Published: Mon, January 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Toronto police say hijab-cutting attack reported by girl didn't happen

Toronto police say hijab-cutting attack reported by girl didn't happen

The Grade 6 student told reporters last week that she was with her younger brother when a man reportedly pulled off the hood of her jacket and started cutting the back of her hijab.

A Toronto police investigation has concluded that an incident reported by an 11-year-old girl who claimed her hijab was cut by a scissors-wielding man as she walked to school did not happen.

"These allegations were extremely serious and not surprisingly, they received national and global attention", police spokesman Mark Pugash said in an interview. Khawlah Noman said that she screamed at the man to make him leave her alone, but he later returned and tried to cut it off again. But there have also been an increased number of hoaxes, especially involving girls and women who have claimed that they were attacked for wearing a hijab.

At the time, Toronto police indicated the attack was being investigated as a hate crime.

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McAlister's family reported him missing at the time, but his remains weren't found until the next year by a hiker. Hawkins said that there wasn't a moment in his life since that time that he hasn't been remorseful.

"I'm actually really scared, but I have family to support me", she said at the time.

The alleged assault spurred reactions from all three levels of government, with Mayor John Tory, Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau all condemning the attack.

On Monday, police said their investigation had concluded, with no charges laid and no consequences for the girl.

"It's something that received, quite understandably, a lot of media and social media attention and I know it caused significant concern, as it should", Pugash said. "We won't be commenting further", the Toronto District School Board said in a short statement.

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