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Women wearing hijabs called terrorists, one shoved on TTC

Last Updated Nov 19, 2015 at 7:51 pm EST

Two women wearing hijabs were assaulted at Sherbourne Station and had racist comments hurled at them on Wednesday, TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said.

The incident occurred around 6:15 p.m. on a subway train. A group consisting of two men and a woman said abusive comments and pushed one of the women wearing a hijab.

“This trio began making racists comments towards these women suggesting because they were wearing hijabs they must be terrorists,” said Ross.

The group then suggested that maybe they should be quiet because “they might blow up the train,” said Ross.

Ross said the suspects fled when a witness activated the emergency alarm on the train.

“There are no words, frankly, that are strong enough,” said Ross. “The TTC condemns this behaviour and racist acts utterly and completely.”

The TTC is working with police to identify “these cowards,” Ross said.

Ross said the message he wants all customers to hear is that “if you see something, say something.”

But it wasn’t the only racist incident on public transit. An offensive comment aimed at Muslim woman was written on a GO train on Wednesday and had to be removed by staff, Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said in an email statement.

The comment was written inside a bathroom on one of the trains and was taken out of service.

“We have absolutely no tolerance for discrimination or racism,” Aikins said. “This illegal act of vandalism is deeply offensive and in no way reflects our organization’s values.”

Metrolinx is working closely with police and other transit agencies to conducting an investigation and determine if they can identify the person or persons responsible.

Aikins encourages anyone who sees evidence of racist or discriminatory behaviour to let them know so they can take decisive action to address it.

Metrolinx will also patrol the trains more often so they can ensure this doesn’t happen again.

“We will do all we can do to promote and maintain those values,” Aikins said.