Toronto

Scarborough Muslim school hit with hateful graffiti

A Toronto mom says the anti-Muslim graffiti scrawled on her child’s school was a "rude awakening" on Tuesday.

Wali Ul Asr Learning Institute on McCowan Road was targeted over the long weekend

Hateful graffiti written in spray paint was discovered at a Scarborough Muslim school over the long weekend. (Alison Chiasson/CBC)

A Toronto mom says the anti-Muslim graffiti scrawled on her child's school was a "rude awakening" for her as she drove up on Tuesday morning.  

Jana Kanaan's 7-year-old spotted the hateful message as soon as they arrived at Wali Ul Asr's school in Scarborough.

"It's really shocking, actually, to see this right now," she told CBC Toronto.

Kanaan tries to shelter her child from this kind of thing, but tonight, she says she'll have to try to explain why this happened.

The school learned about the vandalism, which included the phrase "F--- U Muslims", just before 11 p.m. on Monday.

By Tuesday morning, city crews were scrubbing off the spray paint, but students still had to walk past it on their way to class.

Wali Ul Asr is a Muslim school with several locations around southwestern Ontario that serves students from kindergarten to Grade 12. The school blamed the graffiti on the actions of "misguided individual" in an email statement and said it's thankful for the outpouring of support on Tuesday.

"We plan to use this incident as a positive learning experience for our students and have them focus on the exceptional support we are receiving," the school said.

Mayor calls vandalism a 'hateful act'

Mayor John Tory condemned the incident on Twitter and said police will work hard to find the culprit.

The graffiti, Tory wrote, "is the kind of hateful act and language that has absolutely no place in Toronto. This hatred is unacceptable at any time but it is disturbing someone would choose to do this during Ramadan."

Meanwhile, local councillors went to the school to help with the clean up. 

"I was speaking to the school principal last night. He said this is not the first time this has been done. I was shocked at that," said Coun. Jim Karygiannis, who is also the city's newcomer advocate.

Toronto police say they have launched an investigation. Officers are hoping to watch the school's surveillance camera footage today.

The incident comes just a week before Toronto's newcomer day, a celebration for newcomers to the city in Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square scheduled for May 29.