"I feel confused, scared and terrified".
Authorities are investigating the incident, which occurred at about 9am (2pm GMT) near the Pauline Johnson school in Toronto's east side, police spokeswoman Katrina Arrogante told AFP. 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. But shortly after the first assault, the same man returned and "continued cutting" Noman's headscarf while grinning, before running away.
Police say the Grade 6 student was not injured, but her hijab had a number of cuts in it.
Toronto police say it's too early to determine if the motivation behind the alleged attack is a hate crime but that officers are canvassing the neighbourhood for footage from surveillance cameras and people who may have witnessed the confrontation. The suspect is described as an Asian man with a moustache and glasses who is around 20 years old, wearing a black hoodie and black trousers.
Speaking at the podium, the girl's emotional mother told reporters she was "happy that she's safe", and said the community has been supportive of her daughter. "I'm so proud to be a Canadian".
According to Toronto publication, The Star, Khawlah's blue hijab has been taken by police as evidence and a friend loaned her a white one to wear.More news: London Mayor trash-talks 'very stable geniuses' who tried to arrest him
Bird said the school board is offering support to the affected student and her family.
"I feel this is awful and I do not like it".
"A day of action will express our recommitment to fight Islamaphobia, and become a rallying call", he said. But the man came back just as Kahawlah was waiting for her brother who was stopped at a light across the street.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said he was "shocked and appalled" by the incident.
"This is a cowardly act of hatred. Intolerance and hate of any kind, including islamophobia, has no place in our city, our province, or our country".
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talked about the attack during a speech wrapping up a two-day cabinet retreat in London, Ont., on Friday afternoon. "It does not represent who we are [as Canadians]", Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a Twitter message in response to the attack.