Last week, I shared with you details that no other media outlet in the country did; the woman accused of assaulting a Muslim woman at a London, Ont. grocery store was, herself, an immigrant—likely from Iran.
I uncovered this after noting in court documents that a Farsi translator was requested for the woman.
The accused was scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning for the next stage of her proceedings. I was in the courtroom, as were her lawyer and interpreter--but the woman at the centre of this all wasn't there. The reason for the absence, according to her lawyer, is that she is currently being treated at a mental health facility as an involuntary patient.
This admission is not tied to any official legal action, which means it’s safe to assume she is dealing with existing mental health issues, which reveals an even bigger disconnect than was previously known between the likely reality of the situation and the narrative that this incident is indicative of rampant anti-Islamic crime in Canada.
Earlier this week, the National Council of Canadian Muslims unveiled its charter against Islamophobia in a number of Canadian cities—including London. In news coverage in the London Free Press, as well as the Toronto Star, this supermarket incident was cited in stories about the charter without context, and without sharing any of the details that I broke last week.
The Star even went so far as to report, in the same story, on a survey that found an “epidemic of Islamophobia.”
I will continue to follow this case: the accused is expected to appear in court next month.
This may just be a troubled woman who took out her issues on another who happened to be Muslim. Or it could be something else entirely. This is why it is so important to let the facts unfold, rather than to speculate, which so many have done in the last couple of weeks.