NEWS

Paris Attacks Spark Anti-Muslim Backlash In Ontario

11/21/2015 08:50 EST | Updated 11/21/2016 05:12 EST
Since Islamic extremist group ISIS took credit for last week's deadly Paris attacks, there has been a visible uptick in reported hate crimes targeting Muslims and others in Ontario.

"I feel like we're being judged for something we had nothing to do with," Shara Fathima told CBC News during a march in Toronto on Friday, where hundreds gathered to call for peace after a string of reportedly anti-Muslim attacks in and around the city.

Even children are on edge, with students at the Islamic Foundation of Toronto in Scarborough telling CBC News they feel frightened and helpless in the face of these attacks.

"You really realize it could happen to anyone of us," Sara Ahmad, 17, said. 

Here's a look back at reported incidents since the Paris attacks. 

Mosque set ablaze

On Nov. 14, a fire broke out at the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association's mosque in Peterborough, Ont., causing $80,000 in damage. Police say the fire was intentionally set and they are investigating the arson as a possible hate crime.

Hindu temple vandalized

The following evening, police say someone heaved five stones through the two window panes at the Ram Dham Hindu temple in Kitchener, Ont. Investigators aren't calling the vandalism a hate crime, or drawing links to the Paris attacks, but that both remain a possibility until police can identify and question a suspect.  

Woman robbed, beaten 

The next day, police say a Muslim woman in Toronto was attacked and robbed mid-afternoon outside an elementary school by two white men who reportedly called her a "terrorist" and told her to "go back home," as they pulled on her hijab and punched her in the stomach before making off with her cellphone and money. 

U of T student allegedly spat on, insulted

That same weekend, a Muslim student at the University of Toronto claims he was spat on and insulted in what appears to have been a racially charged attempted assault outside Robarts Library. The student said the man spat directly into his face and told him to take his turban off. He was, in fact, wearing a topi — a short, rounded skullcap worn in many Islamic communities.

Women accosted on TTC

Two Muslim women were accosted and verbally assaulted on a Toronto subway train on the evening of Nov. 18, the Toronto Transit Commission said. Two men and a woman boarded a train and proceeded to make racist comments about the two Muslim women, including an implication that they could be terrorists, TTC spokesman Brad Ross said. The woman allegedly pushed one of the Muslim women. One of the suspects has since been identified as a minor. 

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