Saturday July 28, 2018
A crowd of angry Torontonians confronted a man who held up an anti-Islam sign at the site of the Danforth Avenue shooting, with one of them eventually throwing the man into a fountain.
Video of the Friday afternoon incident shows the man standing in front of the fountain at Alexander the Great Parkette, which has turned into a memorial for victims of Sunday’s shooting, and engaging in a shouting match with people over his sign.
The sign read “C.B.C. presents” on top, followed by two lines below, “Little Mosque on the praire [sic]” and below that, “Two dead girls in Greek Town.”
“Little Mosque on the Prairie” was a CBC sitcom about the lives of small-town Muslim Canadians, while Greektown is the neighbourhood in which police say 29-year-old Faisal Hussain opened fire, killing two and injuring 13.
At one point early in the video, a man stepped up to the protester and yelled, “Not all Muslims are bad,” to which the protester retorted, “I don’t know about Muslims, I talked about Islam!”
A woman wearing a head covering is then seen trying in vain to seize the protester’s sign, which he held high above his head, while the gathered crowd chanted “Shame! Shame!”
However, another man then appeared and grabbed the protester, hurling him into the fountain to cheers from many in the crowd.
The protester continued to hold up his sign while lying on his back in the water, before standing back up with sign still in hand. Police officers eventually ushered the man away from the area.
The man has reportedly been a constant presence at the memorial site this week and has been involved in multiple confrontations, though none as heated as the one Friday afternoon.
The incident occurred less than two hours before business owners and workers took to the sidewalks on a nearly three-kilometre stretch of the Danforth to observe a minute’s silence in memory of the victims and in support of all those affected.
On Thursday, another person, a 50-year-old white man, was charged with assault and threatening death after berating a Muslim family at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, in an incident that was also captured on video.