The MediaPlex – Oct. 14, 2017 – Sanjay Maru
Two local men are being praised after spending their Thanksgiving weekend painting over anti-Islamic graffiti.
Jon Liedtke and Ahmed Khalifa knew something had to be done when they saw messages of hate spread throughout the city.
“There’s no place for hate in our city,” said Liedtke, co-owner of Higher Limits, a cannabis lounge in downtown Windsor.
“There was some messages that were Islamophobic in nature that were put up throughout the city over the past two and a half weeks. I was messaged about one of them that had been recently painted over, but the message came back overnight,” he said. “On the way driving there, I saw more of these messages of hate so I covered those up as well.”
Khalifa has published stories about hate speech in local high schools and is familiar with acts of hate.
“People are enemies of what they are ignorant of and I honestly believe that, much of these people are ignorant of the true essence of Islam [and] what it actually means,” said Khalifa, adding these messages have an effect on his family.
“I see 30 to 40 hateful messages on city property and private infrastructure … I have nieces and nephews that live in Canada,” he said. “When they go to the bus stop and they see messages saying, ‘Death to all Muslims,’ imagine what that plants in my niece or nephew’s head.”
This comes just one year after the launch of Tag-Out, a joint initiative of Windsor police, Westview Freedom Academy students, and the “Our West End” neighbourhood renewal project, which focuses on graffiti education and urban renewal.