The authorities launched an investigation, the girl's mother spoke to the press - it was a major national talking point in Canada where cultural sensitivity and tension can run every bit as high as their neighbors to the south. Monday, after a thorough investigation, the authorities concluded simply and finally that the attack 'never happened' and declined to say anything more. We can only speculate as to what actually happened.
That's all the public has been given. Confused lawmakers, reporters and Canadian citizens could only breathe the relief that such a hateful incident as was initially described never happened.
Toronto District School Board statement following police news release: 'We are very thankful that this assault did not in fact happen. We won't be commenting further.'— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) January 15, 2018
PM reacts to Toronto hijab story. 'We have seen an unfortunate pattern of increased hate crimes in past months directed towards religious minorities, particularity towards women.....We are thankful and relieved that this incident did not take place.'— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) January 15, 2018
It does seem like an unfortunate case of the Girl Who Cried Wolf, but with so few details released to the public, we can't be sure.
I am devastated most by the realization that an 11-year-old girl would make something like this up. Kids do stuff like this but we're in a highly sensitive time as we lead up to the anniversary of the January 29 massacre. I'm bracing for the hate this will engender. #cdnmuslims https://t.co/JujVAJ1EbU— Amira Elghawaby (@AmiraElghawaby) January 15, 2018
I hope an equal amount of news coverage and politician statements are dedicated to clarifying that the alleged attack on a hijab wearing girl was a false report. It did not happen.— Natasha Fatah🎙 (@NatashaFatah) January 15, 2018
It is good to know that this event didn't happen.— John Tory (@JohnTory) January 15, 2018
We all must remain vigilant in the fight against hate, racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia to make sure our city remains an inclusive place.
Either way, this is an upsetting example of the heightened tension in our world. Kudos to those out there who are doing what they can to bridge the gap.