Canada schoolgirl attacked over hijab

Khawlah Noman 11 says a man tried to cut off her hijab while she was walking to school in Toronto

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.

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

Authorities are investigating the incident, which occurred at about 9 am in or around the Pauline Johnson school in Toronto's east side, police spokeswoman Katrina Arrogante told AFP.

11 year old Kahawlah Noman was walking to school when a man dressed in black came up behind her, pulled off her hood and started cutting.

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.

A Scarborough mother is demanding police label an assault against her daughter a hate crime after the child's hijab was cut with a pair of scissors while she was walking to school.

The suspect has been described by police as Asian and appearing to be in his 20s, standing between five-foot-eight and six-foot, with a medium build, black hair, mustache and eye glasses. "I can't imagine how afraid she must have been", Trudeau said. I'm so proud to be a Canadian and I feel safe in this community.

Khawlah Noman is a sixth grade student at the school.

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

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The blue hijab she was wearing was cut about 12 inches, the girl's mother said.

"I'm just happy she's safe".

The kids told the principal what happened when they arrived at school. "You should not act like this". Terrified, she turned to face him - a young Asian male, roughly 5-foot-8 to six feet tall, wearing black trousers, a black hoodie and brown gloves.

Sidhu called the girl's actions "brave and smart".

"We must stand firm in our support of this young girl who was assaulted simply for wearing a hijab", she said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talked about the attack during a speech wrapping up a two-day cabinet retreat in London, Ont., on Friday afternoon. He wore glasses, a black hoodie and black trousers.

Mayor John Tory said he was "shocked and appalled" by the incident, stating, "No child should ever be afraid walking to school in Toronto because of what they are wearing".

Never in my 30 years have I seen a news conference featuring two child victims of a crime addressing the media - all organized by the normally privacy-sensitive Toronto District School Board. "I want her and her family and her friends and community that that is not what Canada is and that is not who Canadians are".

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