US & Canada

Muslim teen to attacker: Because of you the world knows my story

Noor Fadel Image copyright Noor Fadel
Image caption Ms Fadel told her attacker he helped her "change the world one person at a time"

A Canadian Muslim teen who was attacked by a man on a Vancouver train has said she "forgives" her attacker.

Pierre Belzan, 47, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to two counts of assault against 18-year-old Noor Fadel.

"Because of you, I grew, I forgave and I began changing the world one person at a time," Ms Fadel told her attacker in court.

The story made international headlines last year when a Good Samaritan stepped in to stop the abuse.

She was in court on Wednesday to face her attacker and read her victim-impact statement.

"You missed out on meeting someone with a big heart like me," she read.

"But it's up to you now; where you take your life from this very moment. In the end, because of you I felt so much pain and betrayal and hardships in my life.

"Because of you, I grew, I forgave and I began changing the world one person at a time. Because of you, the world knows my story, my resilience. Because of you, the world knows I am going to be OK."

Last December, Ms Fadel, who wears a hijab, was riding the train when she says Mr Belzan threatened to kill her and all Muslims, forced her face towards his crotch and hit her.

Image copyright Noor Fadel
Image caption Noor Fadel hailed Jake Taylor as her hero

Vancouver resident Jake Taylor intervened, pushed Mr Belzan away and later accompanied Ms Fadel to a station platform to await authorities.

Ms Fadel said at the time that Mr Taylor was "once a stranger now a dear friend who stood up for me no matter for my appearance".

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