Two men travel across the city to cover up anti-Islamic graffiti

Two Windsor men spent Thanksgiving Sunday covering up anti-Islamic graffiti spray painted across the city.

‘I am covering up hatred in our society, in our community,” said Jon Liedtke, while standing beneath an underpass on Huron Church Road, brushing white paint over the words ‘Islam means surrender.’

“I have painted over six of these.”

Liedtke saw people posting pictures on social media of anti-Islamic messages that had popped up overnight. He decided to take matters into his own hands.

“This type of hatred can’t exist in our community. When we see it we need to stamp it out and if that means grabbing a can of paint and painting over public infrastructure so be it, give me a ticket,” he said.

He wasn’t the only one horrified by the messages scrawled in black marker or red spray paint on underpasses, signs, bus shelters and garbage cans.

Ahmed Khalifa has been documenting anti-Islamic messages in Windsor for the past few months. So far, he has collected about 20 pictures of what he believes are statements of ignorance and bigotry.

“It is really concerning to me, being a Muslim in the community … My whole family is Muslim we have been living here, born and raised here,” said Khalifa. “To realize there is this type of hatred in this community is really scary.”

Some of the pictures of graffiti he has collected read ‘death to all Muslims’ and ‘Islam = Isis.’

“First step is to stand as a community united and make sure we stand against bigotry, misinformation, misrepresentation,” he said. “I would encourage everybody first to do their research to see what Islam is actually about.”

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