London, Ontario Police Make Arrest In Unprovoked Attack On Muslim Woman

Police in London, Ontario, Canada, have arrested a 38-year-old woman in connection with an unprovoked attack on a Muslim woman at a grocery store, CBC News is reporting.

At about 5 p.m. on Monday, a Muslim woman was shopping at the Superking Supermarket with her 4-month-old son when, unprovoked, a woman began assaulting her, according to a Tuesday CBC News report. The victim, who has declined to give her name, says her assailant punched her several times, spat on her, and pulled her hijab (traditional Muslim head scarf) and hair. The assailant then left the store.

In fact, London police weren’t even aware of the assault until a Twitter user claiming to be a relative of the victim began posting about it on Twitter. A London cop responded to the user, who has since deleted not only their tweets about the assault but apparently all of their tweets.

London police remain unsure of the assailant’s motive, according to Police Service spokeswoman Sandasha Bough.

“We would like to find out ourselves what…the motive was. After that, then we will continue with the investigation. It’s definitely very concerning for anyone to be assaulted for no apparent reason. It’s something we need to get to the bottom of.”

London police have since apprehended the woman behind the attack; however, her name has not been released, as of this writing. Police would only describe her as a 38-year-old woman.

The assault drew outrage in the Muslim community in and around Ontario. Saleha Khan, of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, says the supermarket assault is just the latest in a string of ugly incidents directed at Ontario Muslims.

“I’m tired, I’m exhausted. I am hurt and I’m disappointed. Part of me doesn’t want to give up hope, because if I give up hope, I’ll probably curl up and never want to come out in public. You just sort of buckle down and say, ‘OK, I’ve got more work to do now.'”

In another example of recent anti-Muslim violence in Ontario, in November 2015, a Muslim woman was attacked outside a Toronto school, according to City News. The 30-year-old woman says she was picking up her children from school when a group of two men began hurling anti-Muslim obscenities at her, calling her a “terrorist” and telling her to “go back to your country.” The men then punched her and pulled her hijab and hair.

The woman’s brother, who identified himself as Owais, said that he and other Muslims in Canada need to stand up to hate and violence.

“The main thing is we need to get together as a community of Muslims, as Torontonians, and catch them. This is not going to beat us … we are not going anywhere.”

In another hate crime directed at Ontario Muslims, a pig’s head was left outside of a Quebec City mosque along with the message “bon apetit” (pigs are considered “unclean” in Islam and Muslims are forbidden from touching or eating them or their meat). Mohamed Yangui, the president of the Mosque, didn’t think the vandal would last long before the cops caught up to him.

“It is a waste of time, money and energy. We have high-definition cameras. We will certainly find the person who did this.”

[Image via London Police Service]