A Muslim woman who recently told police that she was attacked on the streets of Manhattan and called a terrorist ultimately admitted that she made the entire story up.
According to the Huffington Post, the Muslim woman originally claimed she was attacked while leaving school wearing a Muslim headscarf in Manhattan on Thursday. She said a man came up behind her, grabbed her by the arm, accused her of being a terrorist, then slashed her across the cheek, leaving a two-inch gash on her face.
“She reported that when he slashed her, he made a statement to the effect that she was a terrorist, and he continued to flee northbound on Broadway,” said NYPD Assistant Chief William Aubry when the Muslim woman’s story first broke.
Police reported on Friday that the investigation yielded no evidence to support the Muslim woman’s claim. They could not find any witnesses to the event, despite it supposedly taking place near Wall Street in the middle of Manhattan during rush hour. They also could not find any video evidence of the Muslim woman being slashed in the face.
“I find it hard to believe that you are on Broadway and we don’t have you on video or have an independent witness,” a police official told the Muslim woman at the time. “I find that very odd.”
According to the New York Daily News, the Muslim woman eventually admitted that she made the entire story up and inflicted the face wound herself.
The Muslim woman is a 20-year-old cosmetology student whose name has not been released to the public. Despite the wound being self-inflicted, she did need to be transported to Bellevue Hospital to treat the injury. She was also made to undergo a psychological evaluation.
Her motivation for lying about the attack is still unclear. However, a recent report from the NYDP revealed that the Muslim woman is a “long-time cutter” who has been cutting herself since she was a teenager.
UPDATE: Cops discover 20-year-old woman who lied about hate-filled slashing in lower Manhattan is a longtime cutter https://t.co/1SNEm2Iw42
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) April 1, 2016
Detectives were able to coax the woman into admitting that the face slash was self-inflicted after they recovered security footage from the cosmetology school she attends, Make-up Designory school. They showed her videos of herself entering a 15th-floor bathroom of the institution and exiting only minutes later with the slash on her cheek, obviously self-inflicted. The Muslim woman then admitted to lying about everything.
Members of her family explained to police that she has been cutting herself for much of her life to deal with “emotional pain and anger.” It’s possible that the cut on her face was made first, and the story about the attacker calling her a terrorist was fabricated to explain the injury, but there is no way to know for certain.
A report about a Muslim woman being violently attacked for her beliefs may have seemed plausible to police at first, especially with anti-Muslim sentiments reaching an all-time high in the United States. According to Gallup polls, more than half of Americans living in the United States do not respect Muslims. And another poll showed that 48 percent of Muslim Americans reported having been discriminated against for their race or religion.
Would you have believed the Muslim woman who claimed she was slashed in the face and called a terrorist? Do you believe Muslims are treated fairly in the United States? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)