Girl Allegedly Assaulted For Not Wearing Hijab In Public

REUTERS/Candace Elliott

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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The Quebec father of a Muslim family has been charged with assault, assault with a weapon and uttering threats against his daughter because she wasn’t wearing her hijab in public.

The 35-year-old male has not been identified to protect the girl’s identity; he appeared in Quebec court on Thursday. According to a Canadian Press report the daughter is alleging that she was attacked over the period of a year. Police are describing the string of assaults as “honor-based” violence.

Police in Gatineau, Quebec, minutes from Canada’s capital of Ottawa, are alleging that the father’s attacks on his daughter grew worse after he learned that the girl was refusing to wear her hijab when she was out in public.

The teenager went to police with her story, and officers arrested her father on Wednesday.

Police have released scant information about the alleged offender or details of the assaults. Sgt. Jean-Paul Lemay told Canadian Press that he hopes the case will encourage victims of family violence to report their stories to police.

The girl is no longer living with her family but has been relocated to a facility for vulnerable youth.

“Honor-based” violence has sometimes been associated with extreme adherents of Islam. Canada’s parliament is currently studying Islamophobia, with a committee recently being told by a human rights lawyer that “fear of some elements of Islam is mere prudence.” The province of Quebec just passed legislation that forbids the wearing of the hijab or niqab when giving or receiving public services.

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