Following a string of sexual assaults on female students in Toronto, a street preacher told The Toronto Sun that be believes the attacks happened because Canadian laws “give too much freedom to women.” Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana is a 33-year-old Islamic convert connected to the Muslim Support Network. He can often be heard preaching at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square.
Atangana, who is planning to hand out literature on the topic, wrote to The Sun asserting that women get raped because of the way they dress. He also proposes Toronto become “the first city in North America to introduce laws that would make it illegal for women to dress provocatively.”
Sound familiar? It should. It’s a more extreme version of what Toronto Police Constable Michael Sanguinetti told an audience at York University last January—that women shouldn’t dress like “sluts” if they don’t want to be victimized. Atangana remembers. He praised the officer in his e-mail.
But apparently he doesn’t remember how it ended—with the public shaming of Sanguinetti and the global SlutWalk movement. Women and their supporters marched in provocative clothes to assert their right to dress however they wish without fear of being sexually assaulted. The marches hit a collective nerve, spreading from Toronto to faraway places like London and New Delhi.
With people like Atangana out there, it’s clear SlutWalk’s work isn’t over yet. I hope he’s prepared for feminists in short-shorts. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t see a few more of them in the future.