Religion

Report: Bronx Schoolgirl Called 'ISIS,' Punched By Boys In Bias Attack

| by Nik Bonopartis
P.S. 89 SchoolP.S. 89 School

A young Muslim girl at a Bronx school was attacked last month by three boys who reportedly tried to tear off her hijab.

The sixth-grade victim was playing during recess on Nov. 19 when the three students, who are in the same class, approached and taunted her, according to Inside Edition. The boys punched the girl, tried to take off her hijab, and called the girl "ISIS" after the Islamic State terrorist group, an anonymous school source told IE.

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A hijab is a veil that Muslim women wear. It covers the head and chest.

Police were called to the school, P.S. 89, which serves kids from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. But the responding cops did not file a police report, and the incident was handled internally within the district instead. The attackers will face a disciplinary hearing at the school and will be permitted to hire legal representation, the school source noted, but the report did not list a date for the hearing.

Bias attacks against Muslims have been on the rise since the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris and the Dec. 2 shooting in San Bernardino, California, Corey Saylor, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told IE. Young Muslims in particular have felt the wrath of Americans venting anger about terrorist attacks.

“Since August of last year… we’ve seen a cycle of Islamophobia that’s had a much more violent tinge to it than we’ve seen in many, many years,” Saylor said. “I would’ve argued that it was calming down, until Paris followed by San Bernardino."

Overall, incidents of hate crimes are down in the U.S., according to the most recent FBI statistics released in November. However, hate crimes against Muslims have increased in each of the last three years, the statistics show, and the FBI report only includes numbers through 2014, so there is no hard data on hate crimes and attacks in the wake of Paris and San Bernardino.

Statistics show relatively few anti-Muslim hate crimes across the country until after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, when attacks on Muslims -- and people perceived to be Muslims -- spiked to record levels. In particular, Sikhs have been targeted by people expressing anti-Islamic rage, including a 53-year-old Chicago man who was beaten unconscious and called "bin Laden" in a September attack.

P.S. 89's principal did not return calls for comment, IE reported, but a New York City education department spokesman told the TV news show that the city is "committed to promoting safe and supportive environments and a community of inclusion" in all New York public schools.

Source: Inside Edition, U.S. News & World Report, FBI Hate Crime Statistics, al Jazeera

Photo Source: Inside Edition, rana ossama/Flickr