Anti-Muslim Racism: Montreal Woman Attacked For Wearing Hijab

A Montreal Muslim woman is claiming to have been subjected to a racism-related attack on the Montreal subway system on Tuesday, according to an article in Le Journal de Montréal.

Hanane Mehdi, a Muslim woman living and working in Montreal, told local television station TVA that she was traveling to work on the subway during rush hour while wearing her hijab — the traditional Muslim veil covering the head and neck, as is her custom in public — when she suddenly became the subject of an anti-Muslim racist attack. Mehdi alleges that she was approached by a woman who grabbed her, yelling, “You veiled women should return to your country.” The Toronto Sun further alleges that she was being pushed as well.

Mehdi, stunned and frightened by the unexpected attack, did not respond and was relieved when the woman moved on. Her relief was short-lived, however. When she exited the subway at Henri-Bourassa station (a fairly major station in the borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville), she encountered her assailant again.

Mehdi shared the details with TVA.

“Suddenly, I see the lady who attacked me. She started hitting me in the face, which got all red. I felt her hitting me from behind until people got involved.”

The attack ended after bystanders intervened on Mehdi’s behalf. She concluded that she was injured enough to warrant returning home, where the injuries sustained in the racism-based attacked upset her 9-year-old daughter, Marwa.

The little girl told TVA in French, “I was so scared I was sick. I didn’t know it could happen to my mother and I almost cried because I love my mom and I don’t want that to happen to her.”

Mehdi said that she had suffered anti-Muslim racism via nasty comments and shoves before, thanks to her hijab, but that this attack was far more frightening. This may be related to the Ottawa Parliament Hill terror attack late last year, perpetrated by a Muslim extremist, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, which has significantly increased anti-Muslim racism in Canada in its aftermath.

Mehdi has filed a report with police and an investigation is underway, but she has not returned to work since the attack. Police are currently reviewing subway security footage in an attempt to identify Mehdi’s attacker.

Recent events in Canada and worldwide have escalated to the point that, as per the Calgary Herald, a Muslim leader in Calgary, Imam Syed Soharwardy, has called on Christians and Muslims to show solidarity and remind people that “Christians and Muslims are not at war.” Hopefully, Hanane Mehdi’s unidentified assailant, and everyone else driving anti-Muslim racism, will take his words to heart.

[Photo by Michele Mossop/Getty Images]