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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

7-year-old Pakistani boy beaten on US bus for 'being Muslim'!




Aziz's father said his family had left the US; will return after the elections, depending on who wins.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization has called for an investigation of an alleged assault on a 7-year-old Muslim student in North Carolina as he was riding home on a school bus.

The victim, Abdul Aziz, an American citizen of Pakistani heritage and a student at Weatherstone Elementary School in Cary, N.C., was reportedly assaulted Friday afternoon by five other children riding in the bus who allegedly made references to Islam, Muslims and Pakistan during the attack. [NOTE: The victim was too traumatized to give a detailed report on the attack.]

According to the boy's father, Dr. Zeeshan-Ul-Hassan Usmani, his son was punched in the face, had his arm twisted and was kicked in the stomach.

The father said his children had faced bullying in the past.

Abdul Usmani's father told BuzzFeed News that his wife and three sons have left the US for Pakistan after this latest incident in a long history of discrimination towards his children and family.

In a letter to Wake County Public School System Superintendent Dr. James Merrill, CAIR wrote in part:

"The report of this alleged attack comes at a time of increasing bullying of Muslim students nationwide. We urge you to investigate this disturbing incident and to take appropriate actions based on the results of that investigation. All students, regardless of faith or ethnicity, must feel safe in their learning environment."

Local police have also been notified of the alleged assault.

Detailing what happened, Usmani told Buzzfeed News: "These are six and seven year old kids calling him names, with one kid punching him in the face, while two other kids attacked him, kicked him, and held his arms back."

He described his son "as American as you can get."

"They keep beating him all the way from school to home on the bus," Usmani said of the ride home from Weatherstone Elementary School in Cary, North Carolina, last Friday (October 7).

Talking about his son's condition after the inicident, he said that Aziz was traumatized by the attack and has a sprained arm.




Lisa Luten, a spokesperson for the Wake County Public School System, told BuzzFeed News that the principal of the school immediately began investigating the alleged incident after the family told them about it. "[The principal] interviewed seven students sitting near this child, and none of the students, nor the bus driver, witnessed any type of altercation or incident," Luten said.

Replying to a comment on Facebook, the father said that he had provided the school with the names of all the children involved:


The principal has one more child to interview and has not been able to get in contact with the Usmani family since Friday, Buzzfeed News added.

Speaking about allegation of discrimination based on religion or race, Luten said, "When [the family] originally shared the information, they didn't share any info about religion or race, and just that their child was bullied."

Usmani, 38, first came to the US as a Fulbright Scholar from Pakistan and currently works as a Chief Technology Officer of a Silicon Valley data software company

He told BuzzFeed News that his two elder sons and his family have been the targets of discrimination for years.

Usmani said his family was harassed by a neighbor because of their religion, and that his other son has been called a terrorist.

"If Trump wins, America will be great again, but a great that nobody will care about."

School bullying of Muslims has risen dramatically in the last few years - as high as to twice the national average, according to a report by the Council on American-Islamic relations in 2015 .

Fifty-five percent of Muslims students in California reported some form of bullying based on their religion, the report found.

It is noteworthy that Usmani has been working to combat the effects of terrorism and has worked with the UN's Special Envoy for Global Education on a safe school initiative in Pakistan.

In fact, Usmani has developed software to "model the effects of suicide bombings" in order to create safer environments and reduce injuries in the event of an explosion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Usmani said his family will stay in Pakistan until after the election to see if Donald Trump is elected to determine if his family feels safe enough to return.

CAIR's California chapter recently welcomed the signing of "Safe Place to Learn" legislation designed to protect vulnerable Muslim and Sikh students who are facing bullying in schools.


http://khaleejtimes.com/international/americas/7-year-old-pakistani-boy-beaten-on-us-bus-for-being-muslim

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