Toronto Muslim girl 'scared' after attacker cuts hijab

Danny Woods
January 14, 2018

"I felt really scared and confused", Khawlah said, although she was not hurt in the incident.

Police said the incident isn't now being treated as a hate crime, but investigators are not ruling out a possibility.

The hijab is a headscarf worn by many Muslim women who feel it is part of their religion.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed a similar sentiment, stressing that this "is not who Canadians are".

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 described the suspect as a medium-built Asian man in his 20s.

"Sadly, someone insulted me by cutting my hijab two times", she said.

"I screamed. The man just ran away".

Khawlah said she and her brother "followed this crowd of people to be safe".

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"He continued cutting my hijab again" before smiling and running away, said Khawlah. He was last seen wearing glasses, a black hoodie and black trousers. While full-fledged hate crimes may be relatively rare, "hateful incidents" - like drivers angrily yelling at her "take off her head scarf" -are not, she added. Kahawlah's mother says she's glad her daughter was not physically harmed and hopes police investigate this as a hate crime.

"This is shocking to learn of this assault". And we'll be working closely with police to offer any assistance that we can, ' Ryan Bird, a school board spokesperson, told CNN partner CBC. "In the meantime, we are offering supports to the impacted student and her family".

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

"I can't imagine how afraid she must have been", said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an unprompted statement of support for Khawlah at a news conference in London, Ont. Close to a year ago, six people were killed after Alexandre Bissonnette opened fire at a mosque in Quebec soon after the evening prayers had ended.

Considering the circumstances of the alleged attack on Noman, Shidlowski reckons the suspect would be charged with assault, assault with a weapon or perhaps aggravated assault. The Niqabs also covers the face, as does the burka.

Canada has witnessed a rise in extremist activity, much of which has been targeted at Muslims.

A survey conducted previous year by Ontario's Human Rights Commission found that more people reported harboring "very negative" feelings about Muslims than about any other group.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims has called on the federal government to declare January 29, the day of the mosque shooting, a day of remembrance and action on Islamophobia.

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