Canada schoolgirl attacked over hijab

By AFP
Published: January 13, 2018
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Khawlah Noman, 11, speaks to reporters at Pauline Johnson Junior Public School, after she told police that a man cut her hijab with scissors in Toronto, Ontario, Canada January 12, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

Khawlah Noman, 11, speaks to reporters at Pauline Johnson Junior Public School, after she told police that a man cut her hijab with scissors in Toronto, Ontario, Canada January 12, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

OTTAWA: An 11-year-old girl was assaulted in Toronto on Friday by a man who twice tried to cut off her hijab with scissors and then fled, police said.

Khawlah Noman told reporters that she was walking to school with her younger brother when the man came at her with scissors.

“He tried cutting (off) my hijab two times,” she said. “I felt really scared and confused. I didn’t feel comfortable that people are doing this.”

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Police described the assailant as an Asian male wearing a black hoodie and glasses. He was said to be about 20, nearly six feet tall and with a medium build.

Authorities are investigating the incident, which occurred at about 9am (1400 GMT) near the Pauline Johnson school in Toronto’s east side, police spokeswoman Katrina Arrogante told AFP.

Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu told a press conference that Khawlah Noman had turned and confronted her assailant, making loud noises to scare him off and then she ran away with her little brother in tow.

Afterward, according to Sidhu, the girl noticed a 12-inch cut from the bottom up on the back of her hijab.

She and her brother joined a group of other students also walking to school, for safety, but the siblings became separated from the group and from each other at an intersection crossing.

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At that moment, less than 10 minutes after the first assault, the same man suddenly returned. Smiling, he allegedly tried again to cut off her hijab, before fleeing.

“This is a cowardly act of hatred. It does not represent who we are (as Canadians),” Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a Twitter message.

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

The school serves nearly 300 kindergarten to grade six students “of diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds,” according to the local school board.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Zaida Parvez
    Jan 13, 2018 - 5:42PM

    Let us be fair.
    How will citizens of other religions be treated in Islamic countries if they wear their religious dress? The same answer applies to Muslims too.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Jan 15, 2018 - 2:53PM

    Be a Roman in Rome .Recommend

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