(CBC) Reports that a man accused of sexual assaults on six Edmonton teenage girls was a Syrian refugee have ignited a firestorm of reaction, from anti-immigration diatribes to criticism about how the media dealt with the story.
Groups that work with refugees in the city have been inundated with calls and texts over the past 24 hours, some from people calling for an end to the refugee program and others from refugees themselves apologizing on behalf of their community.
Erick Ambtman, executive director of the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, said his organization received a message on Twitter from a white supremacist group that included a picture of a Syrian refugee, asking the centre to confirm whether the photo was the same man accused of the crimes.
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"It may be just to scare us or to unnerve people," Ambtman said.