Syrian refugees pepper sprayed in Vancouver

Attack by man riding bike investigated as hate crime

The pepper spraying of a group of Syrian refugees and their supporters in Vancouver last Friday night is being investigated as a hate crime.

The large crowd of men, women and children were outside the the Muslim Association of Canada Centre after a “welcome night” event for newly arrived refugees when they were pepper sprayed by a man in a white hoodie riding a bicycle.

More than a dozen people were treated for exposure to pepper spray. Vancouver Police say no arrests have been made.

The incident was condemned by various politicians, including the prime minister.

The Muslim Association of Canada said the incident was “regrettable” but stressed it is “dwarfed by the level of generosity and welcome from Canadians across the country.”

The Syrian Canadian Council of B.C. said a “very small minority” fear refugees and called it an “isolated act” that doesn’t reflect Canadian values.

“What have happened last night will not shake our confidence and faith in our fellow Canadians.”

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