Quebec City police investigate possible hate crime after excrement left at store selling hijabs

Quebec City police have launched an investigation after excrement was smeared on the front a clothing boutique that sells Muslim headscarves.

Store owner fears for his family's safety after series of incidents

The owner of the store said he arrived Monday to find excrement smeared on the front door. (Submitted)

Excrement was smeared earlier this week on the front a clothing boutique in Quebec City that sells Muslim headscarves, an incident police say could be a hate crime. 

The store owner, originally from Tunisia, said he has been the target of vandalism several times since opening his store in March.

At first, he said, someone sprayed coffee on the window. Then the lock was damaged, and someone spread excrement on the storefront. 

Overnight Sunday, someone again spread excrement on the storefront. This time a security camera was also stolen and a used adult diaper tied to the door.

CBC News is not identifying the man because he fears for his family's safety.

The store owner said he opened the store in part to sell items specific to Muslim women, such as hijabs, but they're not featured in the window and that's not all the store sells.

He said he's not sure why he's being targeted but he's worried about what else the vandal might do.

"My wife works here. My children are here. [But] I am not with them. I work elsewhere," he said. 

He said if police don't make an arrest, he'll be closing the business to keep his clients and his family safe.

SPVQ spokesperson Cyndi Paré said police are investigating the latest incident at the store as a possible hate crime.

Third incident in recent months

This is at least the third incident in Quebec City in recent months to lead to a hate-crime investigation.

In May, police opened a hate-crime investigation after a 47-year-old was accused of assaulting a Muslim man outside a mosque.

Last month, a 33-year-old man was charged with assaulting a Muslim man outside a convenience store. The Crown has reportedly said the incident had "a racist or hateful connotation."

Two thirds of hate crimes reported in Quebec City last year targeted Muslims, according to Quebec City police. 


With files from Catou MacKinnon and Radio-Canada