Police investigating after video suggests woman's hijab removed at Ottawa protest

OTTAWA — The Ottawa police hate crime unit is investigating a video that appears to show a Muslim woman's hijab being torn off at a protest this week.

The video was taken on Tuesday, when pro-Israel and pro-Palestine groups gathered outside city hall after the Israeli flag was raised to mark 76 years since Israel's establishment.

The short clip shared on social media shows a woman wearing a hijab, or head scarf, waving a Palestinian flag when another woman approaches her from behind.

That woman makes an obscene gesture at the camera and then appears to pull the hijab off the other woman's head in the video, which is blurred.

The Muslim Advisory Council of Canada says it's glad police are investigating and that the woman is being offered support.

Police services across the country have reported a rise in reports of Islamophobic and antisemitic hate crimes since the Israel-Gaza war broke out in October.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2024.

The Canadian Press