hijab hoax protest toronto

Large crowd gathered in Toronto for Hijab Hoax protest

Dozens of Asian Canadians took to the streets of Toronto on Sunday with signs and chants calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to apologize for how he handled what's been dubbed the "hijab hoax."

The group was protesting how all three levels of government reacted to the story of an 11-year-old girl in Scarborough having her hijab cut with scissors by a stranger, who was reported to be an Asian man.

Toronto Police revealed a few days after the girl's initial report that the incident never actually happened, but not before Trudeau, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Toronto Mayor John Tory decried the alleged attacker.

Participants from yesterday's protest say that Trudeau failed to stand up for Asian Canadians in his response to the attack (and news that it didn't happen), and that he owes the community an apology.

The group is also targeting Wynne, Tory and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

"We stand as one!" shouted one of the protest's leaders into a megaphone on Sunday. "We will not let our country's leader react only according to their political agenda!"

The group, which walked from Queen's Park to Yonge-Dundas Square, carried signs that read "Asian Canadians are victims of hijab hoax," "All Canadians are equal," "Truth behind hijab hoax?" and "Trudeau apologize." 

One protester told the Toronto Sun that he condemns Trudeau for not defending Asian Canadians when the Muslim girl's report was found to be false.

"The day after this (hoax) happened, there was a 15-year-old boy shot in Vancouver and the Prime Minister didn't say anything about that. I don't understand," said protester Bob Peng.

"(Trudeau's) behaviour has hurt everyone, not just Asians. By not apologizing, it just stirs up racial tensions and hate between communities."

Lead photo by

Paul Bass


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