Spat upon and punched, her hair pulled and an attempt made to yank off her hijab.
For the second time in a month, London police are investigating an attack with especially ugly overtones, an assault one Muslim community representative calls a hate crime.
Police Tuesday launched an investigation into the grocery-store assault, asking the public to help identify a woman who punched the other woman who was at the store with her four-month-old son.
A photo of the suspect was snapped by the brother-in-law of the victim, who was left with minor injuries.
The investigation was sparked after the brother-in-law posted the photo on Twitter a day earlier, with the following statement: “My sister in law got spat on and punched in the face at a grocery store while carrying my nephew in London Ontario . . . Most likely a hate . . . crime (because) of the obvious Hijab, this makes my blood boil how can people be so disgusting.”
The woman holding the child was wearing a hijab, a Muslim head covering.
Police say the suspect tried to pull off the woman’s hijab and pulled her hair. The suspect also spat on the victim while speaking in an unkown language, police said.
The incident took place at the Superking Supermarket at 785 Wonderland Rd S. at 5 p.m. Monday.
“Unfortunately, this is the second time in less than a month that a Londoner has been the victim of such hate, and it’s extremely concerning,” said Eaman Fahmy, a community engagement representative at the local chapter of the Muslim Association of Canada.
Late last month, a Western University student from Iran was punched by two men — they reportedly called him an Arab and told him to go back to his own country — while he and his girlfriend were sitting outside the Covent Garden Market in downtown London.
Police charged two 24-year-olds and said they were investigating a possible hate crime.
“This is a reprehensible act of hatred that Londoners of diverse backgrounds have to stand united against, loud and clear,” Fahmy said of the latest incident.
The London Muslim Mosque was trying to locate the victim of the store attack, at Westmount Shopping Centre, to offer support to her, said Abdalfatah Twakkal, a local Islamic leader.
“These are isolated incidents that go against the grain in our community here in London,” said Twakkal, adding people still need to be vigilant.
“We say that people should just continue going about their daily lives and not get a sense of fear, but we balance that with a sense of caution.”
Police said they had no motive for the latest attack.
Under the Criminal Code, a hate crime in Canada is considered to be an offence not just against a person, but an entire group to whom the person against whom the crime was committed belongs.