Woman fends off racial attack in Manitoba

WINNIPEG — A teacher who came to Canada from Bangladesh eight years ago says a man who claimed to be a Nazi launched racist verbal attacks at her for wearing a hijab during a visit to Manitoba this summer.

Kaniz Fatima of Calgary posted video of the encounter on social media this week and says women who wear hijabs need to be prepared for such comments.

She says she was with relatives on July 2 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 says 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.

Two women who were passing by heard the exchange and told the man that Fatima had just as much right to be in Canada as he did.

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.”

“This is my country,” Fatima replied.

“No, it’s not,” the man said.

One of the two passersby can be heard telling Fatima: “You don’t even have to explain yourself. You’re just as much Canadian as he is.”

Fatima says she was shocked and scared for herself and her family, but there was no physical confrontation.

Global News said Thursday that it spoke to a man who confirmed he was the man from the video.

Nick Wadien said during the phone interview that he isn’t a Nazi.

“The turbaners wouldn’t leave me alone so I got mad. I didn’t want to talk to them. That’s it,” Wadien explained.

“They wanted to know where they were. I told them, and I told them to use Google.”

“They kept f—-ing talking, like I don’t want to talk to you.”

Alysha Goertzen, meanwhile, told Global that she was one of the passersby and was shocked by the incident.

“As I approached, I could hear him screaming racial slurs at her, degrading her. She was a little spitfire herself, standing up for herself,” Goertzen said in an interview from Edmonton.

Helmut-Harry Loewen, a retired University of Winnipeg sociology professor who monitors hate groups, said the encounter seems to be part of a trend.

“We’ve certainly seen here in Manitoba a rise … in open expressions of racism, or Islamophobia in particular,” Loewen said Thursday.

“There’s an increased willingness, I would venture to say, on the part of some critics … of refugee and immigration policy, to be much bolder and to break certain taboos around racial discourse which we haven’t seen in many, many years.”

Loewen said while many people argue the election of Donald Trump as United States president has emboldened some people in Canada and the U.S. to speak more overtly about racist feelings, the reaction to immigration policies in Canada also paints a disturbing picture.

“I would also add that the election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also unleashed a storm, a torrent, of hate aimed against Trudeau because of his migrant policy,” Loewen said.

Just Posted

Relatives of murdered family critical of killers’ sentences

Open letter to sentencing judge criticizes ruling allowing killers to apply for parole in 25 years

City rolling out Green Carts

Green Carts used for organics, such as yard waste, food scraps and pet waste

New teaching standards applauded

New code of standards affecting teachers, principals and superintendents to kick in Sept. 1, 2019

UPDATED: Agriculture minister speaks to cattle producers

2018 Alberta Beef Industry Conference underway in Red Deer

Updated: Red Deer gets WHL Bantam Draft and Awards Banquet

WHL will holds its draft and awards ceremony in Red Deer for next three years

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Twenty years later, figure skating’s most famous backflip remains amazing (and illegal)

Figure skating involves spins, jumps, twizzles and a whole host of other… Continue reading

You don’t need to chop like a TV chef to get the job done

Standing in line at the emergency room, makeshift bandage around my finger,… Continue reading

Seychelles swaps debt for groundbreaking marine protection

CURIEUSE ISLAND, Seychelles — With deep blue waters, white sand beaches and… Continue reading

Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump endorsed stricter gun-control measures Thursday, including raising… Continue reading

Red Deer blood clinic in need of 600 donors

Aunt encourages Central Albertans to donate blood after losing nephew

Court considers banning diesel cars in German cities

BERLIN — A German court began considering Thursday whether authorities should ban… Continue reading

US women beat Canada in Olympic hockey; Gisin tops Shiffrin

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — A tense shootout, a dazzling deke and… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month