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In a shocking development, it has been revealed that a violent altercation occurred involving a gay Iranian student at the York campus of Seneca College on Friday, November 25. The incident appears to have been motivated by both homophobia and racism.

22 year-old Mojtaba has stated that while he was waiting for a friend on campus, another individual spoke to him in an aggressive manner before punching a telephone booth and leaving. Later, he encountered the same individual inside a campus building. Again there was a confrontation, which in this case turned violent.

Mojtaba states that the man called him ‘bitch’ and ‘faggot’ along with racist slurs, telling Mojtaba that he should “…go back to [his] fucking country.” In the end, the man allegedly pulled Mojtaba’s hood over his face and attacked him with his fists before finally pulling out an object and cutting into his throat. The object in question was apparently a pen as there was ink on Mojtaba’s neck, in addition to the wound itself.

According to Toronto Police a man has been arrested as a result of the incident.

However, I can’t help but think that this incident holds resonance with the fact that in recent years a great deal of racism has been unleashed against certain sectors of the Toronto queer community, both from the outside as well as from within the community itself (it doesn’t take much searching through the comments on the Xtra! website to find examples of this).

Clearly the queer community of Toronto must respond vocally to this disgusting incident, as well as redoubling the effort to root out racism both within and external to our community. This project is equally as important as the ongoing fight against transphobia, homophobia and misogyny.

Update: the original article on Xtra! has been updated to point out that the perpetrator of this incident is still free to walk about Seneca College campus. Indeed, Mojtaba himself reports that he had to pass by his attacker earlier this week.

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