Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Man cuts Muslim girl's hijab in Toronto

Man cuts Muslim girl's hijab in Toronto

In yet another incident of racial crimes against Muslims, an 11-year-old girl was attacked while her hijab (head covering) was repeatedly cut on her way to school on Friday in Toronto, Canada, pressurizing the Canadian government to act against the rising Islamophobia in the country.

"I feel confused, scared and terrified".

Authorities are investigating the incident, which occurred at about 9 a.m. (1400 GMT) near the Pauline Johnson school in Toronto's east side, police spokeswoman Katrina Arrogante told AFP.

The man ran off, Khawlah said, noting that she crossed the street with her brother to join other students walking to school.

When Khawlah was asked what she would say to the man if she had a chance, she said, "I think what you're doing is wrong".

"He continued cutting at my hijab again", Khawlah said.

Hate crimes targeting Muslims doubled between 2012 and 2014 across Canada, and in January a year ago six Muslim men were killed in an attack on a Quebec City mosque. The suspect is described as an Asian man with a moustache and glasses who is around 20 years old, wearing a black hoodie and black trousers. "I'm so proud to be a Canadian".

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.

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Noman's mother, Saima Samad, was in tears as she described rushing to the school and hugging her daughter.

"We must stand firm in our support of this young girl who was assaulted simply for wearing a hijab", she said. "I didn't feel comfortable that people are doing this".

"Everyone in our province has the right to worship and dress however they choose", she said.

"A day of action will express our recommitment to fight Islamaphobia, and become a rallying call", he said.

She said: 'It's just not Canada. "For something to happen to one of our kids here, it's all the more piercing in the heart".

Toronto's mayor added that he was "shocked and appalled".

Wynne tweeted: "This is a cowardly act of hatred, and it has no place in Ontario".

The incident has inspired an outpouring of support, including from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "It does not represent who we are (as Canadians)", Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a Twitter message.

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