N.S. family speaks out after racist, threatening letter is left in driveway
A Halifax-area family is speaking out after someone left an anonymous letter, which made racist and threatening comments, in their driveway.
“I feel sorry for the person that did this because they didn’t even get to know us,” says Zinah Al Jamil, who was born in Lebanon but is a Canadian citizen.
Al Jamil and her family fled Lebanon because they feared for their safety and now she lives in Beechville, N.S. with her sister.
But the letter she found in her driveway hasn’t made her feel very welcome.
“We take pride in our community and people like you come in and make it look like a mess,” the letter states. “Maintain your yard or see what happens to you and your home if you don’t.
“You are not a Canadian and maybe this is how your home looks in your country, but we don’t want your messy yards and lack of upkeep ruining our community. Fix it now pig.”
The Al Jamil family has filed a formal complaint with police and has turned over the letter to investigators in the hopes that fingerprints can help them track down the culprit.
Al Jamil says she isn’t speaking out of fear, but hopes the experience could educate others about different cultures and races.
“This unfortunate thing happened to us,” she says. “That does not give me the right to go and generalize that all Canadian people go around threatening people.”
She is also left wondering if the recent shootings at an Orlando nightclub may have had something to do with the threat.
“Yes, we hear some things about Arabic people doing stuff and recently about doing things in Orlando. However, if that ticked off that person, that doesn’t mean that Arabic people are all the same.”
Some neighbours said they were shocked to learn about the letter.
“I just feel sorry about this family and what happened. I guess as a community as a whole we should stand up for something like this,” says Rose Chen.
Meanwhile, Al Jamil hopes police will be able to track down the person responsible for the letter so the same thing doesn’t happen to another family.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Alyse Hand