An unprovoked attack on a Muslim woman near an elementary school in Toronto appeared to be “motivated by hate,” police said Tuesday as they investigated the incident that was swiftly denounced by local politicians.
The attack came two days after a mosque in Peterborough, Ont., was set ablaze in the aftermath of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead.
Peterborough police are investigating the fire as a hate crime and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured Muslim Canadians the federal government would work hard to find those responsible.
The Toronto assault took place around 3 p.m. on Monday near the mid-town Grenoble Public School while a woman was on her way to pick up her son.
Police said the woman, who was wearing a hijab, was approached by two men and attacked.
“It was a completely unprovoked attack,” said Const. Victor Kwong. “She was punched all over and kicked.”
The two men hurled slurs that were “bigoted in nature” at the woman and tried to rip off her hijab, Kwong said.
The woman fell to the ground and was robbed of her cellphone and some money before the two men fled the area, he said.
We can only hope the perpetrators are caught and punished appropriately.
Meanwhile, in the case of the mosque arson, people have taken matters into their own hands:
A crowdfunding campaign to raise money for repairs to mosque in Peterborough, Ont., that was damaged in a fire set deliberately on Saturday has hit its goal of $80,000.
The mosque was damaged in a fire late Saturday night. An entry on the fundraising website FundRazr set a goal of $80,000, the estimated cost to repair the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association's mosque. That total was reached just after noon today.
Association president Kenzu Abdella said members of the congregation had been inside 784 Parkhill Rd. to celebrate the birth of a new baby just an hour before the fire broke out. He said the fire was "clearly a hate crime."
Such cowardly hatred will never prevail as long as people of goodwill loudly and passionately make their voices heard.