A Syrian family whose son is part of the violent anarchist group “antifa” has closed its restaurant Soufi’s in Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood.
On Tuesday, the windows were covered up and signs were plastered on the outside of the building informing customers that they were closing their doors permanently. The Alsoufi family who owned and operated the restaurant could be seen sitting inside, but refused to comment or speak to True North.
“As a result of numerous hate messages and death threats we’ve received over the past week, we’ve decided to permanently close our shop,” the sign read, without providing any details about these alleged threats or whether they had reported them to Police.
“Since we opened up Soufi’s in 2017, we have been met with nothing but curiosity, respect, acceptance and love from the people of Toronto, and for that we are eternally grateful.”
That all changed on Sunday, September 29th when the Alsoufi family’s son, Alaa Alsoufi, was caught on camera at an antifa riot outside a Hamilton campaign event with People Party leader Maxime Bernier.
Video footage of an elderly woman with a walker being accosted by masked protesters that evening went viral, being viewed more than seven million times on Twitter.
While antifa members wear masks and go to great lengths to conceal their identities — typically so they can be violent and destroy private property with impunity — this Syrian man publicly revealed himself to apologize for his role in intimidating the elderly woman.
“Last Sunday, during a anti-hate and anti-fascism rally I was attending in Hamilton an elderly couple attending the hate event was blocked and yelled at by the protester next to me, which was unacceptable and wrong and contrary to the message of tolerance I was trying to spread,” he wrote on Facebook.
His family also echoed this message, apologizing and confirming that their son Alaa was one of the protesters at the event.
“We would like to formally apologize for the incident that occurred with the elderly woman. Alaa regrets that he did not step aside and/ or stand up against the act of verbal abuse that occurred against her, and would love the opportunity to personally extend his apologies to her,” the family said, adding that their son did not in any way verbally or physically assault the elderly woman.
“Our family and business do not condone acts of hate, violence or harassment in any shape or form, and advocate for peace, equality and free speech for all human beings. Our family immigrated to Canada with the intention of living and working peacefully.”
In the viral video, three masked protesters can be seen blocking a crosswalk and screaming at the woman and her son as they try to cross the street.
“Nazi scum, off our streets, Nazi scrum, off our streets,” one of the masked protesters can be heard screaming. The elderly woman’s son later described the scene in an op/ed.
“A black-masked and rage-filled youth decided to scream as loudly as possible in her ear that she was a Nazi. Once inside, my mother complained of having trouble hearing in that ear which was particularly cruel since we were attending an event that required us to listen to ideas.”
After significant criticism of his brutish actions, Alla deleted his Facebook account last Wednesday night.
Prior to deleting his Facebook page, however, it stated he is originally from Homs, Syria and moved to Canada in December 2015. He wrote a post at the time about his move to Canada, and dozens of his friends replied to congratulate him on getting into Canada.
This date would likely make him one of the 25,000 Syrian refugees brought in by Justin Trudeau on his election promise to fast-track Syrians into Canada on an artificial timeline. As reported by the Sun at the time, this required the Canadian government to skip important security screening, vetting and integration programs that refugees normally go through before coming to Canada.
According to Alla’s public Instagram account, he was in Turkey prior to coming to Canada, which also aligns with Trudeau’s Syrian refugee program.
“The (Trudeau government) plan indicated that Canada would collaborate with the UNHCR and the Turkish government to identify refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey,” read a report by the Government of Canada on the Syrian refugee program.
Alaa’s Facebook page also revealed that he is involved in a number of extremist and far-left causes. On Facebook, he “likes” a number of leftist pages, including Antifa Toronto, Climate Strike Toronto, Canadaland, CUPE 3902 Racialised Workers’ Caucus, The Toronto Star, No One Is Illegal, and anti-Semitic events including Al Quds Day, Toronto BDS and Students Against Israel Apartheid. He also “likes” Justin Trudeau’s partisan page.
Antifa — which gets its name from the words Anti-Fascist — are a group of far-left extremists who wear masks to conceal their identities while participating in violent and destructive street protests. The US Department of Homeland Security has referred to antifa’s actions as “domestic terrorist violence.”
While claiming to fight against hate and fascism, these masked extremists practice their own brand of fascism — using violence to intimidate and stop those with whom they disagree.
The elderly woman had a message for these antifa fascists, which she recorded in a video that is also going viral on social media.
“Free speech is the cornerstone of our democracy and it can never and will never be denied.”
With files from Leo Knight