Canada schoolgirl attacked by man over hijab

Esther Moore
January 15, 2018

The police have not ruled out investigating the incident as a hate crime.

"I felt confused, scared, terrified", Noman, who is in Grade 6, told reporters at her school Friday.

She said she screamed and the man ran away, but about 10 minutes later, the man came up behind her again and cut into her hijab a second time. Afterwards she and her brother joined a group of other students also walking to school, for safety, before being separated from the group and each other at an intersection.

Spokeswoman Katrina Arrogante says the man cut off the girl's hijab and fled the scene. Khawlah said she turned around to confront him, but he smiled and ran off again. "I am so proud to be a Canadian, and I feel so safe in this community".

Khawlah said she's now "actually really scared" to walk to school.

Khawlah - who appeared alongside her mother and her brother - said she is now afraid to walk to school, but was comforted by the support of her school and family.

"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.

She said, "Someone insulted me by cutting my hijab".

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He's described as a man in his 20s, Asian, medium build, about five-foot-eight-inches and six-foot, with black hair and a moustache.

Spokesman Ryan Bird says the school immediately contacted police and the girl's parents when the student arrived at school.

"What you're doing is very wrong, you should stop doing this", she said. "And everyone has the right to feel safe and respected no matter what they are wearing or where they go". Wearing a white hijab loaned from a friend, she softly gave a message to her attacker.

"This girl was courageous enough to confront the man, look at the man and make a noise, which is very good for her to realize this is wrong".

The incident caught the attention of politicians at all levels of government.

"I can't imagine how afraid she must have been", Trudeau said at a cabinet retreat in London, Ont.

The Toronto District School Board said it was "shocked" to hear about the assault which Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne called a "cowardly act of hatred" that did not represent the province. "We must stand firm in our support of this young girl who was assaulted simply for wearing a hijab", she added.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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