Television and radio pundit David Menzies found himself in a dangerous situation with his 9-year old son yesterday after doing the unthinkable — taking photographs in Toronto’s downtown Yonge-Dundas Square. After enjoying a lunch of pizza and bubble tea, Menzies deigned to use his new camera to take pictures of the surroundings, much to the dismay of a nearby hijab-wearing Muslim women.
She was part of a group that included two women wearing full face-covering burkas. She was screaming: “We are Muslim! You do not take pictures of us!” (Odd. I can’t find the “no photos” rule in the Qur’an.)
I informed the lady I was in a public square in a democracy. I can actually take pictures of whomever I please.
And then: Ka-pow! Her fist collided with my face. Worse, she almost knocked my new camera from my hands.
My son and I were then surrounded by a mob of about 20 people, many of whom were speaking Arabic. One kept demanding I surrender my camera to him.
Fortunately, there were a group of Toronto police officers nearby. There were also Arabic-speaking witnesses who saw the attack on Menzies and understood the chants of the mob that was surrounding him. Menzies writes further:
[M]y Spidey Senses started to tingle when I overheard the questions being asked of the witnesses. “Was it a closed-fist punch or an open hand? Was it the front or the back of the hand?”Huh? Physical contact had been made. Why did severity matter?
After the officer took my statement, he went over to the offending woman. Another constable was inexplicably miffed I was (legally) taking photos in the first place. The irony: Just above our heads a Toronto Police Service sphere was videotaping the activities.
The police officer then informed an understandably shaken David Menzies that no charges would be laid because the woman wasn’t trying to attack Menzies, but “she was merely trying to knock the camera out of [his] hands.”
That anyone would assault a stranger in public for such a reason is ridiculous, but that the police would refuse to press any charges because the crime being committed was only the by product of another crime being committed is disgusting. Also, that’s not something that would happen had the suspect been a non-Muslim.
Imagine the scenario were flipped and a mob of angry white men surrounded a Muslim woman and her child and got punched in the process. There were be arrests made, charges laid and the Piper would get paid. And rightfully so. That is, after all, the way the law is supposed to operate in a free country.
Ann Coulter writes in her latest book Demonic, the threat that the ‘mob’ poses to society. That reality truly sinks in when it leads to a friend being attacked for taking a picture.
UPDATE: Below are some of the pictures taken by David Menzies himself. The third one appears to be just after the suspect punched him.