Canadian court convicts pair of assault of Muslim father

By Barry Ellsworth

TRENTON, Canada (AA): A Canadian court Tuesday found two men guilty of assault of a Muslim father, an attack that displayed the “darkest side of humanity,” the victim’s wife said at a press conference following the verdict. The Judge called the attack ‘anti-Arab, but not anti-Muslim.’

The unprovoked attack on Mohammed Abu Marzouk, which left the father of two with 10-15 skull fractures and brain bleeding, happened on July 15, 2018.

“The pain will stay, nothing will erase it,” he told reporters on January 31. “I still encourage every Canadian to stand against hate because Canada has no place for hate,” Abu Marzouk said outside Brampton courthouse where his attackers were found guilty.

The attackers were charged with beating Abu Marzouk and found guilty of aggravated assault despite finding that the brothers applied “vicious force to a helpless and unconscious” victim.

The brothers were also found guilty of assault for an attack on Fuat Yucel, 53, a man who ran to Abu-Marzouk’s aid when he was “set upon by both men”

Abu Marzouk, 39, his wife Diana Attar and their two daughters aged four and six, were about to head home after a picnic in Mississauga, a city adjacent to Toronto.

Two men came toward the vehicle and Abu Marzouk got out to speak to them. They had indicated that they had been hit or nearly so by the vehicle. One of the men struck Abu Marzouk in the face, and the beating began as his daughters watched from inside the van.

His wife begged them to stop and then saw a police car and ran for help. Abu Marzouk was found lying in a pool of blood coming from his head. He was rushed to a trauma center with life-threatening injuries. During the attack, the men were heard insulting and cursing Arabs calling him  men who attacked him, yelling, “f–.g Arabs!”,  f–.g terrorists.”

The National Council of Canadian Muslims said what Abu Marzouk and his family faced represent “the hidden and unreported reality of suffering an Islamophobic attack in Canada. Traumas do not end when the attack ends.”

Apparently taking those words into consideration, Superior Court Justice Fletcher Dawson characterized the assault as “anti-Arab, not anti-Muslim.”

Attar called the vicious assault “the darkest side of humanity, one that we would not wish upon anyone.”

The family has faced emotional, physical and financial hardship as a result of the attack, and Canada should do more to help victims, an official with the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) said in a statement.

“We need to change this pattern of neglect and hardship for survivors of such attacks,” said NCCM Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Nadia Hassan. “These survivors deserve help, yet as a country we have not done enough.”

The NCCM called for a National Support Fund for Victims of Hate-Motivated Crimes to be established by the federal government.

A sentencing hearing for the two men, who are brothers, will begin March 31.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Map of Canada from CIA Factbook/Public Domain]

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