A seven-year-old American Muslim child was allegedly beaten up on a school bus on his way home from Weatherstone Elementary School in Cary, North Carolina on Friday, causing the family to go back to Pakistan and await the results of the 2016 presidential election next month. They want to know if the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is elected before they determine if America is safe enough to return.
The Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR) is demanding an investigation into the beating that took place and hope to see law enforcement get involved.
Abdul Usmani, a first-grader, was reportedly punched in the face, kicked, had his arms held back and verbally attacked for his Muslim/Pakistani heritage. The child’s father, Dr. Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani, 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. Dr. Usmani, 38, first came to the US as a Fulbright Scholar and currently works as a Chief Technology Officer of a Silicon Valley data software company. The acclaimed writer, scientist and TED Talk speaker posted about his son on his Facebook page:
Usmani said the irony of the alleged discrimination is he 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.
Dr. Usmani said his son has a sprained arm and is traumatized after the beating. The first thought would be why didn’t the bus driver stop it? In many cases, given the noise level of elementary students, as well as trying to concentrate on the road, many school bus drivers are not aware of all that’s going on and a bullied child is often afraid to tell. The principal was notified and a spokesperson for the Wake County Public School System said an investigation began immediately.
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.
In early October, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed “The Safe Place to Learn Act” — an anti-bullying law that aims to provide schools and teachers with resources to help combat bullying against Muslim, Sikh, or South Asian students.
Although racism has existed from the beginning of this America, this era we live in today is one of the darkest many of us have seen in our lifetimes. The racism, misogyny, xenophobia, Islamaphobia ... and pure hatred is thick in the air, and has been exacerbated since the former reality show host and Republican candidate Donald Trump began his presidential campaign. We can only hope people will go the polls and vote against this hate monger, who is now only one step away from the White House.
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