inclusive of all faiths, including Islam.
"If someone has any objection with someone, you talk to them, and then you try to learn from them.
"If you disagree on something with us, or if you have objections, then instead of having misconceptions and instead of having Islamophobic ideas, why don't you come to us — who actually follow the religion — and talk to us? Then we can come to a point where you have a better understanding of my beliefs."