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Claim: Anti-Muslim bullying on the rise in Philadelphia schools

The Philadelphia Council on American-Islamic Relations claims data show anti-Muslim bullying in the city’s schools has risen steadily since 2014, with a 17-percent increase from 2016-2017.

During the last twelve months, CAIR received “more than a dozen complaints of anti-Muslim bullying targeted at 15 to 20 students in 13 schools and colleges in the region,” according to CAIR lawyer Timothy Welbeck.

Philly.com reports recent cases involve an 11-year-old having her head scarf yanked off by another student, a Catholic school principal reporting a student to the FBI for a project that included “‘action scenes,’ like explosions,” and another student was called “ISIS” after the 2015 San Bernadino mass shooting.

As might be expected, Welbeck blames the past year’s “significant uptick” in such cases on President Trump’s “Islamophobic remarks” and “inflammatory statements.”

Anisa Goforth, a University of Montana psychology professor who has researched the psychological adjustment for Arab American children, said “Ultimately, right now, our social and political climate is creating feelings of not being safe or being supported for a lot of Muslim students. Fostering support for students who are ethnic and religious minorities is incredibly important.”

From the story:

[Naimah] Leach got a call from a teacher last month telling her another student ripped off her daughter’s khimar. The student later said it was “a joke.”

“I was really shocked because that didn’t happen to her before,” she said. “How could you say that you were joking about something like this? This is serious.”

Goforth said “being perceived as ‘the other’ ” can make a child feel lonely, isolated, and not part of a group, which has a “significant impact” on the child’s well being.

Ahmet Tekelioglu, CAIR-Philadelphia’s education and outreach director, and Welbeck emphasized that Muslim students, especially young children, are reluctant to speak up about their experiences with anti-Muslim incidents or contact their office.

Welbeck noted in an email that he and Tekelioglu conducted an anti-bullying workshop for roughly 50 Muslim children in Bensalem, at which a third of them said they had experienced bullying, but “only a fraction” said they reported the incidents.

Leach said it took hours for her daughter to open up about what had happened at school. Syed Naqvi said that he was reluctant to tell his parents about getting in trouble at school, which his family believes occurred because of their son’s national origin and religion.

The Naqvi family filed a federal lawsuit two years ago due to their son’s alleged bullying at the aforementioned Catholic school.

What the Philly.com story fails to mention are the numerous hoaxes involving Muslims over the last few years, the most recent of which got the attention of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: An 11-year-old schoolgirl claimed a man had tried to cut off her hijab while she was en route to school. She later admitted to making the whole thing up.

And that’s not all:

— Police said a University of Michigan student made up a story about a man threatening to set her on fire if she didn’t remove her hijab.

— A female Baruch College student ended up under arrest herself after authorities determined she fabricated an assault by three white men shouting “Donald Trump.” Surprise: She said they tried to yank off her hijab.

— A University of Oklahoma professor claimed she was given anti-Muslim propaganda while heading to class. She said she and another person reported the matter to campus cops; however, no record of the reports exist.

— A University of of Louisiana Lafayette student alleged two white guys — one in a Trump hat — tried to steal her wallet and, yes, her hijab. She later confessed to making it up.

— At the University of Texas, Arlington a female Muslim student said she had been “stalked and threatened by a guy with a gun.” Never happened.

— A Muslim San Diego State University student claimed that on the day after the presidential election, two men attacked her and stole her car while invoking Donald Trump’s name. Cops determined she actually had forgotten where she parked. As for the rest of the tale, the student refused to cooperate with police.

And, while not exactly a hoax, who can forget the student known as “Clock Boy,” whose family had tried to sue for millions of dollars — unsuccessfully — by claiming school and town authorities violated the boy’s rights?

Read the full Philly.com article.

MORE: ‘Clock Boy’ lawsuit against is dismissed — again

MORE: Muslim student’s wild tale was completely fabricated

IMAGE: Rommel Canlas/Shutterstock.com

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