Muslim girls empowered by hijab despite recent backlash
A group of young Muslim girls say they haven't been deterred from wearing the hijab following a string of attacks against Muslims in the community.
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In the days following the Paris attacks, Toronto has seen a jump in the number of reported hate crimes against Muslims, including one incident where a woman reported being assaulted by two white men and being called a "terrorist" on her way to pick up her children from school.
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CBC News spoke to a group of Grade 12 students at the Islamic Foundation School in Scarborough.
Here is what four young girls they had to say about the hijab and the intense backlash their community is facing:
"It is a symbol of empowerment and it frees us from a lot of the standards people hold about women in particular. It allows us to be valued for our intelligence, our courage, our values and our morals."
"If more people could understand the true meaning on what the hijab means and what Islam means overall, we would become a better society internationally and within Toronto itself."
"We believe in the headpiece and what it represents and it's not about thinking twice about putting it on, it's just more of thinking twice about how we deal with others, what we say and things we do."
"Now more than ever, [the backlash] is enhanced and emphasized. Before it was more subtle — subtle stares and stuff, but nothing physical. It's just never been this serious."