Manitoba RCMP confirm they are investigating an incident in early July in eastern Manitoba where a Muslim teacher from Calgary was verbally attacked for wearing a head scarf by a man claiming to be a Nazi.
“We received a complaint regarding the incident,” said RCMP spokeswoman Tara Seel, “and RCMP major crime services is investigating.”
Kaniz Fatima of Calgary posted video of the encounter on social media last week. She was with relatives on July 2 at Seven Sisters Dam near Pinawa, about 95 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. They were driving around looking for scenic spots and asked a man in a parking lot for directions, Fatima said in an earlier interview. The man quickly became abusive and told her he was a Nazi, then ordered her to take off her hijab and go back to her country.
In the video, the man can be heard telling Fatima: “I’m a Nazi. Do you know what a Nazi is? Take your head towel off in this country.”
The teacher calls him a racist and tells him she can dress any way she wants, but the man tells her: “It (the hijab) supports Muslims” and moments later he says: “Go back to your country.”
Under Canada’s Criminal Code, hate speech or a hate crime can includes the public incitement of hatred or the wilful promotion of hatred.
Public incitement of hatred is defined as “communicating statements in any public place that incite hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or an offence punishable on summary conviction.”
Wilful promotion of hatred is “communicating statements, other than in private conversation, that wilfully promote hatred against any identifiable group.” It’s also subject to a prison term of up to two years, according to the Government of Canada’s justice laws website.