Non-Muslim suffers Islamaphobic attack


Kayla Gerber was mistaken for a Muslim and attacked while she had her scarf around her head to keep warm.

Kayla Gerber was mistaken for a Muslim and attacked while she had her scarf around her head to keep warm.
Kayla Gerber was mistaken for a Muslim and attacked while she had her scarf around her head to keep warm.

A woman of Jamaican heritage who was bundled up in a winter scarf that covered her head to keep warm is one of the latest to be attacked in an incident of Islamaphobia.
Kayla Christyne Gerber, 26, a singer, dancer, actress and one-time finalist in Miss Canada National, posted the incident on her Facebook page on Nov. 17 and it went viral.
“Today I had my scarf over my ears and wrapped around my head to keep me warm. En route from a friend’s house on Bloor to Bathurst station a man stopped to attack me, pushed me, grabbed me by my jacket and continued to yell at me to remove my hijab and leave his country.
“I’ll leave this one for you to comment on. Because I’m still baffled,” Gerber wrote.
She noted in the Facebook post, “I am not a Muslim, nor a refugee but today I saw how it felt to be unsafe where you are trying to find safety.”
Gerber told City News “I was like, ‘I have nothing in my pockets’ and he grabbed me by my jacket … and pushed me against the wall and said, ‘You need to get your f…ing hijab off and get the f… out of the country!’ Over and over again.”
She said the assault happened in front of many pedestrians and caught the attention of passers-by, resulting in the attacker running off. She said he was a stocky white male who looked to be about 30 years old and didn’t appear under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“There was a lot of aggression but he wasn’t slurring; his eyes weren’t glossy or anything like that.”
Gerber said she reported the incident to Toronto police.
The attack on Gerber comes after several anti-Islam occurrences following the Paris attacks, including the torching of a Peterborough mosque and an attack on a Muslim mother who was on her way to her children’s school in Toronto.
Among the responses to her Facebook posting, Michele wrote: “Whether it’s a scarf or hijab, no woman should be attacked for no reason. We have to have more understanding and love in this world.”
Ahri said, “I am a Muslim myself and I have to hide that from the public because I don’t want anything to happen and it’s really sad to have to sacrifice the respect from the creator because I am in fear of losing my life earlier than I should due to someone hating Muslims.
“I am not ready to die and that’s what I think about going out in public. It’s really sad that we aren’t allowed freedom to our own basic rights.”

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