A Toronto woman’s efforts to stay warm ended up giving her a chilling glimpse into Islamophobia after she was assaulted by a man who mistook her scarf for a hijab.
Kayla Gerber, a 24-year-old actress, had just left a rehearsal near Bloor and Bathurst streets on Monday when a man approached her as she walked.
“He told me to take off my f****n hijab and get the f**k out of his country and he just kept repeating that over and over and over again, screaming at me while he had me pinned up against the wall,” she explained.
Gerber, who isn’t Muslim, said she had wrapped her scarf around her head to keep her ears warm.
“I remember saying to him that I’m not even wearing a hijab bro and he just kept shaking me and screaming at me to get out of his country and I’m like, ‘I’m not Muslim.’ ”
“I would never think that someone could be so hateful because he didn’t know me, I didn’t know him, he doesn’t know my life.”
Gerber posted about the incident on Facebook and was flooded with messages of support from around the world.
“It’s so beautiful to see positivity come out of negativity,” she added.
It’s the latest in a disturbing string of incidents in the Greater Toronto Area following the deadly terror attacks in Paris.
On Friday police revealed that a minor is being sought for allegedly shoving and accosting two women wearing hijabs at Sherbourne subway station.
On Monday, a Muslim woman was attacked by two men while picking up her child from Grenoble Public School in Flemingdon Park.
Another Muslim woman has come forward saying she received an ominous threat on the CityNews Facebook page.