Marrisa Shen, 13, was killed in Burnaby’s Central Park in July 2017. (Police handout)

Syrian community fears backlash after immigrant charged in B.C. girl’s death

Ibrahim Ali had come as a refugee from Syria 17 months ago

Canada’s Syrian community has reached out to head off any incoming backlash, a day after a refugee from that country was charged in the death of a 13-year-old B.C. girl.

“At this moment of deep sadness, we earnestly join all Canadians in mourning and hope that this terrible incident won’t result in a backlash against refugees,” Tareq Hadhad, who runs a Syrian-Canadian chocolate company, said on Twitter.

Ibrahim Ali, 28, of Burnaby has been charged with first-degree murder after Marrisa Shen was killed in a Burnaby park in July 2017.

Ali came to Canada as a Syrian refugee about four months before Marrisa’s death, police said. He had become a permanent resident, with no criminal record.

The charges have caused a stir on social media, with racial slurs and epithets hurled against refugees.

Investigators also said there was no evidence that religious ideology played any part in the killing.

“The Syrian community in Canada join their fellow Canadians today in shock and condemnation of the despicable homicide of young Marrisa Shen,” read a letter issued Monday afternoon from a group of prominent Syrian Canadians and refugee advocates.

They also expressed sympathy to Marrisa’s family and thanks to the police for tracking down Ali.

The Syrian community in Vancouver will be lighting candles for Marrisa at the provincial courthouse on Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Ali is expected to appear in court at that time.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Ballet Jorgen’s Coppélia features local dancers

Classic ballet runs at Key City Theatre Friday, Feb. 22

Key City Theatre hosting fly fishing film festival

Eight films, including one shot locally up the St. Mary Valley, are set to screen

Stetski pushes feds to fund rural internet infrastructure

Kootenay-Columbia MP rises in Parliament to advocate for a funding action plan

Kootenay East MLA reacts to B.C. budget

Tom Shypitka has mixed reaction to plan put forward by the provincial government

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

Most Read