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Calgary's Muslim community supporting Toronto girl targeted for her faith
Toronto police investigating a report of a man allegedly cutting off a girl's hijab in the city's east end, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. Police now say the alleged events didn't happen.
Published Saturday, January 13, 2018 3:44PM MST
Last Updated Monday, January 15, 2018 11:09AM MST
**Update - On Monday, January 15, 2018, Toronto police said an incident involving an 11-year-old girl who claimed to have her hijab cut by a stranger on the street, "did not happen."
In speaking with CTV News on Monday, Toronto Police Service spokesperson Mark Pugash said investigators reached the conclusion after sifting through the evidence.
Members of Calgary’s Muslim community are stepping up and expressing their support for a Toronto girl who was attacked by a man who cut off her hijab as she walked to school on Friday.
The Grade 6 student, was just blocks from her school in Toronto when she says a man approached her, armed with a pair of scissors.
The assailant came at her and cut away her hijab in what police are calling a hate crime.
Police are still searching for the suspect, described as an Asian man in his 20s.
Members of Calgary’s Muslim community say the attack is very disturbing.
Riyaz Khawaja, with the Hussaini Association of Calgary, has a daughter of his own, says he can’t imagine the horror the girl experienced.
“My daughter wears hijab and she never had any problems. Now, she sees herself in someone else; she would be terrified.”
According to Statistics Canada, crimes targeting Muslims in Canada have jumped more than 250 percent from 2012 to 2015, but many of the crimes end up going unreported.
Khawaja says that the public can help prevent such situations.
“If they see an attack on a fellow Calgarian as a bypasser, we should stand for the right thing. We need to make awareness that everyone should stand against a hate crime.”
He isn’t sure what would have compelled someone to take such actions, but is deeply disturbed that it happened.
“It could be a random incident; someone could be on drugs. We can’t ignore the face there are people actively supporting hate crimes. That’s what’s concerning.”
The Hussaini Association of Calgary is holding a seminar to condemn hate and terrorism on Saturday evening at the Acclaim Hotel Calgary Airport at 6:00 p.m.
(With files from Ina Sidhu)