Canada hate crime: Schoolgirl attacked with scissors over hijab


A 12-year-old girl was assaulted in Toronto Friday by a man who twice tried to cut off her headscarf with scissors and then fled, police said.

"I felt really scared and confused", Khawlah Noman told CBC.

The 11-year-old - a Grade 6 student of Pauline Johnson Junior Public School in Scarborough - and her sibling, Mohammad, were walking along Birchmount Rd., north of Sheppard Ave., around 9 a.m. when the stranger swiped at her blue hijab with a pair of scissors and sliced a 30 cm tear in the headdress.

The little girl's younger brother said he saw the man pull off the hood of her sister's jacket.

Sidhu says the girl turned around and screamed, which startled the man before he ran off.

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

Government statistics suggest that hate crimes targeting Muslims more than tripled between 2012 and 2015 to a total of 159.

Police said they are seeking a male suspect described as Asian, in his 20s, with a medium build of roughly 5-foot-8 to six feet.

"I want her and her family and her friends and community to know that that is not what Canada is".

"My heart goes out the young girl who was attacked, seemingly for her religion", Trudeau told reporters in London, Ont.

Her brother told reporters that he was frightened, and anxious his sister would be hurt. "In the meantime, we're offering supports to the impacted student and her family", said Bird.

"It's just not Canada. I can't imagine how afraid she must have been", Trudeau said.

"I certainly hope that the Toronto Police Services are able to track down the person who committed this violent act and my thoughts and prayers are with the family", Scheer said.

She added that she has been in Canada for 25 years and this is the first incident of its kind that she can remember.

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

"I'm just happy she's safe", said Samad, her voice breaking.

"This does not represent who we are, " Wynne wrote in a tweet.

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

Anyone with information about the investigation should contact 42 Division at 416-808-4200 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). "I join with all Toronto residents in standing up to such an act of hatred". There has been a surge in Islamophobic attacks in the country and mosques have been targeted.