Man cuts schoolgirl's hijab with scissors in Canada

Ruben Ruiz
January 14, 2018

The incident took place in east Toronto, as Khawlah Noman, a Grade 6 student, was walking to Pauline Johnson Junior Public School with her younger brother.

"I felt really scared and confused", Khawlah Noman, a student at Pauline Johnson Junior Public School in Scarborough, Ont., said at a news conference Friday afternoon.

She added that the incident was not being investigated as a hate crime at the moment, but it will be considered by investigators.

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

Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, tweeted his support for Kwalah on Friday.

Samad said she grew up in Canada and has been here for 25 years, and has not seen this type of incident before.

The man suspected of perpetrating the attack is believed to stand 5 feet and 7 inches tall, with a thin build, between 20-30 years old.

Sharing his terrible experience, her younger brother said, "I saw my sister, she was frightened". She says she screamed and he ran away, but returned a few minutes later. We followed this crowd of people to be safe.

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"The factual underpinnings here are that scissors were used to cut this young girl's hijab". He had a moustache, the girl told police, and glasses, too. "I can't imagine how afraid she must have been".

'This is shocking to learn of this assault.

Toronto District School Board spokesperson Ryan Bird told CBC Toronto that police and Khawlah's family was ed immediately after the girl reported what had happened to school officials. "In the meantime, we are offering supports to the impacted student and her family".

The incident has caught the attention of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who called it a "cowardly act of hatred" in a tweet.

Noman's mother, Saima Samad, was in tears as she described rushing to the school and hugging her daughter. She expects that a campaign to have January 29 designated as a "national day of remembrance and action on Islamophobia" in honour of six people killed inside a Quebec City mosque on that date in 2017 could fuel a rise in hateful incidents in coming weeks.

In October past year, Quebec passed a contentious law banning face coverings, which was partly suspended two months later. The Niqabs also covers the face, as does the burka.

Researchers have documented an increase in far-right extremist activity in Canada, much of it targeting Muslims.

Moreover, a survey carried out past year by Ontario's Human Rights Commission further found that more people reported harboring "very negative" feelings about Muslims than about any other group.

Other reports by GizPress

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