A Canadian-Pakistani Muslim student in Ontario, Canada was viciously beaten by two men early Saturday, as he left his friend’s house post-midnight.
According to the town police, two men got out of car and beat Noah Rabbani. One of them was holding a baseball bat, police said. The men then snatched his backpack, which contained books and a bottle of water.
A press release issued by the police said, "The males approached the boy and struck him with the bat several times causing serious injuries. […] The suspects ran back to the car and left in an unknown direction,” the CBC Hamilton reported.
Rabbani’s family claimed that the teen is an introvert and an outstanding student. They are shocked at the incident, and are wondering whether the boy was a target of racial tensions that have significantly flared up after the victory of President-elect Donald Trump, who is to take up office in January next year.
The 15-year old underwent a surgery for a crack in his skull, although most of the treatment had to be delayed due to abnormal swelling. Nevertheless, injuries to Rabbani’s jaw have rendered him unable to speak for now, causing hindrance in revealing more information about the assault.
The teen, who was somehow able to reach his grandmother’s house after the incident, described his attackers as white males, one of whom was around five feet six inches tall, while the other was five feet eight.
Constable Asuf Khokhar of the Hamilton Police assured that investigation is ongoing, while detectives "[look] at all aspects." On the other hand, Rabbani’s aunt Huma Aslam said: "We can't let these crimes go unnoticed," adding that "it cannot become the new norm."
The family explained that they have observed a rise in the racial tensions, especially in public spaces. In a Facebook post, a relative has requested friends and acquaintances to pray for Rabbani, and for communities to raise voice against Islamophobia and racism.