MINNEAPOLIS (Nov. 15, 2016) — The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) on Tuesday expressed concern about the lack of response by school officials in Coon Rapids, Minn., to an alleged assault on a Muslim middle schooler.
CAIR-MN says the family of the Northdale Middle School student reported that their child is feeling emotionally and physically distressed after she was allegedly assaulted on Friday by a classmate who came up behind her and violently pulled off her Islamic head scarf (hijab) and threw it on the ground. The classmate also pulled on her hair and let it come down in front of other students. The Muslim student now feels unsafe in the school and has yet to return to school.
School officials did not respond to the incident until Tuesday, despite the fact that the incident was reported immediately by the student and after being contacted by the family on Friday.
“School officials must take immediate actions to ensure that all students, regardless of their faith or ethnicity, are provided a safe learning environment,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. “It should not take days to respond to an apparently bias-motivated assault on a student.”
Hussein said CAIR has noted a spike in incidents targeting American Muslims and other minority groups since the November 8 presidential election. He said his organization is also looking into other recent hate incidents targeting Minnesota students in Blaine High School and Spring Lake Park among others.
Yesterday, the Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization said that newly-released FBI hate crime statistics showing a 67 percent jump in anti-Muslim incidents in 2015 should push the nation’s leaders to repudiate growing Islamophobia.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.