WARNING: This article contains disturbing language and content.
An Edmonton resident discovered an anti-Islam flyer in her mailbox Saturday, prompting a call to the police hate crimes unit.
Alannah Davies said the flyer was delivered to her home in the Calder neighbourhood in the city’s northwest and believes other people may have received it too.
“This is Canada. This is where people flee to get away from conflict and racism so it shouldn’t be happening here. We’re a mosaic and a diverse place,” she said.
“It’s just unacceptable.”
The words: “I hate gays, thinks Islam” are written in large, bold print at the top of the paper. It includes an image of two men, blindfolded with ropes around their necks.
The paper goes on to read: “The Qur’an: ‘Kill the one that is doing it and also kill the one that it is being done to.’ In reference to the active and passive partners in gay sexual intercourse. Is this advocating peace, love and freedom in your eyes? It’s time to #ShipThemTheF***Back.”
There is a website listed at the bottom of the flyer but it’s not known at this time if the group is responsible for making and distributing them. Global News reached out to the group but had not received a reply Sunday.
“The people who are distributing these need to know that they’re being counter-productive,” Davies said, adding whoever created and spread the flyers made her very angry.
She reported the flyer to the Edmonton Police Service’s Hate Crimes Unit.
Faisal Khan Suri, president of the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council (AMPAC), also called on police to investigate the flyer.
Global News contacted the Edmonton Police Service but did not hear back on Sunday.
“The AMPAC emphatically condemns the hate flyers being distributed in Edmonton for the second time,” Khan Suri’s statement reads.
“The flyers are hate propaganda with fabricated assertions about Islam and Muslims. Islam does not condone the killing of any innocent life. We are urging the EPS to investigate these acts as hate crimes and bring those responsible to justice immediately. We will be working with the EPS to closely monitor the situation. Islamophobia is not just a Muslim issue – it’s an Alberta issue and a Canadian issue. We will continue to work with all peace-loving Canadians of every stripe to eradicate such hatred and intolerance.”
The city councillor for the area said the message does not represent Edmonton.
“I really appreciate the person that called and said ‘this is being distributed’ because it’s someone standing up and saying ‘this isn’t acceptable.’ And it’s not, not in our Edmonton,” Bev Esslinger said.
“To target peoples’ beliefs … telling them they have to go back – many of them are born and raised here – that is ridiculous,” Esslinger added. “This is an Edmonton for everyone.”
Less than two weeks ago, another anti-Islam flyer was circulated in the Richfield neighbourhood. It had the words #BANISLAM at the bottom and referred to the religion as a “delusional seventh-century cult.”
The incident also follows the discovery of an anti-Sikh poster at the University of Alberta last month and an anti-Muslim poster at the University of Calgary.
“It is unfortunate and it’s getting exhausting,” said Jesse Lipscombe, whose experience with racism in Edmonton sparked the #MakeItAwkward campaign.
“I know it’s exhausting for a very many people,” he said. “Not just people from the Muslim faith or Islam faith or Sikh faith or black or gay, but people in general who have good hearts and understand what we are supposed to be as a country, are getting exhausted seeing this type of thing happening over and over and over.”
“Fear wins when there’s an absence of education. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, and you’re full of fear, you have to justify it somehow and sometimes they do it with posters like this.”
The Sikh Students’ Association responded to the racist posters found at the U of A with an event promoting education and awareness.
The group, along with the University of Alberta Students’ Union and the World Sikh Organization, hosted Turban Eh! on campus. Volunteers tied turbans on Edmontonians and answered questions about the significance of the turban and what it means for Sikhs.