Racist pamphlets plastered across Ryerson University were intended to pit Jewish and Arab students against each other, campus officials said yesterday as police announced an arrest.
“(This) lifts a really dark cloud that was hanging over our campus,” said Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse. “These actions were trying to generate hate (but) they’ve been unsuccessful.”
At least 15 anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic posters and graffiti have been found at the downtown university since June, some containing death threats against students.
On Monday, a man was “caught in the act” by campus security posting hate-filled literature, Toronto Police said. A “large amount” of racist flyers was also found.
A 21-year-old Toronto man is scheduled to appear in College Park court today to face nine hate crime charges.
It’s alleged he acted alone and was not affiliated with any known racist group, Det. Matt Moyer said.
The accused was also not a Ryerson student but targeted the multicultural campus because it represented a “microcosm” of the city, Supt. Randal Munroe alleged.
The posters and graffiti were aimed at both Jews and Arabs, calling for violent acts against both groups.
Police were reluctant to comment on a motive, but Lajeunesse said the intention was to turn the two communities against each other.
“Rather than divide our campus it has united our campus,” Lajeunesse said yesterday.
Several forums were held between the groups as well as a “faith” summit.
Both the Canadian Arab Federation and Canadian Jewish Congress have been involved with the student groups.
The arrest brings a huge sigh of relief,” the CJC’s Bernie Farber said yesterday.
Kevin Haas is facing hate crime-related charges alleging mischief and death threats.
Ryerson’s independent campus newspaper report on the incident:
Arrested for threats
Woman Charged In Swastika Graffiti Spree
Jewish Graves Vandalised in France
Woman’s Swastika Ordeal Exposed as Fantasy
Campus Shocked by Allegation Professor Staged Vandalism
Calif. Professor Charged with Hate Crime Hoax