Canada police search for attacker who cut 11-year-old girl's hijab

Canada police search for attacker who cut 11-year-old girl's hijab

Cheryl Sanders
January 13, 2018

Speaking at a press conference Friday, the victim, 11-year-old Khawlah Noman, says the man smiled at her when he cut her hijab.

Toronto Police spokesperson Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu told CP24 the girl was on her way to Pauline Johnson Public School in Scarborough, when she felt something and turned around to see a man trying to cut her hijab with a pair of scissors.

Toronto police say they are searching for a man who allegedly cut parts of a girl's hijab while she was walking to school. I screamed. The man just ran away.

"I saw my sister and she was frightened and I was more frightened because I didn't know if she was injured or if he was going to hurt her", Mohammad Zakariya said.

"The information we have now is that the child was not injured and the suspect has fled the scene".

The man is said to be in his mid-20s, and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black trousers.

"Me and my brother were walking together to school and sadly someone assaulted me by cutting my hijab two times".

At just 11 years old Khawlah Noman was so poised, calm and courageous. "I felt really scared and confused because I didn't feel comfortable that people were doing this".

"He continued cutting my hijab again" before smiling and running away, said Khawlah.

In early December 2016, a female Muslim Baruch College student claimed several men shouting "Donald Trump!" attempted to tear off her hijab on a New York City subway train; she later admitted to making it up.

She told police she was first attacked as she walked with her brother along Birchmount Road around 8:30 a.m.

Toronto District School Board spokesman Ryan Bird says staff contacted police and the girl's parents shortly after she arrived at school. He said he watched as his sister's attacker again approached her, scissors in hand.

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

She added that the incident was not being investigated as a hate crime at the moment, but it will be considered by investigators. "In the meantime, we're offering supports to the impacted student and her family", said Bird.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory also released statements condemning the attack.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: "My heart goes out to Khawlah Noman following this morning's cowardly attack on her in Toronto".

"I want her and her family and her friends and community to know that that is not what Canada is, that is not who Canadians are", he said at the conclusion of a Liberal caucus retreat in London, Ont.

Other reports by iNewsToday