Published: Tue, January 16, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Toronto police say scissor attack on a girl's hijab 'did not happen'

Toronto police say scissor attack on a girl's hijab 'did not happen'

Politicians were carefully stepping back from earlier statements of disgust and shock after police confirmed Monday that an alleged Islamophobic attack on an 11-year-old girl never happened.

A Toronto police spokesman, Mark Pugash, said on Monday that an extensive investigation had been conducted and police had concluded it did not happen.

"These allegations were extremely serious and not surprisingly, they received national and worldwide attention", said police spokesman Mark Pugash, who added he hoped the false tale doesn't discourage others from coming forward to report alleged hate crimes.

CBC News is not naming the 11-year-old because she is a minor.

Police said that due to the social media attention the story was getting they wanted to release their conclusion about the incident as soon as possible.

The police statement gave no indication as to what motivated Kwawlah Noman's claim on Friday, which drew national attention, including from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Khawlah Noman, center, with her mother Saima Samad, right, and younger brother after she held a press conference claiming a man cut her hijab with scissors in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Jan. 12, 2018.

"Investigators worked extremely hard since the allegations on Friday".

It was not immediately clear how police discovered the story was not true, or what will happen next with the girl.

Pugash said police don't know how the story escalated.

He added that it is "very unusual" for someone to make false allegations of this type and said he hopes it will not discourage others from coming forward.

A spokesman for the Toronto District School Board said Monday they are "very thankful" that the alleged assault did not happen.

The school declined further comment.

"And we do deal with real issues of hate and discrimination too frequently in our society, and we must continue to address that".

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