A Toronto schoolgirl was assaulted Friday by a man who tried to cut off her hijab with scissors and then fled, police said.
Government statistics suggest that hate crimes targeting Muslims more than tripled between 2012 and 2015 to a total of 159. She appeared alongside her mother, Saima Samad, and her younger brother, 10- year-old Mohammad Zakariyya, who was walking with her at the time of her attack.
"He continued cutting my hijab again" before smiling and running away, she added.
"This is bad and I do not like it", she told reporters at a news conference at her school hours after the incident.
"I felt really scared and confused", Khawlah said, although she was not hurt in the incident.
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"What you're doing is really wrong, you should not act like this, and especially, I'm a kid", she said, addressing her attacker directly at one point. "My heart goes out to the young girl who was attacked, seemingly for her religion".
The Toronto Disctrict School Board says school administrators contacted police and the girl's family as soon as they learned of the attack.
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Speaking at the podium, the girl's mother told reporters she was "happy that she's safe", and said the community has been supportive of her daughter. She said she sensed the man behind her and screamed. "I am so proud to be a Canadian, and I feel so safe in this community".
Khawlah had been walking for about two minutes up Birchmount Rd. when the incident occurred.
"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". "In the meantime, we're offering supports to the impacted student and her family", said Bird.
"It's one thing to assault an adult, which is never acceptable, but for this to happen to a child - I can't tell you how horrified we all are", spokeswoman Shari Schwartz-Maltz said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned an attack on an 11-year-old girl whose hijab was allegedly cut with a pair of scissors.
"I can't imagine how afraid she must have been", Trudeau said at a cabinet retreat in London, Ont. "I don't know why he did that, but it's just not Canada". "This is not who we are".
Toronto Mayor John Tory also expressed his shock with what he called an "act of hatred".