On Friday, June 8, 2018 Toronto Police issued a press release advising the public of “an arrest in three Hate-motivated Assault investigations.”
The following are excerpts from the Police statement:
“On Wednesday, June 6, 2018, between 3 p.m. and 9:30 PM police were contacted about three separate incidents. It is alleged that: in all three incidents, the women were waiting for a TTC bus at the corner of Jane Street and Wilson Avenue; a man approached the women and began pulling their hijabs off their heads. On Thursday, June 7, 2018, Sayid Ahmed Abdullahi, 42, of Toronto, was arrested and charged with:
1) three counts of Assault
2) Mischief under $5000.”
The Police also asked the public for help in the investigation of Sayid Ahmed Abdullahi. Its statement reads:
“Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-3100, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).”
The Toronto Sun reported:
“On Thursday, June 7 Sayid Ahmed Abdullahi, 42, of Toronto, was charged with three counts of assault and mischief under $5,000.
“As soon as police became aware of this, they took it very seriously,” Det. Const. Michele Bond said Friday. “Officers kept their eyes out. The victims gave good descriptions.” A man was arrested on Thursday in the same area. Bond said there is no clear motive for the assaults. “We don’t know what religion he is. Irregardless, whether they are of the same faith, we have more investigation, “ she said.”
CTV News, Global News, 680 News, CP24 and Toronto Star reported on this story in an informative manner. Their news stories included the basic facts provided by the police, such as the name of the suspect, the allegations against him and the Police appeal to the public.
The CBC, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation that is available from coast to coast to coast and is funded by the Canadian tax-payer, reported on the Police press release but omitted the name of the alleged assailant.
“Toronto police have arrested and charged a man in his 40s after a string of ‘hate-motivated assaults’ on Wednesday.”
Why would the CBC leave out the name of the alleged assailant when it was available to all media outlets?
The name, which appears to be Muslim, would indicate that this may not be a hate crime toward the Muslim community. Giving the name could have reduced fear of anti-Muslim bigotry.
Why would the CBC let Canadians from coast to coast to coast believe that this was an anti-Muslim attack? Does this not intentionally create a false impression in the minds of the readers that is tantamount to spreading fake news?
In a different story the CBC chose to release the name and religion of the teenager accused of making dozens of bomb threats to Jewish community centres between Jan. 4 and March 7, 2017.
They gave his citizenship status: dual Israel and American citizenship. They gave his religion; Jewish. By giving this information the CBC was able to assure the community that this was not an antisemitic attack.
They added links to more information which included a video of the suspect.
- Israeli Jewish man arrested for bomb threats against Canadian, U.S. Jewish targets
- Jewish centres report bomb threats across U.S.
Why did the CBC let the public believe in the first case that it was a hate crime; apparently against the Muslim community, by not revealing the name of the alleged suspect, yet had no problem sharing the name, religion and citizenship status of the alleged suspect in the bomb threat case?
Isn’t the omission of the name of the suspect in the hijab attack an example of #FAKENEWS that only encourages “identity politics” and promotes the narrative that the Muslim community is under attack?
From the Ethics of the Fathers: “Rabbi Tarfon used to say, it is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but you are not exempt from undertaking it.”