“She was thrown to the bottom”: Police examine assault on Muslim girl in Edmonton

EDMONTON – Police are investigating an attack on a Muslim woman in Edmonton.

A black Muslim woman in her 50s was walking on 88 Street and 144 Avenue around 9 p.m. on Friday when an attacker approached her from behind and threw her on the sidewalk.

Jibril Ibrahim, president of the Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton, who spoke to CTV News Edmonton on behalf of the affected family and knows them well, described the incident as hateful.

“She only went for a walk in the street in the evening to get some fresh air,” said Ibrahim. “She didn’t expect someone to suddenly grab her by the neck.

“She was thrown on the floor,” he added. “There she suffered injuries to her face, lips and even teeth. In addition, her nose is now cracked, the doctors report. “

The attacker fled the scene without a word, said Ibrahim.

Ibrahim said the woman had to be taken to the hospital in a wheelchair because her knees were also injured.

After an overnight hospital stay, the woman was released to recover at home. According to Ibrahim, her entire family is still suffering from the attack.

“The victim feels that he is scared, is somehow traumatized by the incident and does not feel like going out alone.”

When Ibrahim spoke to the woman about the incident, she told him that this was not the first time she had been exposed to hatred and racism.

He said that many parishioners fear reprisals and fear of reporting such incidents.

“A lot of people don’t report it because they fear that reporting could lead to people following them to their home,” said Ibrahim. “The community, you know, when we talk to them, they get in touch with us because they are comfortable that they cannot be recognized and so on.”

Premier Jason Kenney responded to the attack during a press conference Monday. He said he supports mandatory minimum sentences for people convicted of hate attacks.

“If it’s a quote, ‘Minor Bodily Injury,’ they get an automatic release and a slap on the wrist until they get a discount for their sentence based on time served.

When asked for comment, the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) said they had been reported of the attack and that the incident was being investigated.

“The EPS Hate Crime and Violent Extremism Unit has been made aware (of the incident); However, the investigation remains with the EPS Investigative Response Team (IRT), ”Carolin Maran, communications advisor at EPS, said in a statement to CTV News Edmonton.

“WE HAVE TO GO THE CONVERSATION”

For Ibrahim, all levels of government must take action to find coordinated responses so that hatred and racism can be adequately combated.

“(People) talk about it, they show their compassion on Facebook and Twitter, but everyone just talks and leaves it at that,” he said. “This problem won’t go away.

“We don’t have to wait to call hate (what it is) until someone is killed.”

He thinks the definition of hate crime is too narrow and out of date. Ibrahim believes that adjustments to the penal code could give law enforcement agencies more tools and opportunities to deal with such incidents.

“We have to look at these definitions and find solutions, or we will see more and more similar incidents that we saw in London, Ontario,” said Ibrahim.

“The charges that are now being brought in London should serve as a clear message and deterrent that this type of action is domestic terrorism,” Mayor Don Iveson said in a media crush on Monday.

The provincial government on Friday announced a new grant for security improvements for religious and cultural groups, as well as a new liaison office for the community and law enforcement agency for hate crimes. Ibrahim and others in the Muslim community believe that these measures are simply not enough.

The greatest injustice, Ibrahim said, is that the people of the Somali community in Edmonton are safe here after immigrating from war-torn countries.

“They expected to be able to walk safely on the street, but they don’t feel that way at all. It’s very sad that people in their own city have to feel that way. ”

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Amanda Anderson

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