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A Group Of Friends In Calgary Had The Best Response To Racist Graffiti Left At An LRT Station

"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend."

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A group of young Calgarians came together to respond to hateful graffiti left at an LRT station about Syrian refugees and Muslims. They fought back by greeting morning commuters with messages of love and peaceful co-existence.

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Bilal Sher and his friends held signs at the Tuscany LRT station featuring quotes about love overcoming hate from people including Martin Luther King Jr., the Prophet Muhammad, and others.

Speaking to CBC Calgary, Nadir Khan said he took part in the demonstration to show Calgary wasn't defined by those who want to spread intolerance.

CBC Calgary / Via Facebook: video.php

"We just want to show that the youth can do something positive," he said.

"We want to show that people may be doing bad things, but realistically, as a community, we can overcome it and we can do something better for the community."

This was a day after people had spray-painted messages about killing Muslims around the transit station, as well as on some vehicles outside.

@ the Tuscany train station in #Calgary. This is beyond fucked up. #YYC

The vandalism also featured the Celtic Cross associated with white supremacist groups.

The incident is being investigated as a hate crime, according to Calgary police. "There were two offenders, we believe," Sgt. Eric Levesque told BuzzFeed Canada, noting that the station has "excellent" closed-circuit cameras.

This is a sampling of the graffiti at the Tuscany LRT. Seriously...#yyc we are better than this!

Sher said the original idea had been to plaster their posters overtop of the nasty messages, but since Calgary Transit had already cleaned most of it up, he and his friends stuck around to greet commuters personally.

"We were told we could stand, hold our posters, and spread the cheer," Sher told CBC Calgary.

"Maybe it'll brighten someone's day or give them something positive to think about!"

BuzzFeed Canada has reached out to him for further comment.

Many Calgarians who were disappointed by the racist graffiti are sharing their appreciation for how the group of young people responded.

Huge applause for the people at Tuscany station spreading the word to love each-other following vandalism against Muslims yesterday @nenshi

The response to what happened at Tuscany station shows how great and loving people can be in face of ignorance and racism.

@calgarytransit being greeted at Tuscany station by a group of young ppl spreading love made my day and reminded me why Yyc is so great! Xo

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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