December 15th, 2017

Muslim woman says alleged attack on Vancouver train left her feeling unsafe

By The Canadian Press on December 7, 2017.

VANCOUVER – An 18-year-old Muslim woman who was allegedly attacked on a SkyTrain in Vancouver says the incident is a warning for all minorities to be mindful of their safety.

Noor Fadel says a man started swearing at her in heavily accented Arabic and also spoke another language before grabbing her by her hijab and pulling her head to his crotch.

She says no one on the train intervened but when the man slapped her face one passenger got up and pushed him away.

Fadel says she hid behind the passenger and took three photos of the alleged attacker before getting off the train at the next stop, where police responded.

She says she and her siblings were born in Vancouver after their parents immigrated from Iraq, but her experience taught her minorities can be targeted for the way they look.

Police say 46-year-old Pierre Belzan of no fixed address has been charged with one count of threatening to cause death or bodily harm and one count of assault.

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