Toronto police investigate reports woman wearing hijab threatened with a knife on subway

Police in Toronto are investigating after an alleged hate-motivated crime was reported on a Toronto subway.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) said that, on March 9 around 5 p.m., a man brandishing a knife threatened a woman wearing a hijab.

The NCCM said the incident was reported on a train between Vaughan Metropolitan Centre and Finch West on Line 1.

“The assailant asked the victim several questions about Muslims and Islam, asked her hypothetical questions about what she would do if someone hit her head and got away with it,” the NCCM said in a statement.

Read more: Toronto police to modify deployment of officers on TTC

The statement also alleged that he said, “you know what we do with people like you,” and pulled a large knife from his backpack.

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Toronto police told Global News that officers were aware of the incident and investigating it, including through the review of TTC camera footage.

“Our hate vrime unit is also being notified and specialized officers from that unit will support the investigation as needed,” a spokesperson told Global News.

Read more: ‘A Toronto issue’: Ipsos poll shows some TTC riders changing habits after violent incidents

Nadia Hasan, chief operating officer with the NCCM, said the incident was an example of “brazen Islamophobia.”

“This is not the first time we have seen an Islamophobic attack on a Muslim woman who wears a hijab on public transit,” she said.

“There is a problem in this country where spaces that most Canadians take for granted simply aren’t safe for Muslim women and people of colour. The recent spate of attacks on the TTC is alarming. It’s time for change.”

Toronto’s deputy mayor said it was “unacceptable.” She said she had also been in contact with the police about the report.

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