And Alaa found himself doxed. A Twitter user identified him in an Oct. 1 tweet, calling him one of the “scumbags” who had harassed Marston. His name and information spread across the Internet, retweeted by the likes of conservative pundit Ann Coulter, as did his ties to the restaurant.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Alsoufis admitted Alaa had been involved in the protests.

“Alaa regrets the incident that occurred in Hamilton this past weekend,” they said. “That said, he did not in any way verbally or physically assault the elderly woman and has nonetheless offered to apologize personally for not doing more.”

But it wasn’t long before threats began flooding into Soufi’s Facebook page and email, including some with menacing remarks about torture and violence. The Alsoufis said that earlier this week, Alaa had been physically assaulted. (Police haven’t commented on this claim.)

The attacks and hate-filled messages had proved to be so much that the family said it had no choice but to close Soufi’s permanently.

“We could not put our family members, staff, and patrons in danger,” the family said in a statement. “The magnitude of hate we are facing is overwhelming.”

This week, the white doors to the restaurant were shuttered, the windows covered in the yellow T-shirts reading, “From Syria, with Love.” Patrons and neighbors passed by to drop off flowers and leave messages of support to the family and restaurant, expressing shock at the violent messages directed toward the family.

“We have the rule of law in Canada,” one man told CityNews Toronto. “We don’t issue death threats. This is not that kind of country.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chimed in, writing on Twitter on Tuesday, “Hatred and threats of violence have no place in Canada. We are always stronger together than when we’re divided.”

Justin Trudeau


Hatred and threats of violence have no place in Canada. We are always stronger together than when we’re divided. 

Suresh Doss


This is heartbreaking and upsetting. Soufi’s on Queen West is closing.

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Even the son of Marston, the elderly woman at the protest, condemned the attacks on the Alsoufi family in an interview with the Toronto Star.

“I’m absolutely ashamed of anybody who called and threatened them. That’s how polarized Canada is becoming. We have lost our ability to see reason,” David Turkoski said. “We don’t like war and persecution of anybody.”

A spokesperson for Toronto police told The Post that officers had begun investigating threats against the restaurant. And on Wednesday, the family changed course, saying that it would reopen the restaurant with the help of Mohamad Fakih, a prominent Lebanese-Canadian businessman.

“This family should not lose their profitable, thriving business because of intimidation and hate,” Fakih said.