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

Man, 31, charged in Cache Creek fatal shooting

Corey Richard Harkness appeared on one count of murder in provincial court in Kamloops

One man dead after shooting in Cache Creek

A gofundme page has been set up to fund a Celebration of Life for Brock Ledoux

Historic Nicola Valley church destroyed by fire

Murray United Church one of four Merritt-area churches touched by fire on same night

South Cariboo Minor Soccer gears up for new season

Registration has increased steadily every year since 2014, with the league nearly doubling in size

Local News Briefs: Ashcroft features in new movie

Plus workshops, a concert, a hockey fundraiser, grants, a health care survey, and much more

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

Most Read