Man attacks Muslim schoolgirl's headscarf with scissors in Canada

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

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

"I felt really scared and confused", Khawlah said.

Authorities are investigating the incident, which occurred at about 9am at or around the east side of the Pauline Johnson school in Toronto, said police spokeswoman Katrina Arrogante. She felt someone behind her pull the hood of her winter jacket down and when she turned around and the man ran off. Khawlah and her brother chose to cross the road and walk with a bigger group of people.

Sidhu says the girl turned around and screamed, which startled the man before he ran off. Smiling, he allegedly tried again to cut off her hijab, before fleeing.

Toronto police are treating the incident as a hate crime but have yet to make any arrests.

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 certainly hope that the Toronto Police Services are able to track down the person who committed this violent act and my thoughts and prayers are with the family", Scheer said.

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.

According to Toronto publication, The Star, Khawlah's blue hijab has been taken by police as evidence and a friend loaned her a white one to wear. "This is not who we are".

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. I didn't feel comfortable about what was going on, ' she said.

The little girl's younger brother said he saw the man pull off the hood of her sister's jacket.

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

"It's just not Canada", she said.

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

Toronto's mayor added that he was "shocked and appalled". There has been a surge in Islamophobic attacks in the country and mosques have been targeted.

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

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talked about the attack during a speech wrapping up a two-day cabinet retreat in London, Ont., on Friday afternoon. "It does not represent who we are (as Canadians)", Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a Twitter message.

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