Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Canadian schoolgirl attacked over hijab

Canadian schoolgirl attacked over hijab

Khawlah Noman, 11, a composed and articulate schoolgirl has spoken in public about how a man attempted to twice cut off her hijab as she walked to school on Friday in Scarborough.

Noman told reporters gathered at the school on Friday afternoon, that she felt "confused, scared and terrified" when seeing the man behind her and that she is now afraid to walk to class.

Toronto police say they are searching for a man who allegedly cut parts of a girl's hijab while she was walking to school. She said she felt the man behind her while she was walking to school with her younger brother, Mohammad Zakariyya, and turned around and saw him holding scissors.

Ten minutes later, a few hundred metres north at the corner of Birchmount and Bay Mills Blvd., the man creeped up on her again - this time, separated from her brother who had got caught at the stop light, she was alone.

Norm Kelly, the area's city councillor, responded to the incident by saying there was "no place in Canadian society for hate crime - whether large or small", adding, "I'll be asking my followers to send any tips they may have to police". "In the meantime, we're offering supports to the impacted student and her family", said Bird.

"This school lives inclusiveness", she said. He was last seen wearing black prescription glasses, a black sweater with the hood up, black trousers and brown gloves.

"I don't know why he did that, it's just not Canada". "For something to happen to one of our kids here, it's all the more piercing in the heart".

The school board's social work team was on site, and letters will also be sent home with students at all three schools in the Scarborough neighbourhood addressing the assault against Khawlah.

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"I'm just so happy she's safe", Samad said fighting back tears as she explained that, in her 25 years living in Canada, she had never experienced such an incident.

Mayor Tory added: "I am shocked and appalled to learn a student wearing a hijab was assaulted on the way to school...no child should ever be afraid walking to school in Toronto because of what they are wearing".

"We want to make sure they know we're aware of what's happening, and we're available to talk", TDSB trustee Manna Wong said.

Incidents of Islamophobia have increased in Quebec in recent years.

Since 2013, hate crime has been on the rise in Canada.

"Having the police recognize this as a potential hate crime is a much greater act of deterrence, and a signal that Islamaphobia will not be tolerated", said Mohammed Hashim, a member of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations.

Sidhu called the girl's actions "brave and smart". "But legislative changes are very important". The blue hijab is now with police as evidence. Wearing a white hijab loaned from a friend, she softly gave a message to her attacker.

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