By: Aedan Sara O’Connor
On Friday January 12, news across Toronto broke that an eleven-year-old girl, Khawlah Noman, was violently assaulted when an Asian man cut her hijab on the way to school. This was a seemingly clear cut instance of despicable anti-Muslim bigotry. She was at a press conference along with her mother and her brotherwho claimed to have witnessed the event at her school. It is not a common practice for minors to present at press conferences. Swift condemnations of the incident came from Toronto’s mayor, Ontario’s premier and the Canadian prime minister, who all seemed to insinuate Canada was a deeply Islamaphobic place. The Canadian Chinese community felt particularly maligned.
But the story did not add up. Khawlah claimed she was attacked on the street, where presumably there would be other passersby, but her brother was the only witness. Several Twitter users pointed out that the CBC got to the school for the press conference incredibly quickly. Khawlah seemed remarkably calm, for a child who had just been attacked. Three days later the police released a statement that they had no evidence that the incident occurred. I was relieved the child had not been blatantly and violently attacked for her faith and I still had questions that remained unanswered; namely, why would this girl make up a hoax like this?
I wondered if she personally made it up on her own, maybe because she no longer wished to wear her hijab. While adult women deserve the religious liberty to wear whatever garb they choose, I do not think it is appropriate for children to don hijabs. Kids should wear clothes that let them run around. Hijabs can often obstruct their peripheral vision.
Then I wondered if her family put her up to this. Her mother wears a niqab, I hope of her own volition. The niqab is indicative of a political Islamist attitude. Her mother, her brother and the girl all have different last names which often is indicative of polygamy which often happens in extremist Islamic societies and is imported to western countries.
There seems to be a large push to paint Muslims as the primary victims in Canada and this story fit right in. Often those pushing this narrative have radical or political interpretations of Islam. In fact Jews are the primary victims of hate crimes in Canada and this gets far less coverage. Instead Holocaust remembrance day was virtually ignored in comparison in favour of discussing the possibility of an Islamophobia day.
Religiously motivated hate crimes should be prosecuted to the fullest extent; they are despicable. But it is important to look at the statistics and react accordingly. Jews are the most targeted, followed by gay people, then black people and then Muslims.
A few weeks after the hijab cutting hoax was uncovered, a large rally was hosted by the Toronto Chinese community, asking for an apology from the Canadian government for the insinuation that Canadians and especially the Asian community was labelled as Islamophobic. There should be an apology, I believe tribal flames are being stoked, and an incident like this pits Canadians against each other. I believe that this child was used as a political prop, at least by activists and possibly by her family; which is deeply unfair to her and to Canadians who were blamed for discriminatory sentiments which they do not possess.
Aedan Sara O’Connor is the founder and CEO of Dame Right. While she is an American patriot, she was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. An avid political junkie and nerd, she created Dame Right when she saw a void to be filled in feminine conservative media. Her previous work has been featured in Daily Wire, The National Post, Rebel Media, Toronto Sun and Jerusalem Post.