‘The ache is in my coronary heart’: Saskatoon Muslim group making an attempt to make sense of latest assaults

A day after Mohammad Kashif was stabbed, he is still trying to understand the attack.

He said he was out on an early morning walk Friday morning when he said a man stabbed him in the back several times and another cut his beard – a symbol of his Muslim faith.

He told Global News that the physical pain he still suffers doesn’t compare to the emotional pain when someone cuts his beard.

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Saskatoon man stabbed, beard trimmed in alleged targeted attack

“This (physical) pain is nothing. The pain is in my heart, ”he said.

It is the latest in a series of recent attacks against Muslims.

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Earlier this week, a man in Edmonton reportedly snatched a woman’s hijab, knocked her unconscious and threatened another with a knife.

On Friday, the Pakistan Canada Cultural Association of Saskatoon held a march in honor of the victims of the attack in London, Ontario that killed four people earlier this month.

Ali Ahmad is a coordinator of the association and said that part of the focus of the march was much more local.

He told Global News that he was shocked to learn what happened to his friend.

“I was also confused,” said Ahmad, “why this happened in my hometown. I consider this a safe place … what I consider home. “

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Ifran Chaudhry, a hate crime researcher, said attacks on Muslims increased during the pandemic because fewer connections online create larger echo chambers.

“Of course, if your own social filter bubble reinforces that perspective, and you don’t know better, you’re going to believe that a certain section of the population is coming in and adopting and implementing laws other than Canadian laws, all of which are ridiculous.” Nonsense people buy, ”he said of Edmonton-based Zoom.

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He said that most attacks against Muslims are verbal or through graffiti. He suggested that the recent tide of physical violence was due to the dangerous and erroneous views of Muslim people cycling around in discussions.

He said that a lot of bigoted language does not hate speech and therefore falls below a threshold that could result in legal consequences. Chaudhry said social media platforms need to better regulate what users post – as they do now with COVID-19 information.

And he told Global News it was critical that anyone who witnessed an attack help.

“It’s these offline moments that people need together. Even if you don’t say anything, you are just there and step in front of the other person, ”he said.

Ahmad said the association was working to raise awareness and educate people about Islam.

He said he knew that the vast majority of people reject violence and bigotry.

“We have to see that we have 10 people who support us and that there is only one attacker, so 10 against one.”

“Everyone has … a responsibility (to ask) how we make this country live together,” said Kashif.

Saskatoon Police are investigating the attack.

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With files by Thomas Piller, Jacquelyn LeBel, Andrew Graham and Slav Kornik.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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