Quebec City police investigate possible hate crime after excrement is left at a women’s clothing store selling oppressed Muslim women’s attire including Islamic head coverings and body bags.
CBC Excrement was smeared earlier this week on the front a clothing boutique in Quebec City that sells Muslim headscarves, an incident police say could be a hate crime.
The store owner, originally from Tunisia, said he has been the target of vandalism several times since opening his store in March. At first, he said, someone sprayed coffee on the window. Then the lock was damaged, and someone spread excrement on the storefront.
Overnight Sunday, someone again spread excrement on the storefront. This time a security camera was also stolen and a used adult diaper tied to the door. CBC News is not identifying the man because he fears for his family’s safety.
The man said he opened the store in part to sell items specific to Muslim women, such as hijabs, but they’re not featured in the window. He said he’s not sure why he’s being targeted but he’s worried about what else the vandal might do. He said if police don’t make an arrest, he’ll be closing the business to keep his clients and his family safe. (Good idea)
Last month, a 33-year-old man was charged with assaulting a Muslim man outside a convenience store. The Crown has reportedly said the incident had “a racist or hateful connotation.” In May, police opened a hate-crime investigation after a 47-year-old was accused of assaulting a Muslim man outside a mosque.
Two thirds of hate crimes reported in Quebec City last year targeted Muslims, according to Quebec City police. CBC
The Canadian province of Quebec has banned public workers from wearing religious symbols while on duty. Bill 21 was passed with a large majority that included the right-wing party Coalition Avenir Quebec. The new law applies to teachers, judges, and police, and includes headscarves, turbans, kippahs, and crosses.
While the ban affects several religions, everyone knows it is aimed primarily at Islam and Muslim women.
“The Quebec government decided it felt so strongly about individuals wearing religious symbols in the public service that they were basically decided to exercise the nuclear option,” Lascaris said. “And they had put into this law a declaration that notwithstanding any violations of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it shall have effect.”