Canadian court convicts pair of assault of Muslim father
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 unprovoked attack on Mohammed Abu Marzouk, which left the father of two with 10-15 skull fractures and brain bleeding, happened in July 2018.
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.
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 Hasan. “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.