During his victory speech Monday, Prime Minister designate Justin Trudeau shared a story about an encounter with a Muslim woman and her baby in St. Catharines that stuck with him. As it turns out, that woman is from Hamilton. Melissa Raftis spoke with her today about what it was like to be included in Trudeau’s historic address.
“She made her way through the crowd and handed me her infant daughter and as she leaned forward she said something that I will never forget. She said she’s voting for us because she wants to make sure her little girl has the right to make her own choices in life and that her government will protect those rights.” said Trudeau during his speech Monday night.
That woman is Sadia Ahmad and her baby Omar is actually a he.
“I might have said her instead of his because I was excited.”
Sadia showed up at Trudeau’s campaign stop in St. Catharines after missing 2 opportunities in her hometown of Hamilton because Omar was being fussy.
Her husband, Zeeshaan, shot video of the exchange. Sadia didn’t plan on passing Omar off to Trudeau, but the Liberals rallying around his bus were encouraging her.
“I said to him, please sir make him a first class citizen again. Let him choose what he wants to do in life. Let him be a more secure citizen. I don’t want my child to grow up thinking he’s a second class citizen.”
When they heard Trudeau mention the St. Catharines’ woman in his speech there was some doubt at first.
“He said daughter and I was like oh it’s not us and then later on we saw the campaign picture and of course we got all excited again.” said Zeeshaan.
Trudeau’s prinicpal advisor tweeted a photo on Tuesday saying “that story @justintrudeau told last night about a young mom from St Catharines? here’s the picture.”
The niqab debate played a role in Sadia’s decision to show up that day…
“It didn’t affect me because I don’t wear a niqab, but I was thinking maybe tomorrow it will be the hijab. You never know, maybe I feel secure this way.”
She voted for Trudeau because he says he doesn’t believe in the politics of fear.
“He says he will never forget what I said to him and I will never ever forget or any muslim person in this country or anybody who will practice any other religion conservatively. They will never forget what he said to us.”