An 11-year-old Toronto girl who claimed she was attacked because of her hijab fabricated the story, according to local police.
The story of Kwalah Noman received international coverage last week after she and her family held a press conference calling for hate crime charges against a man she claimed attacked her on her way to school.
“I felt really scared and confused,” Noman said on Friday.
She told police that while she was walking to school with her brother, a man wearing a black hoodie approached her from behind, pulled her hijab from her jacket, and cut it with scissors.
“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,” said Noman.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the “cowardly attack.”
But Toronto police released a brief statement Monday saying that the events described by Noman did not occur.
“After a detailed investigation, police have determined that the events described in the original news release did not happen,” Toronto police said in a statement.
Noman’s allegation was cited as evidence of growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the West. Activists in Canada and the U.S. have claimed that bigotry and hate crimes towards Muslims have been on the rise. But there have also been an increased number of hoaxes, especially involving girls and women who have claimed that they were attacked for wearing a hijab.