Something as common and innocent as asking a stranger for directions turned into something incredibly ugly in Manitoba, Canada.
Kaniz Fatima was told by the racist man to remove her “head towel,” referring to her hijab, and was ordered to “go back to your country.”
"His comments actually shocked me a lot and then I was scared too," Fatima said, according to CBC News.
Although she said she was afraid, her actions in the video show strength and defiance in the face of hate.
"You are being racist," she can be heard telling the man in the clip. She also questioned why the man felt she needed to regulate what she chooses to wear on her own body. "This is my hijab. Why should I take it off?” she asked.
"Take your head towel off in this country"— TRT World (@trtworld) August 24, 2017
Muslim woman in Canada was verbally attacked by a self-proclaimed Nazi pic.twitter.com/kKUcqlCEog
After exchanging words with the man, Fatima and her family eventually got into their car and drove away. She later shared the video she filmed of the incident on social media.
"I felt a responsibility to talk against racism, to stand up against Islamophobia," Fatima reportedly told CBC News in an interview Wednesday.
"I felt like I need to uphold my Canadian values and stand up for inclusion and justice because this is our country and we belong to this country."
As the incident was taking place, two women walking by intervened and defended Fatima and her family.
"This man doesn't represent Canada. The other two ladies who stood up for us, they truly represent Canada," Fatima asserted.
Although racism and discrimination against Muslims is not new in Canada, the political climate in the United States has emboldened racists everywhere.
"Some have referred to it as the Trump effect, and we certainly saw that in Winnipeg just within days after Trump's election," said hate crime expert and anti-fascism activist Helmut-Harry Loewen.
"Posters went up downtown from various organizations. Some of them were posted on campus at the University of Manitoba promoting a kind of white students' union. All of this happened in the wake of Trump."
The worldwide far-right populist movement may not have begun with Trump, but his racist and Islamophobic rhetoric as president of the United States has certainly breathed new life into it.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Hajourei Ha