Girl attacked twice in 10 minutes by "hijab scissor" assailant

Khawlah Noman tells reporters how a man tried to cut off her hijab while she was walking to school with her younger brother Mohammad Zakariyya right

An 11-year-old Muslim Canadian school girl has expressed horror after her hijab was repeatedly cut by a male assailant while she was walking to 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. "When I screamed, the accused ran away", she added.

But a short time later, the man approached her from behind again and started cutting her hijab once more, she said.

Police are probing a possible hate crime after scissors-wielding suspect allegedly attacks sixth-grader's headscarf.

Officers describe the suspect as an Asian man in his 20s with a medium build.

"My heart goes out to the young girl who was attacked, seemingly for her religion", he said during a speech in London, Ontario. "I don't know why he did that, but it's just not Canada".

"I'm just happy she's safe", said Samad, her voice breaking. "In the meantime, we're offering supports to the impacted student and her family", said Bird.

"I feel this is bad and I do not like it".

The man is said to be in his mid-20s, and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black trousers. The attacks occurred about 8.30 a.m. She said she was on the sidewalk when she sensed a man behind her and turned to find him holding scissors.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne called the incident "a cowardly act of hatred".

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

A rise in Islamophobic incidents across the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe has been widely attributed to hateful rhetoric against Muslims by US President Donald Trump, as well as by other politicians following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. Fifteen out of the 19 terrorists involved in the 9/11 attacks were Saudi Arabian nationals. "We must stand firm in our support to this young girl who was assaulted simply for wearing a hijab".

Toronto Mayor John Tory said he was "shocked and appalled" by the incident.

"This does not represent who we are".

"No child should ever be afraid walking to school in Toronto because of what they are wearing or for any other reason and I want to assure the family that Toronto Police are investigating. Intolerance and hate of any kind, including islamophobia, has no place in our city, our province, or our country".

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