A man who appeared in a "Make America Great Again" cap upset students at a Canadian university vigil for victims of the New Zealand mosque massacres, with the angry students shouting at him to "get out."
Cellphone video of the incident has gone viral, sparking a virulent debate on social media. The memorial, held at York University in Toronto, was to honor 50 people mowed down as they worshiped.
But the appearance of the unidentified man, as a prayer closed the college vigil, enraged students, who cursed him and drove him out of the gathering. A woman in a head scarf knocked the Trump slogan cap off the man's head.
"These people don't owe you an explanation, you just need to leave," one woman shouts. "There was a f***ing massacre and you're wearing a symbol of racism. Get the f*** out."
Onlookers began shouting "Get out!" as the man walked away.
Posting this again with an explanation... my school held a vigil to honour the lost lives caused by the attack in New Zealand. This man showed up with a MAGA hat on purpose. This was taking place in Toronto. Before i started recording he was saying the vigil was meaningless. pic.twitter.com/qxZLrC5jDY— رنيم (@raneemayoub) March 19, 2019
Student Raneem Ayoub, who posted video of the encounter online, told InsideEdition.com Thursday she was not prepared for the negative comments the post received.
How many vigils have you attended for the terror attacks that happen daily in Israel? How many Jews even live in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc.? enough with your crocodile tears.— Anarchist (@Maimonidies) March 21, 2019
"It's shocking," she said. "I've gotten commentary from different sides, but all of the foul language being used to prove a point is unneeded. I gave up on replying to anyone sending me hate."
Ayoub said she was listening to the prayer when the man walked in.
The man in the hat can't be seen talking in the video. At one point he takes out his phone, then puts it back. According to Ayoub, the entire disruption lasted about three minutes.
The online arguing continues.
You're lying! There appears to be "No" arguing no bad behavior, except by those who chose to ignore his personal space and freedoms. You mean "assaulted" the young man until the vigil was over, right..... I'm guessing you can expected to be sued very soon.— Tim (@Tim34867955) March 21, 2019
First of all what was the reason to wearing a hat to a vigil??? A Maga hat no less? The only reason was to spark controversy.— Pastel Stars (@Astroliner86) March 21, 2019
The Canadian vigil is not the first time President Trump's scarlet hat has ignited a war of words about a public event.
In January, Kentucky Catholic high school student Nicholas Sandmann, 16, wore a MAGA hat, as did a number of his fellow students, to an anti-abortion rally in Washington, D.C. Video and photos that showed him smiling, inches away from the face of Native American activist Nathan Phillips, erupted into a social media avalanche. Accusations of racism followed, claiming the students were the instigators of bigotry.
Some media outlets later apologized for their early reports, saying there were far many more layers to the story. A review commissioned by Catholic church officials concluded the students had not directed racist comments at Native American demonstrators. The teen's family has since sued The Washington Post and CNN for defamation, alleging their son was falsely labeled a racist who started a threatening confrontation.