go to content

Someone Put These Racist Posters Up At The University Of Alberta

"F*ck Your Turban"

Posted on

Racist posters telling Sikh people to "go the f*ck back to where you came from" were found at the University of Alberta this week.

Laura Porter / Facebook / Via Facebook: 7953615287

About a dozen of the posters were put up around campus, with the words "F*ck Your Turban" over the image of a Sikh man.

"If you're so obsessed with your third-world culture, go the f*ck back to where you came from!" the poster reads. It also includes the URL for Immigration Watch Canada, a group linked to several similarly offensive poster campaigns in cities across Canada.

Laura Porter, who shared a photo of the posters to a popular University of Alberta Facebook group, said it reflected "the pervasive racism on our campus."

University of Alberta president David Turpin told BuzzFeed News the racist posters were removed immediately. "This does not represent the university and it really is an affront to everybody on campus and in Canada," he said.

Yadvinder Bhardwaj, president of the school's Indian Students' Association, said the incident is bringing students together and serving as a launchpad for a number of anti-racism initiatives. An event is already planned for next week to teach people how to tie turbans.

Immigration Watch Canada condemned the posters and said it was not responsible for distributing them.

facebook.com

"We did not circulate these flyers," Nick Champani, a spokesperson for the group, told BuzzFeed News in an email.

Champani said Immigration Watch has "more than enough irrefutable evidence dissecting Canada's flawed immigration system" that such "vulgar and emotionally-charged" posters are not necessary.

"We believe the motive behind these flyers is simply to try and discredit us in order to further push the narrative that anyone who dares to challenge current immigration policies is 'racist.'"

Anti-immigration posters credited to Immigration Watch Canada have previously been distributed in Brampton, Ontario, and at York University in Toronto.

Just as now, Immigration Watch Canada denied distributing some of those posters after they caused outrage among local residents and students.

Champani said the group cannot control who its followers are, or who finds the group's message appealing. Immigration Watch Canada's website calls for a drastic reduction in immigration, and to "recognize cultural limits" to Canada's current immigration policy. But Champani said Immigration Watch Canada is not motivated by racism.

"We do not believe Europeans to be 'superior' to any other race, but what we do believe is that Europeans are the primary founders of this nation," Champani said. "This cannot be credibly denied. We believe that those who founded this nation, deserve a prominent place in our society and should not be marginalized."

In response to the Edmonton posters, some people are expressing their love for turbans and Sikh tradition.

Posted yest in response to the @UAlberta incident yesterday. #FunkYourTurban #Ualberta #MakeItAwkward… https://t.co/adPddWLz3p

This image, widely shared on Facebook, says turbans represent "dedication, self-respect, courage, and piety."

Harjit Sajjan, Canada's defence minister, also spoke out against the racist posters, saying his was proud of his turban and his service to Canada.

Proud to be Canadian, proud of my service to Canada, proud of my turban. @UAlberta #ualberta

Sajjan is one of the most prominent Sikh politicians in the country, and spent many years in the Canadian military. He even patented a custom gas mask that let him keep his beard during that time.

The World Sikh Organization of Canada called the posters a "pathetic attempt" to promote discredited views.

"Despite the claims on this poster, Sikhs are an integral part of the Canadian fabric," said Mukhbir Singh, the organization's president.

UPDATE

This post was updated with additional comment from the University of Alberta and Immigration Watch Canada.

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

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

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.