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Canada While PM Candidates Show Love For Soufi's Owners, Bernier Is Calling Out Their Son

19:55  09 october  2019
19:55  09 october  2019 Source:   narcity.com

Owners of Syrian restaurant Soufi's announce plan to re-open after hate mail and death threats

  Owners of Syrian restaurant Soufi's announce plan to re-open after hate mail and death threats The Toronto family forced to shut down their Syrian restaurant after a series of hate messages and death threats say they’re now working toward re-opening the business. Husam Al-Soufi made the announcement outside Soufi's, his downtown restaurant, alongside Mohamad Fakih, the Toronto businessman and founder of Paramount Fine Foods. "We're going to work together to re-open the door of this business," Fakih said, promising further details at a news conference scheduled for Thursday."This family should not lose their profitable, thriving business because of intimidation and hate.

Justin Trudeau standing in front of a building© justinpjtrudeau | Instagram, soufis_to | Instagram

It was confirmed on Tuesday that the popular Toronto-based Syrian restaurant Soufi’s would be closing their doors for good this week, after the owners revealed they had received a steady stream of hate messages and death threats. The emotional Instagram post that confirmed the business would be closing has now reached several of Canada’s major party leaders, who have all taken to social media to speak out on the matter.

The first to comment on the restaurant closure was Justin Trudeau, who retweeted a Twitter post from CBC food writer, Suresh Doss. The Prime Minister added, “Hatred and threats of violence have no place in Canada. We are always stronger together than when we're divided.”

I thought the Al-Soufi family should just suck it up. Then I realized how wrong I was

  I thought the Al-Soufi family should just suck it up. Then I realized how wrong I was I thought the Al-Soufi family should just suck it up. Then I realized how wrong I wasI discovered Soufi’s café while researching and writing my second novel, which is set in a close-knit Toronto Muslim community. I’m always on the look-out for interesting settings, and I was charmed by their origin story and hopeful motto: “From Syria with love.” As a result, a pivotal scene in my latest draft is set in this small café.

A short while later, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer also shared the same post, adding his own similar message. Scheer wrote, “This is sad news. Threats of violence and intimidation are absolutely unacceptable in Canada.”

The messages of hate and death threats sent to the restaurant started last week, when the owners confirmed on Facebook that a member of their family had been involved in an incident outside of a People’s Party of Canada fundraiser.

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In a video that went viral, protesters at the event could be seen harassing an elderly couple, while shouting “Nazi scum” at an 81-year-old woman.

A since-deleted Facebook post from the Syrian restaurant confirmed that the owner’s son had been one of the protesters in the video, and expressed sincere regret about the situation that occurred.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Soufi's (@soufis_to) on Oct 8, 2019 at 7:31am PDT

At the time of the incident, People’s Party of Canada leader, Maxime Bernier, took to Twitter to denounce the actions of the protestors and to reach out to the elderly woman involved. Bernier wrote, “Thank you so much Madam for standing up for free speech! We need courageous people like you if we are to keep our country STRONG and FREE.”

When the messages of hate and death threats failed to cease after their emotional Facebook apology, the Syrian restaurant took to Instagram to say that they would be closing indefinitely, in order to protect their family and staff.

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When Soufi’s revealed that they would be closing indefinitely, PPC leader Maxime Bernier also took to Twitter to speak out on the matter.

Sharing screenshots of both Trudeau’s and Scheer’s tweets about the restaurant, Bernier wrote, “Unlike Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer, I condemn BOTH the hate and threats directed at this family because of the actions of their son, AND the hate and verbal assault from Antifa thugs directed at an 81-year-old woman at our Hamilton event last week."

Narcity has contacted Soufi’s restaurant for further information about the closure of their restaurant, but is yet to receive a response.

Despite the hate messages and death threats the family have recently received, their final Instagram post explained, “Since we opened up Soufi's in 2017, we have been met with nothing but curiosity, respect, acceptance, and love from the people of Toronto, and for that we are eternally grateful."

There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.

COMMENTARY: Fate of Syrian restaurant in Toronto shows hate coming home to roost in this election .
COMMENTARY: Fate of Syrian restaurant in Toronto shows hate coming home to roost in this election“Welcome to Canada’s underwhelming election,” declared a recent headline in the Washington Post. It accompanied a bleak analysis by comedian Rick Mercer of this week’s English debate.

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