Girl attacked twice by man who cut her hijab in Toronto

Khawlah Noman 11 had her hijab cut off of her by a man while on her way to school Friday. She says he smiled at her when he was doing

Girl attacked twice by man who cut her hijab in Toronto

An 11-year-old Toronto girl says a man attempted twice to cut off her hijab as she walked to school on Friday morning, and police are now characterizing the attack as a hate crime.

Noman told reporters gathered at the school on Friday afternoon, that she felt "confused, scared and terrified" when seeing the man behind her and that she is now afraid to walk to class.

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.

11 year old Kahawlah Noman was walking to school when a man dressed in black came up behind her, pulled off her hood and started cutting. 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.

Police say the Grade 6 student was not injured, but her hijab had a number of cuts in it.

Hate crimes targeting Muslims doubled between 2012 and 2014 across Canada, and in January past year six Muslim men were killed in an attack on a Quebec City mosque. Police describe the attacker as Asian, in his 20s, with medium build, a moustache and glasses.

"I don't know why he did that, it's just not Canada", Samad said.

Mayor John Tory said he was "shocked and appalled" by the incident, stating, "No child should ever be afraid walking to school in Toronto because of what they are wearing".

Bird said the school board is offering support to the affected student and her family. "I'm so proud to be a Canadian, and I feel so safe in this community", Samad said. "I want her and her family and her friends and community to know that that is not what Canada is". "We must stand firm in our support to this young girl who was assaulted simply for wearing a hijab".

"Everyone in our province has the right to worship and dress however they choose", she said.

Sidhu called the girl's actions "brave and smart".

"For something like this to happen to one of our kids here is piercing to my heart", said TDSB spokesperson Shari Schwartz-Maltz.

"This is a cowardly act of hatred".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned the attack, along with other Canadian politicians. There has been a surge in Islamophobic attacks in the country and mosques have been targeted. "It does not represent who we are [as Canadians]", Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a Twitter message in response to the attack.

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