UPDATE: Authorities in Toronto have concluded that the alleged attack of an 11-year-old Muslim girl in which a stranger was accused of trying to cut her hijab off "did not happen."
"These allegations were extremely serious and not surprisingly, they received national and international attention," police spokesperson Mark Pugash reportedly said in an interview.
"Investigators worked extremely hard since the allegations on Friday. They gathered evidence from a variety of sources," prior to determining the story was false, he added.
Despite the seriousness of her offense, the young girl will not face criminal charges. Instead, local officials, authorities, and school administrators are actually rejoicing in the fact that the hateful assault did not occur.
Alas, Amira Elghawaby — a human rights advocate based in Ottawa — highlighted the very disappointing side effect of the girl's false report which is that those who do hold anti-Muslim views and sentiments could become emboldened as a result.
"Hindsight is 20/20 and I'm sure the police, and the school and everyone will be reviewing how this was addressed. And we, as community members, all we want to do is think about this young girl — give her support — we don't want her to be vilified," said Elghawaby.
She Added: "And we do deal with real issues of hate and discrimination too frequently in our society, and we must continue to address that."
It is unclear exactly why the girl fabricated the story, but it is more than likely that she wasn't completely aware of the impact her untruth would have.
Nevertheless, this news comes as a relief considering the many real hate crime cases that have come to light involving people from minority races and religions.
A young Toronto girl is claiming a man tried to cut her hijab off with scissors while she walked to school.
According to CBC News, Khawlah Noman, 11, said she felt someone behind her, and she turned around to see the unidentified man holding scissors. She said she screamed upon seeing him, prompting the assailant to run away. However, he returned minutes later.
"I felt really scared and confused," Noman said at a news conference after the incident.
"He continued cutting my hijab again" before smiling and running away, she added.
Once the young girl made it to school and reported the assault, police and her family were notified. Authorities are now conducting an investigation to locate the man.
"We don't know if this was a hate crime or not yet," said Const. David Hopkinson of the Toronto Police Service. "We don't know what motivated the attack."
The man was reportedly described as an Asian man in his 20s with a mustache and glasses.
Noman said she now fears walking to school.
“What you're doing is really wrong, you should not act like this, and especially, I'm a kid," she said, directing her comments to her attacker.
"I'm just happy she's safe," said Noman’s mother, Saima Samad. "I don't know why he did that, but it's just not Canada."
Sadly, Islamophobic attacks of this nature have been ongoing with no end in sight as anti-Muslim sentiments are being perpetuated and condoned by influential world leaders, such as United States President Donald Trump and his administration.
The current climate has emboldened racists and Islamophobes, and it's up to victims and other civilians to continue exposing these hateful people, one by one, until they've all faced consequences for their actions.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Flickr, Hernán Piñera