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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm opens respiratory clinic in response to COVID-19

Clinic will not be a walk-in centre, residents must call family doctor or nurse practioner first

Salmon Arm’s paving, pothole patching programs to begin in May

Long hard winter takes toll on roads, street cleaning underway

Last-minute hiring means Salmon Arm’s emergency shelter can remain open

Salvation Army’s Lighthouse shelter to stay open beyond normal closing date of April 1

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP donating raise to support food banks, women’s shelters

Mel Arnold said pay increase legislation didn’t account for a crisis like COVID-19

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

Friends of Dorothy’s drag queens deliver food in support of Kelowna’s first responders

The lounge is donating $5 from every order to first responders

Coquihalla closed in both directions, Medivac to land

DriveBC says drivers should expect delays of up to one hour

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

LETTER: Flights from infected countries should be banned

There is no excuse to allow those from infected countries to keep coming to B.C.

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

Okanagan group fights isolation with online meetings

Monashee Toastmasters are keeping their distance but still getting together

B.C. man sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Tim Green says he has ‘extreme coughing fits every hour’ to clear his lungs

Trudeau says Parliament needs to sit to pass expanded COVID-19 benefits

Wage subsidy program has been greatly expanded since it was first approved

Most Read