Craig Silverman, BuzzFeed News Jane Lytvynenko, Toronto Star
Wed., May 29, 2019
In the summer of 2017, signs that seemed engineered to stoke anti-Muslim sentiment first appeared in a city park in Pitt Meadows, B.C.
“Many Muslims live in this area and dogs are considered filthy in Islam,” said the signs, which included the city’s logo. “Please keep your dogs on a leash and away from the Muslims who live in this community.”
After a spate of media coverage questioning their authenticity — and a statement from Pitt Meadows Mayor John Becker that the city didn’t make them — the signs were discredited and largely forgotten.
But almost two years later, a mix of right-wing American websites, Russian state media, and Canadian Facebook groups have made them go viral again, unleashing hateful comments and claims that Muslims are trying to “colonize” Western society.