Salima Hafeez took to Facebook to ask for help in finding the suspects who brutally attacked Salima’s 15-year-old nephew, a Canadian teenager of Pakistani Muslim background. Salima’s nephew Noah Rabbani was reportedly walking home from a friend’s house on Sunday, November 27, 2016, when two white men attacked him, beat him severely with a baseball bat, and then stole his backpack.
The family and community complained that Noah’s story had not gotten any media attention. Hafeez says that race-related attacks are on the rise in Canada and that many are going completely unreported by the Canadian media.
“What are we as a community going to do about it,” Hafeez asks on a Facebook post that has been shared over 1,300 times as of Wednesday evening. “What are our politicians going to do about it?”
“Our family is asking for your help. We want you to share this message so that the attackers can be caught as soon as possible (details below). We want you to share this message so that our communities start talking about racism and Islamophobia which appear to be on the rise. We want you to share this message so that our politicians can start to speak up about what they are going to do to protect our children and communities. Please keep Noah in your thoughts and prayers and speak up if you see any acts of violence.”
Meanwhile, the Hamilton Police news release makes no mention of this attack as being potentially race-related. Their headline called it a robbery.
“On Sunday November 27, 2016 just shortly after 4:00pm, Hamilton Police officers responded to investigate a robbery.”
“During the early morning hours of midnight on Sunday November 27th, 2016, a 15 year old boy was walking in the area of Rymal Road East and Fletcher Road, where he was assaulted and robbed of his backpack.”
“It was reported that a car drove up alongside of him and stopped. Two males were then seen exiting the car with one of the males holding a baseball bat. The males approached the boy and struck him with the bat several times causing serious injuries. The suspects ran back to the car and left in an unknown direction.”
“The victim was transported to the hospital by paramedics, where he is recovering from serious injuries.”
The Hamilton Police say that the first suspect is described a white man who is about five foot six inches tall with a thin build. The second suspect is described as a white man who is five foot eight inches tall.
The detectives are asking any potential witnesses to call Detective Mike Hall by phone at 905-546-4947. Alternately, people who wish to report a tip anonymously are being encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit tips and information online at www.CrimeStoppersHamilton.com.
According to Global News, the number of hate crimes targeting Muslim-Canadians that were reported to the police have more than doubled over a three-year period. In the meantime, the total number of hate crimes in Canada has dropped.
On Wednesday evening, the CBC actually did report on Noah’s attack. That report says that Noah ended up in intensive care facing surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain. Noah does not have full movement on the right side of his body. The CBC report did mention the possibility that the brutal beating may have been a hate crime.
Huma Aslam, an aunt of Noah’s, said there was nothing of real value in Noah’s backpack at the time of the robbery and assault. She says that he is a “quiet, kind boy and an exceptional student who has won several academic awards.”
Hamilton Police Const. Asuf Khokhar told a journalist that detectives are “looking at all aspects.” Noah reportedly is still unable to speak much, due to injuries to his brain and jaw. He also suffered injuries to his limbs and spine. After he was beaten, he managed to make it a few doors down to his grandmother’s house.
[Featured Image by Salima Hafeez/Facebook]