2015 Villain: Anti-Muslim Sentiment
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2015 Villain: Anti-Muslim Sentiment

Nominated for: bigotry that violates our city's better values.

Torontoist is reflecting on 2015 by naming our Heroes and Villains—the people, places, things, and ideas that have had the most positive and negative impacts on the city over the past 12 months. Cast your ballot until midnight on January 7. At noon on January 8, we’ll reveal your choices for Toronto’s Superhero and Supervillain of the year.

A mother of two, who was walking to pick up her kids from school in the Flemingdon Park area, was physically assaulted. She had her phone stolen by two youth who threw her to the ground and kicked her in the stomach. They called her a terrorist and told her to go back to where she came from.

She was born and raised in the Don Mills and Eglinton area.

Two women were verbally assaulted at Sherbourne station. They were called terrorists and told to go back to where they came from.

A mosque in Peterborough was set on fire.

A woman was verbally assaulted and told to go back to her own country while riding a crowded TTC bus. No one else on the bus intervened.

Toronto Police Services put out a press release asking for help in identifying a suspect after a woman was kicked and had her head covering (Hejab) torn off her head at the Scarborough Town Centre LRT.

All victims were women and all Muslim. Except one.

Even those who were cold and just trying to keep their ears warm were not safe from being physically attacked and told to go back to where they came from.

Although not as nasty as our friends to the south—no severed pigs heads or bullet riddled Korans were found outside mosques in Toronto—we have had our fair share of physical and verbal assaults against Muslims.

And that is just in the GTA.

According to Toronto Police Services, the majority of hate crimes go unreported.

In fact, the attacks spread such fear in the Muslim community, that women have begun to organize self-defense classes for Muslim women through out the city.

With anti-Muslim rhetoric tainting the last federal election, bigots felt bolstered by the Harper government’s rhetoric, and the terror attacks in Paris which provided more fodder for those who were desperately looking for people to target.

Hopefully, with the arrival of Syrian refugees into Toronto and the rest of Canada, anti-Muslim sentiment will dissipate.