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"I felt really scared and confused", Khawlah said.

A Canadian 11-year-old has told police a man cut her hijab with scissors while she was on her way to school, as the country continues to tackle growing anti-Muslim sentiment. She screamed and the man ran off, but returned a few minutes later.

She said: 'It's just not Canada. After the second time he just smiled and ran away.

Afterward, according to Sidhu, the girl noticed a 12-inch cut from the bottom up on the back of her hijab.

Toronto police are investigating after a man allegedly cut a hijab off a young girl. Toronto Police and the student's family were immediately contacted by the school.

Police are asking for the public's help to identify the attacker described as Asian, of medium build, with a thin moustache and black prescription glasses. Shortly after the same attacker then approached her again "smiling" and trying to cut her scarf before fleeing.

"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.

The Toronto District School Board confirmed the attack took place, and said the girl is in the sixth grade. Terrified, she turned to face him - a young Asian male, roughly 5-foot-8 to six feet tall, wearing black trousers, a black hoodie and brown gloves.

Toronto police commended Khawlah for the way she had handled the incident.

She said that she felt someone tug her hood from her winter coat down and hack at her light blue scarf with a pair of scissors.

"I'm frustrated and I'm angry, but I do believe in peace in Canada".

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

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

Since 2013, hate crime has been on the rise in Canada.

"Having the police recognize this as a potential hate crime is a much greater act of deterrence, and a signal that Islamaphobia will not be tolerated", said Mohammed Hashim, a member of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations.

The attack came as Canada approaches the first anniversary at Quebec City Mosque which left six worshippers dead and 18 injured. Incidents like this, he said, make such days even more imperative. "But legislative changes are very important".