Canadian police search for man who cut girl's hijab

Possible hoax alert: Canadian schoolgirl claims man tried to 'cut off her hijab'

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.

Khawlah Noman was walking to school with her brother when a man tried to forcibly remove her head covering with scissors twice in the space of just 10 minutes.

Google Maps Pauline Johnson Junior Public School, where an 11-year-old girl was headed Friday when she was allegedly attacked.

The girl was reportedly on her way to school when the man came up to her and used scissors to cut off her hijab. She told police the man struck again when she and her brother were held back from the group at a stoplight.

"He continued cutting my hijab again" before smiling and running away, said Khawlah. "I felt really scared and confused".

After the attack, Noman told local reporters that she was scared to walk to school.

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Reacting to the attack, Noman said: "Sadly, someone insulted me by cutting my hijab two times".

"This does not represent who we are", the premier added in a statement posted to Twitter.

"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".

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

"I didn't feel comfortable about what was going on".

"She was courageous enough to confront the man, make some noise. and then proceed to walk with a bunch of other kids realizing there's safety in numbers", said Const. Jenniferjit Sidhu.

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School officials notified police and Khawlah's family immediately after the girl reported the incident to them, according to the Toronto District School Board. And we'll be working closely with police to offer any assistance that we can, ' Ryan Bird, a school board spokesperson, told CNN partner CBC.

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

The incident has inspired an outpouring of support, including from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "I can't imagine how afraid she must have been", he said. "I want her and her family and her friends and community that that is not what Canada is and that is not who Canadians are".

Wynne tweeted: "This is a cowardly act of hatred, and it has no place in Ontario. We must stand firm in our support to this young girl who was assaulted simply for wearing a hijab".

Toronto Mayor John Tory said he was "shocked and appalled" by the incident.

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