On Friday, an 11-year-old girl in Toronto reported having her hijab cut as she walked to school. The attack was condemned by politicians from all levels of government.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Toronto Mayor John Tory all condemned the attack. The attack received international coverage from CNN, the BBC, and The Guardian.
The condemnations would have been just and right if the attack had really happened.
Unfortunately, the attack was a hoax. Toronto police reported yesterday that the attack did not happen.
Hate crimes are horrific when they occur. However, falsely reporting a hate crime should be treated just as seriously. The complainant, in this case, is a child so nothing will, or should happen to her.
That is understandable. Kids make mistakes. This mistake was very serious, but the child should not face prosecution in this case.
Instead, we should look to our leaders for reasons why this child created this story.
The PMOs reaction was horrific.
Justin Trudeau had a real chance to show leadership in this case. He struck the right note in his reaction to the original false report. However, Trudeau’s PMO completely mishandled the reaction to the story being a hoax.
Trudeau had an opportunity to turn down the heated social justice rhetoric in the country. He had the opportunity to highlight how serious a problem false accusations are.
Instead, the Liberal’s took the news of the hijab hoax as an opportunity to push their misleading narrative on racism.
Per a statement released by the PMO after news of the hoax was made public. The statement pointed to:
“an unfortunate pattern of increased hate crimes in past months directed towards religious minorities, particularity towards women.”
The response of Justin Trudeau’s government to a hoax about a false report of a hate crime was to point to a supposed ‘pattern of increased hate crimes’.
The PMO did not condemn anyone involved with the false accusation. Justin has accused the Conservatives of running an election on Islamophobia and division.
Are we really surprised that when a child hears such things she thought to create a supposed attack driven by Islamophobia?
The PMO used the false allegation to drive their narrative of racism against their political opponents.
The PMO statement said nothing of how corrosive false allegations are on the system.
Falsely reporting crimes is a serious issue. Hoaxes waste law enforcement resources and create a hostile environment unnecessarily. However, the PMO has made it clear that the integrity of our legal system is being held secondary to the shrine of social justice in this case.