On January 12, an 11-year-old Canadian Muslim girl reported that a man tried to cut off her hijab with scissors as she walked to school with her brother. The story swept the nation with widespread attention on traditional and social media.
It even prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to tweet an official statement:
On Friday, January 12, 2018, the Toronto Police Service requested assistance identifying a man involved in an Assault with a Weapon investigation.
After a detailed investigation, police have determined that the events described in the original news release did not happen. The investigation is concluded.
The police confirmed to CBC News that the girl who reported the false allegation will not face any legal ramifications. Toronto Police Service spokesperson Mark Pugash said:
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.
We have spoken with (the girl), we have spoken to all the people the public would expect us to speak to in the course of a thorough investigation, and when we put all of that together — we looked at it very closely — and that was the conclusion that we came to.
In retaliation to the rush by mainstream media and politicians to report this story as confirmation of rampant Islamophobia before the facts could be established, prominent Twitter users, such as Imam Tawhidi, have taken to mocking and condemning the report:
Hey @JustinTrudeau, someone tried to cut my turban with a scissors. Help.
— Imam Tawhidi (@Imamofpeace) January 16, 2018
Instead of apologizing to Canadians for becoming carriers of Islamist propaganda against our country, Premier @Kathleen_Wynne & Mayor @JohnTory now put on an act of 'being relieved.' They should have condemned the family for this hoax, but didnt hv the courage to do so. #cndpoli https://t.co/T2iKsyO6No
— ਤਾਰੇਕ ਫਤਹ (@TarekFatah) January 16, 2018
Whilst the Mayor of Toronto has issued a redaction, there has been no word from Trudeau as of yet, nor from the 11-year-old’s mother, who spoke out at a press conference.
Any time there are reports or allegations of hate or intolerance in our city, you will hear me speak out.
In this case, Toronto Police have investigated and determined that the events described did not happen.
— John Tory (@JohnTory) January 15, 2018
The Globe and Mail stated,
There were those who immediately didn’t believe the young girl’s story. They were easily dismissed as the same old trolls who write mean things about Muslims, promoting conspiracy theories about our communities, saying the vilest things whenever a story about us pops up in their news feeds. It’s unfortunate this news will only embolden them to diminish and marginalize our communities even further.
Someone tell these guys to stop crying over non-existent milk.