Hate crime hoaxes don’t just happen in the United States.
Over the weekend, Canadians were offering their sympathies to an 11-year-old Muslim girl, Khawlah Noman, who claimed she was attacked by a man with scissors while she was walking to school. According to the girl’s account, the man used his scissor to cut her hijab:
The story quickly received a personal tweet from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who asserted the attack was an attack on Canada’s principles:
My heart goes out to Khawlah Noman following this morning’s cowardly attack on her in Toronto. Canada is an open and welcoming country, and incidents like this cannot be tolerated.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 12, 2018
The problem is, however, the story never happened.
On Monday, Toronto police issued a statement saying “the events described in the original news release did not happen.”
Toronto Police Service spokesperson Mark Pugash told CTV News, “We had, as everyone knows, allegations of an extremely serious crime on Friday which we investigated -- we had a team of investigators who put together a significant amount of evidence and they came to the conclusion that the events that were alleged did not happen.”
Despite the fact that the incident did not happen, the prime minister's office issued a statement saying, “We have seen an unfortunate pattern of increased hate crimes in past months directed towards religious minorities, particularity towards women.”
"We need to take this issue extremely seriously as this pattern is a warning sign of increased intolerance," the statement continued.
Since the girl who made the allegations is 11, it is unlikely anything will happen to her for the false report and media firestorm.