Several days after the U.S presidential election in November, a female student at the University of Michigan reported being attacked by a man who threatened that if she did not remove her hijab, her would set her on fire.
The student told police that the obeyed the man’s order before fleeing the scene and reporting the incident. She described the perpetrator as a white male between the ages of 20 and 30. University police alerted students of the alleged crime, and said they were “disturbed by this report of hate crime in our community.” The FBI was called in to investigate.
Now police in Ann Arbor have determined that the “hate crime” never happened. After conducting multiple interviews and reviewing surveillance footage, investigators found “numerous inconsistencies” in the alleged victim’s statements, which led them to conclude that she made it all up.
The news comes one week after another alleged anti-Muslim hate crime was discovered to be a hoax. Police arrested 18-year-old Yasmin Seweid after investigators determined she had invented a sensational story about being attacked by three Donald Trump supporters on the New York subway. Seweid was charged with filing a false report.
Both stories made national headlines. They were reported as fact, were widely shared on social media, and cited an example of the “rising tide” of Islamophobia related to the election of Trump. Meanwhile, the media has also expressed grave concern about the rise of “fake news.”
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