More than 300 Chinese Canadians will reportedly join rallies in Montreal, Canada, on Saturday to protest an 11-year-old Canadian girl’s slander against the Asian community, who falsely claimed that an Asian man cut her hijab as she walked to school.
Khawlah Noman, a sixth-grader living in Toronto, held a news conference at her school on Jan. 12. She accused an Asian man of “pulling off her jacket hood and started cutting the bottom of her hijab.” The girl’s self-claimed suffering made headlines around the world, with politicians and public figures in Canada showing their support for the girl on social media.
“My heart goes out to Khawlah Noman following this morning’s cowardly attack on her in Toronto,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter. “Canada is an open and welcoming country, and incidents like this cannot be tolerated.”
Though garnering sympathy and support from the public, Noman’s claim was later disputed by Canadian police, who announced on Jan. 15 that an extensive investigation had been conducted and police had concluded it did not happen.
The abrupt turn of events has irritated the Chinese community in Canada, who called the Hijab Hoax a “hate crime that should never be tolerated.”
“The nature of this incident is vile. It is definitely a humiliation to Asian community, which has always been picked on. Even an 11-year-old knows that we are easy targets. This is unacceptable,” Jenny Wong, a 25-year-old Chinese Canadian living in Montreal, told People’s Daily Online.
“My friends and I will join a rally initiated by the local Chinese community in Montreal this Saturday, demanding an apology from the girl, the Canadian government, as well as a voice for the Asian community,” Wong added.
According to an announcement released by Chinese in North America, an influential WeChat account that focuses on the Chinese community in Canada and U.S., the rally has already been approved by local authorities. An estimated 350 people are expected to participate in the rally.
Similar protests initiated by Chinese Canadians have already taken place across the country, including two rallies in Toronto and Calgary on Jan. 21 and Jan. 22, respectively. Meanwhile, chat groups have also formed on social media, with many Chinese Canadians communicating and sharing updates on the incident.
“The Asian community in Canada doesn’t have political muscle and is discriminated against or victimized. Canadian authorities and media outlets did not even carry out a thorough investigation before supporting the liar,” said Jenny Liu, a 22-year-old Chinese student at the University of Toronto.
“Our rally slogan is focused on that lie: ‘Hoax Today, Horror Tomorrow.’ We feel hurt, and we demand that our voice is heard,” added Wong.