A Muslim woman from Mississauga, Ont., who had her niqab pulled from her face at a local mall, says her young children no longer feel secure with only her nearby.
Inas Kadri, whose assault at Sheridan Centre in Mississauga was caught on a security camera, spoke to CBC News on Tuesday as she awaits the sentencing of the woman who attacked her.
Kadri was shopping with her three-year-old son and two-year-old daughter when she was approached by two women. One of the women began swearing at her, about her religion and her veil, telling her, “Leave our country. Go back to your country,” Kadri said.
The woman can be seen in the video grabbing Kadri’s veil and pulling her off-camera. The attacker walked away while Kadri ran for help.
“Being attacked for no reason – for no reason – that’s something difficult,” she said. Kadri’s victim impact statement reads, in part, that, “My kids don’t feel secure with me alone, and always prefer to have someone bigger in size than me to feel safe.”
The accused, Rosemarie Creswell, pleaded guilty after the video was played in court. When CBC News spoke to Creswell on the phone, she admitted to pulling off the veil but insisted it was all just a misunderstanding, before hanging up mid-interview.
Kadri believes the attack was motivated by hate, which could bring a stiffer sentence.
York University law professor Faisal Kutty, who is Muslim, will watch for the judge’s sentencing Friday with interest. “As Canadians in a multicultural, liberal, democratic society, I think we need to send a clear message and I hope the judge does so,” he said.
Kadri said she won’t stop wearing her face veil no matter what anyone else says or does. “Not my father, not my husband, not no one at all,” she said. “It’s me, and it’s my choice.”