As “Islamophobic hate crimes” go, this one really tugged at the heartstrings. A tear fell from 11-year-old Khawlah Noman’s eye as she recounted, according to the Guardian, that “an assailant, in two attempts within 10 minutes, cut the girl’s hijab using scissors while she was walking to school with her brother on Friday, a Toronto police spokeswoman said.”
Khawlah herself said: “I felt confused, scared, terrified. I screamed. The man just ran away. We followed this crowd of people to be safe. He came again. He continued cutting my hijab again.” She said she was “actually really scared,” and addressed her attacker, “What you’re doing is really wrong, you should not act like this, and especially, I’m a kid.”
Frightening, heartbreaking, disquieting — and fictional. Toronto police announced Monday: “After a detailed investigation, police have determined that the events described in the original news release did not happen.” Asked if the incident was simply a hoax, police spokesman Mark Pugash declined to say. The Toronto District School Board was likewise terse: “We are very thankful that this assault did not in fact happen. We won’t be commenting further.”
The Toronto District School Board was far more loquacious when the supposed “hate crime” was first reported. Board spokesperson Ryan Bird declared that school officials had contacted police and the girl’s family as soon as they were told about the incident. Bird said: “This is shocking to learn of this assault. And we’ll be working closely with police to offer any assistance that we can. In the meantime, we’re offering supports to the impacted student and her family.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau got into the act, stating: “My heart goes out to the young girl who was attacked, seemingly for her religion. I can’t imagine how afraid she must have been. I want her and her family and her friends and community to know that that is not what Canada is.” Toronto Mayor John Tory added: “No child should ever be afraid walking to school in Toronto because of what they are wearing or for any other reason and I want to assure the family that Toronto police are investigating.”
Investigate they did, and they found that this was yet another fake “Islamophobic hate crime,” and one that followed the now-familiar pattern: the initial false charge made international headlines, while the news that it was yet another hoax garnered far less coverage.
But why did this incident, and so many others like it, happen at all?
Because genuine “anti-Muslim hate crimes” are thin on the ground, contrary to the ubiquitous propaganda about Muslims in the West facing widespread persecution, discrimination, and harassment. But Muslim groups are trying to use these hate crimes to impose criminal penalties on criticism of Islam, as in Canada with Motion M-103, and so when they don’t exist they have to be invented. There are, indeed, so many “anti-Muslim hate crimes” that turn out to have been faked by Muslims themselves that it calls into question whether any of these incidents ever really happen at all. It is a peculiarity of our peculiar age that victimhood would be a prized and coveted status, such that people would fabricate incidents in which they were treated cruelly or brutally. But this is the world we live in.
In this case, Khawlah Noman is only eleven years old. So the question arises: did she fake this incident in order to get out of a dangerous situation with her parents? That’s what happened with Yasmin Seweid, the New York City woman who fabricated an incident of Trump supporters pulling off her hijab on the subway last December. She was trying to conceal from her strict Muslim father that she had actually been out with her non-Muslim boyfriend. Or, was Khawlah Noman put up to this by some unscrupulous victimhood-monger in the Muslim establishment in Canada?
There should be an investigation. Faking “anti-Muslim hate crimes” is a big business, designed to manipulate public opinion and public policy, and so when these hoaxes are exposed there need to be consequences.
What did Khawlah’s family know? Were any Islamic organizations involved? There needs to be a full and honest investigation, especially now, as Canada is clamping down on criticism of Islam in line with the “anti-Islamophobia” Motion M-103. But there will be no investigation as long as Justin Trudeau, who jumped to sympathize with Khawlah Noman but has been silent since her hoax was exposed, is prime minister. “Islamophobia” is still a grim reality of Canadian life, as far as Trudeau is concerned, and no number of hoaxes is going to change that.