A black and Muslim Canadian woman, Suaad Hagi Mohamud, was falsely arrested in Kenya for identity fraud and stranded for three months, because both Kenyan and Canadian officials claimed that she was not a Canadian citizen. Even mainstream Canadians blamed the Harper government for discriminating against her because she was not white.
Now Mohamud is suing the Canadian government.
A Toronto woman who was stranded in Kenya over false claims she was an impostor said she believes the colour of her skin played a role in her ordeal.
In an exclusive interview with the CBC’s Diana Swain, Suaad Hagi Mohamud was asked if she thought things would have been different if she were white.
“I wouldn’t be stopped at the Kenyan airport if I’m a white,” Mohamud said.
“The Canadian High Commission wouldn’t be treating me the way they treat me. If I’m a white person, I wouldn’t be there in one day. I wouldn’t have missed the flight.”
Mohamud, 31, who was visiting her mother in Kenya, had been stranded in the country since May after Kenyan authorities said she didn’t look like the picture in her passport photo.
Mohamud, who filed a $2.5 million lawsuit against the federal government on Friday, said the reaction by officials to her situation was “really frustrating” because “deep inside I thought we all the same.”