A Syrian family restaurant in Toronto, Soufis, has been permanently closed, according to The Star.
What We Know:
- The family came to Canada through the refugee resettlement program. The New York Times did a profile in 2018 which praised the company and tried to showcase Canada’s overall tolerance for Syrian refugees.
- Alaa Alsoufi, the son of Shahnaz Alsoufi, who owns the restaurant, was identified as one of the members of ANTIFA protesting at a Maxime Bernier event. He is a right-wing politician who is anti-immigration. The death threats came after he was identified.
- ANTIFA is a group that has been criticized for using “fascist tactics” such as violence and intimidation to push their political agenda. Supporters have stated they fight against fascists and that their tactics are a source for good.
- A CBC video has been circulating showing Alsoufi shouting “Nazi scum off our streets” to an elderly woman. This later led some Canadian politicians to praise her.
On October 1, the father of Antifa Alaa Soufi Dalua confirmed to me that it was his son wearing the mask at the rally. Claimed his son thought he was going to an “anti terrorist rally.” I sent his email to Hamilton Spectator and other Canadian papers. They’ve done nothing. pic.twitter.com/8xYfoiQnft
— Victoria Balfour (@VickiBalfour) October 3, 2019
- The family later apologized for their son’s actions in the protest saying, “Alaa regrets that he did not step aside and/or stand up against the act of verbal abuse.”
The restaurant had also been receiving one-star reviews from Google, including comments like “they should all be shipped back to their own country.” This situation is just unfortunate on all sides.