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Yet Another Fake ‘Islamophobic Hate Crime’

justin trudeau on parliament hill

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.