Police investigate hate graffiti in northwest Calgary park

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Calgary police are looking for suspects in connection with some hate graffiti that was found throughout an off-leash park in Ranchlands.

The messages, containing insults directed towards Jews and Muslims, were discovered by Glen Tinckler, a resident who was walking his dog.

He reported the find to Crime Stoppers and police and wants to make sure the person or people who posted the messages are apprehended.

“We need to be aware of these things because we want to stop this before it gets a foothold like its seeming to in the rest of the world at this time,” Tinckler said.

Lori Simpson, who has lived in the area for 15 years, says she feels disheartened by the hateful messages down the popular path for dog walkers.

“We are a community that cares about each other and often, all summer long, I’ll pick weeds, I’ll pick up bottles, I’ll pick up garbage to keep it nice.”

Police are working to track down who may have sprayed the messages.

Meanwhile, Syrian refugee groups are taking the hateful feelings behind the graffiti very seriously and say it’s hard to believe it happened in Ranchlands.

“It is very disappointing Ranchlands is a community where there are two mosques and both of these mosques have been so good at reaching out to people, whether it is shoveling snow in the winter time, having open houses into the mosques, distributing sweets, pamphlets or anything you can imagine to dispel Islamaphobia,” said Saima Jamal with the Syrian Refugee Support Group.

Jamal said the hateful messages are very twisted and disturbing.

“These frustrations always come during these attacks, because of what’s happening down south with Trump coming into power, the frustrations have doubled or tripled from that.”

Jamal says a conference involving all Muslims and focusing on combating racism is planned in the near future.

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