Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Toronto girl 'really scared' after man cuts her hijab on street

Saima Samad Noman's mother Saima Samad was in tears as she described rushing to the school and hugging her daughter
Lillian Steele | 14 January, 2018, 00:35

She said she was on the sidewalk when she sensed a man behind her and turned to find him holding scissors.

The incident occurred at about 9 a.m. near Pauline Johnson Public School in Toronto's east end.

Toronto police lauded Khawlah's quick thinking and response to the attack, with Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu saying she was "very, very smart" for shouting and joining the group of students ahead of her. Sidhu said this is "an isolated incident", such that she has never seen in her 20 years of service.

An 11-year-old girl was assaulted in Toronto Friday by a man who twice tried to cut off her hijab with scissors and then fled, local police said as attacks against Muslims are on the rise in Canada and other western countries due to a surge in conservative Islamophobic politics.

"This is awful and I do not like it", she told reporters at a news conference at her school hours after the incident. She told police the man struck again when she and her brother were held back from the group at a stoplight. "He came again. He continued cutting my hijab again". 'The man just ran away. It happened in a Toronto neighborhood known for its diversity.

She added that she has been in Canada for 25 years and this is the first incident of its kind that she can remember. Police describe the attacker as Asian, in his 20s, with medium build, a moustache and glasses.

The man is said to be in his mid-20s, and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black trousers.

School officials notified police and Khawlah's family immediately after the girl reported the incident to them, according to the Toronto District School Board.

"This is shocking to learn of this assault". "In the meantime, we're offering support to the impacted student and her family".

Speaking at the podium, the girl's emotional mother told reporters she was "happy that she's safe", and said the community has been supportive of her daughter.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne called the attack a "cowardly act of hatred" in a tweet posted Friday.

She said: 'It's just not Canada.

"We must stand firm in our support of this young girl who was assaulted simply for wearing a hijab", she said. During the press conference, she had a left a message for her attacker.

Toronto Councilor Neethan Shan has campaigned for January 29 - the one year anniversary of the mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque - to be marked as a Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamaphobia.

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