Friday, 19 October, 2018

Canada hate crime: Schoolgirl attacked with scissors over hijab

Canada hate crime: Schoolgirl attacked with scissors over hijab Canada hate crime: Schoolgirl attacked with scissors over hijab
Melinda Barton | 13 January, 2018, 07:14

She told police the man struck again when she and her brother were held back from the group at a stoplight.

The Toronto District School Board confirmed the attack took place, and said the girl is in the sixth grade.

Speaking at the podium, the girl's emotional mother told reporters she was "happy that she's safe", and said the community has been supportive of her daughter. "I felt really scared and confused because I didn't feel comfortable that people were doing this".

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.

Khawlah Noman, 11, and her brother Mohammad Zakarijja were walking to Pauline Johnson Public School in Scarborough when a man sliced her hijab with a pair of scissors on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. She said she felt the man behind her while she was walking to school with her younger brother, Mohammad Zakariyya, and turned around and saw him holding scissors.

"I can't imagine how afraid she must have been".

But the alleged attack was not over. She says she screamed and he ran away, but returned a few minutes later.

Akin to a familiar theme before and after the 2016 United States presidential election, an 11-year-old female Toronto grammar school student is claiming a man attempted to cut off her hijab while she was on her way to school this morning. "He smiled and ran away".

"What you're doing is very wrong, you should stop doing this. You should not act like this and especially (since) I'm a kid". I'm so proud to be a Canadian and I feel safe in this community.

Added Khawlah: "We both walked to school together and we both told my principal".

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

Calling the incident "startling and disturbing", Const. Jenniferjit Sidhu said "young people going to school should not have to go through this". The assailant is described as an Asian man in his 20s with a mustache and glasses. He wore glasses, a black hoodie and black trousers.

Police are hoping to track down security and dash cam cameras or hear from witnesses.

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

"This does not represent who we are", the premier added in a statement posted to Twitter. "I'm a kid", the girl told reporters about what she said to her attacker.

"This is shocking to learn of this assault".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in from London, Ontario, where he was meeting with his Cabinet. "Canada is an open and welcoming country, and incidents like this can not be tolerated".

"My heart goes out to the young girl who was attacked, seemingly for her religion".