A tweet in which a Black Muslim woman, who goes by "MH" on the platform, shared her experience of an alleged assault in Quebec has been circulating across social networks since it was posted on Saturday, August 8. In the Twitter thread, the woman confesses to how she was "physically and verbally assaulted... at a gas station in Masham, Quebec after wearing [her] hijab as a face mask/covering." And then goes on to explain in detail what occurred.
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When going inside the gas station to pay, the store clerk allegedly told the woman wearing a hijab that she needed a mask to enter, then proceeded to call 911 on the Muslim woman.
MH recalls that another woman began to "harass" her inside the store, and continued to do so in the parking lot.
"The treatment my friend endured at the hands of everyone in Masham was traumatizing and completely out of hand... Now I’m left wondering how many visibly muslim and black women are harassed just for existing," MH expressed.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a "Canadian Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization" who's speaking on behalf of MH, granted MTL Blog permission to share her Twitter thread.
I was physically and verbally assaulted this Saturday at a gas station in Masham, Quebec after wearing my hijab as… https://t.co/F6FQJg67wV— MH (@MH)1597082498.0
Over the 10 tweets, MH shares what happened to her on Saturday, August 8.
I spoke with Mustafa Farooq, Chief Executive Officer of NCCM, about the incident, who admitted feeling a "mixture of shock that these things keep happening and sadness because we know these things are part of a systemic pattern."
"I can say, anecdotally, we've seen a pickup of hate-related incidents where people are filing to the NCCM since the beginning of the pandemic," Farooq shared.
"What I want to highlight, though, is that hate has less to do with COVID and more to do with other problems, ie. racism and islamophobia, and obviously this is not the first time that Muslims in Quebec have faced violence," he continued.
In the NCCM's Call to Action directed at the MRC des Collines police, Farooq added "There must be a zero-tolerance for hate in Quebec."
On August 11, the MRC des Collines police sent out a press release regarding the incident.
It stated, "Certain information is currently circulating on social networks... namely that we have so far refused to treat this file with all the seriousness and respect required. This is totally wrong."
https://t.co/MROMsdjJMX— PoliceMRCdesCollines (@PoliceMRCdesCollines)1597253928.0
The NCCM confirmed with MTL Blog that the police are in the midst of investigating this case, which they are asking to be looked at as a hate-motivated assault.
Farooq explained that the NCCM "has not seen any charges being filed yet, but we've been told that charges are being anticipated."