Muslim women attacked on Toronto Subway train, racist graffiti found

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Image modified to obscure profanity. (Courtesy: Metrolinx)

Toronto: In the wake of terror attacks in Paris, anti-Muslim sentiment seems to be on the rise in Canada despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assurances in this regard. Days after Japanese national shoved a Muslim woman into the side of an oncoming London Underground train, two Muslim were accosted and verbally assaulted on a Toronto subway train on Wednesday.

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) said anti-Muslim graffiti was also found on a GO Transit train, CBC reported.

Condemning the incident, TTC spokesman Brad Ross said it took place around 6 pm Wednesday night at Sherbourne Station.

He said two men and a woman made racist comments about the two Muslim women, including an implication that that they could be terrorists. The ‘racist’ woman also pushed one of the Muslim women.

“When I hear about these incidents, it makes me worried. I think of my mother. She’s Muslim and wears a scarf, so I worry about her safety, especially when I imagine my mother in an everyday situation.”

After the incident was reported, the Toronto police officers and TTC special constables rushed to the scene. However, by that time the offenders had, however, fled.

Efforts are on to catch the culprits.

Meanwhile, anti-Muslim graffiti was found on one of the bathrooms on a GO Transit train operating on the busy Lakeshore corridor in Toronto.

Metrolinx, a crown agency that manages and integrates road transport and public transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area in Ontario, released an image of the graffiti.

“We find it deeply offensive and it no way reflects our organization’s value,” Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikin said.

In another incident, Muslim mother was beaten up and robbed by two men after dropping her children off at a Flemingdon Park-area school on Monday. A mosque was set on fire in Peterborough, Ontorio last week.

‘Worried about mother’s safety’

With Canada witnessing a spike in hate crime numbers this year against Muslims, especially after the attacks in Paris, Mohamed El Rashidy, a lawyer with the Canadian Arab Federation, said, “People are calling me and they’re scared.”

Fatimah Yasin, a Canadian citizen with close ties to the Muslim community, told NewsGram that she was particularly worried about her mother, a Muslim, who wears a scarf.

“When I hear about these incidents, it makes me worried. I think of my mother. She’s Muslim and wears a scarf, so I worry about her safety, especially when I imagine my mother in an everyday situation, just as these women were, going to the grocery store or running an errand… A woman in Ontario was beaten up by two men as she was about to pick up her kids from school. It’s frightening. I think this type of hatred is synonymous with fear of the unknown, a fear that the past conservative government led by Stephen Harper has fueled and set ablaze.”

She, however, is optimistic about the future under Justin Trudeau’s regime.

“We’re still recovering from this, but I’m confident that with the help of our political leadership, we’ll be able to rebuild and return to a culture of kindness and peace. There have been racially motivated incidents, but with that there has also been an outpour of community and political support. People have come together to denounce Islamophobia and defend Muslims against acts like the one you read about,” she told NewsGram.

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