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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Muslim student physically and verbally assaulted for wearing hijab

The disturbing footage revealed not only the violent actions of the perpetrator but also the alarming apathy of bystanders.

The tranquil hallways of Glenside Middle School in Chicago were shattered recently by a disturbing incident of physical and verbal assault against a Muslim student wearing a hijab. The harrowing attack, captured on video and circulating widely on social media, has ignited a firestorm of backlash and condemnation. As authorities investigate the incident, the disturbing footage reveals not only the violent actions of the perpetrator but also the alarming apathy of bystanders. 

Attack and Bystander Apathy

The video footage portrays a male student ruthlessly assaulting a female student wearing a hijab. The attacker, without provocation, aggressively grabs, hits, and even puts the victim in a headlock before shoving her to the ground. Shockingly, students walk by without intervening, and one even encourages the attacker by pushing him towards the victim. Reports suggest that others stood by, recording the incident, highlighting a pervasive culture of apathy and a lack of intervention.

Read More: Suffolk County Police Department facing lawsuit over forceful removal of Hijab

Investigation and Past Incidents

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the police are actively investigating the case, which occurred last Thursday. The assailant’s actions, seemingly unprovoked, raise questions about the safety and security of students within Glenside Middle School. Disturbingly, the American Council on Islamic Relations (CAIR) reveals that the alleged perpetrator had been involved in a similar attack against a hijabi student the previous year, a case that was not reported until now. The school is now under scrutiny for its handling of such incidents and the need for proactive measures to address a culture of bullying.

Saudi Embassy Denies Victim’s Nationality

Contradictory reports regarding the victim’s nationality have surfaced, with initial claims suggesting she is from Saudi Arabia. However, the Saudi embassy in the US has denied any knowledge of the victim being a Saudi citizen. This adds a layer of complexity to the incident and emphasizes the importance of accurate information in the midst of such traumatic events.

CAIR’s Call for Action

The American Council on Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called on the school and the district to address not only the specific incident but also the broader issue of bullying within the educational system. CAIR emphasizes that the accused student had allegedly been involved in a previous attack that went unreported until now, underscoring the urgency for a comprehensive approach to tackle the pervasive problem of bullying.

Community Outcry and Media Response

Online reactions have been swift, with many expressing their condemnation of the attack and criticizing the school’s apparent inaction. Users on social media platforms have highlighted that this is not the first time the accused student has attacked Muslim girls and have questioned the school’s response to previous complaints. Some users also raised concerns about the lack of media attention on incidents of violence against Muslims, pointing to a broader issue of underreporting and a lack of awareness surrounding Islamophobia.

Read More: Muslim woman attacked for wearing a hijab in UK

The incident at Glenside Middle School is a stark reminder of the rising Islamophobia that the Muslim community in the US has been grappling with for years. CAIR’s report from the previous year detailed a series of anti-Islam incidents targeting individuals and mosques, illustrating the need for continued advocacy and awareness. From discriminatory removals on airlines to disturbing acts in places of worship, the Muslim community faces persistent challenges that demand collective action and education.