Attack on child wearing hijab 'did not happen,' Canadian police say

Toronto police say hijab-cutting incident never happened, investigation is closed

An attack on Friday in Scarborough involving an 11-year-old girl whose hijab was reportedly cut off "did not happen", Toronto police said.

Pugash declined to say whether the girl acknowledged it didn't happen.

"These allegations were extremely serious and not surprisingly, they received national and worldwide attention", police spokesperson Mark Pugash said in an interview.

The Grade 6 student told reporters last week that she was with her younger brother when a man reportedly pulled off the hood of her jacket and started cutting the back of her hijab.

The incident, which occurred Friday, prompted spontaneous reaction from the Premier's office.

Following Pugash's announcement, NCCM executive director Ihsaan Gardee said in a statement that the group was pleased that the police investigated the allegation in light of "the heightened anxieties being felt within many Muslim communities" leading up to the first anniversary of the incident in Quebec.

The 11-year old, her mother, and members of the Toronto District School Board held a highly-publicized press conference Friday, detailing the assault and describing the incident as a possible "hate crime". She says she screamed and he ran away, but returned a few minutes later. I'm frustrated and I'm angry, but I do believe in peace in Canada.

But she said that the man did not leave them alone even after they joined a larger group of kids walking to school.

"It is absolutely unusual", Pugash said. It's not Canada because the incident never happened.

Toronto Mayor John Tory defended his decision to speak out, saying in a statement that he would continue to do so "any time there are reports or allegations of hate or intolerance in our city".

TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird said school board officials are "very thankful that this assault did not in fact happen", but won't be commenting further.

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