Toronto Police Say A Man Attacked A Girl On Her Way To School And Cut Off Her Hijab
14 January, 2018, 00:30
"All that he did was smile". He pulled the hood off the girl's jacket and cut her hijab with a pair of scissors, police said.
Sixth-grade student Khawlah Noman was walking with her younger brother on Friday near the Pauline Johnson Public School in the Canadian city of Toronto when a man holding scissors came from behind and started cutting her headscarf, the victim said.
Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu told a news conference that Noman had turned and confronted her assailant, making loud noises to scare him off and then she ran away with her little brother in tow.
Frightened, Khawlah and her 10-year-old brother, Mohammed Zakariyya, rushed to join a group of children walking nearby so they wouldn't be alone with the attacker.
The girl was not hurt, but her hijab had a 12-inch cut. "You should not act like this and especially (since) I'm a kid". "The community, the school, everyone's been so supportive", said Saima Samad.
"I didn't feel comfortable about what was going on". It's not right and he should get help.
"This does not represent who we are", the premier added in a statement posted to Twitter.
"I screamed. The man just ran away. You should not act like this".
"We must stand firm in our support of this young girl who was assaulted simply for wearing a hijab", she said.
"I don't know why he did that, it's just not Canada", Samad said.
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The Canadian statistical agency, Statistics Canada, found that there was an increase of reported hate crimes against Muslims in Canada from 2014 to 2015, from 99 incidents to 159, an increase of 60 percent.
Toronto police commended Khawlah for the way she had handled the incident.
"A day of action will express our recommitment to fight Islamaphobia, and become a rallying call", he said.
A spokesperson for the Toronto District School Board said the school where the student belongs is multicultural and inclusive.
"Everyone in our province has the right to worship and dress however they choose", she said. "For something to happen to one of our kids here, it's all the more piercing in the heart".
The school has brought in social workers for the children to speak with, if they wish to do so.
Officers describe the suspect as an Asian man in his 20s with a medium build. He was said to be about 20, almost six feet tall and with a medium build. He was wearing black prescription glasses, a black hooded sweater, black trousers and brown gloves, police said. Anyone who can help with further information should Toronto Police or Crime Stoppers.
Speaking at his cabinet's retreat in London, Ont., Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the incident "troubling".
"I want her and her family and her friends and community to know that that is not what Canada is and that is not who Canadians are".
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