McGill student says she was assaulted for wearing niqab

A McGill student has filed a police report after an assault she says she believes was linked to her face veil.

Fatima Ahmad was walking to the Charelvoix metro Monday when she says a man came up to her, shoved her in the chest and tried to yank off her niqab.

Ahmad said she was shocked but managed to run after the man and take his picture which she included with her police report.

Ahmad said police told her they are treating this as a possible hate crime, which police would not confirm to CJAD 800.

Ahmad recounts a similar incident two years ago but said she has been getting more nasty comments and looks since the arrival of Bill 21, Quebec's proposed secularism law.

Ahmad said two years ago, a man also tried to snatch her face veil off but two strangers helped her at the time; this time, no one helped during the incident that happened during afternoon rush hour at the busy corner of Charlevoix and Centre.

Ahmad said she felt it was important to get the man's photo since no one was helping her.

The education student said she felt it was important to speak out about this because she doesn't want this to happen to anyone else.

The Canadian Muslim Forum told CJAD 800 that it's seeing an increase in such incidents of harassment or physical and verbal abuse since the tabling of Bill 21 three months ago, including bullying of school-aged girls.