NYC Teen Bullied for Being Muslim

Recently there have been several stories nationwide about teenagers being bullied for being different. The latest comes from New York City, where a 16-year-old boy said he was bullied at school for being a Muslim.

"[They] punched me in my groin, and I fell to the floor. They started kicking me, and calling me 'You f---in' terrorist,' 'You f---in' Muslim,'" the victim, Kristian (last name withheld), told the New York Daily News.

Four teenagers were arrested Sunday on suspicion of hate crimes.

The boy, who was born in America, said the nearly daily abuse began in October 2009 while he was a student at the Edwin Markham Intermediate School on Staten Island. He kept quiet about it, and figured it would be all over when he graduated from the school this past June.

But when he started his freshman year at Port Richmond High School last month, he saw two of his tormentors in one of his classes.

"I think I can't go through a year like this again," Kristian said, and finally told his parents. The story he told was chilling. Kristian said first they accused him of being gay. Then they started making fun of his Muslim heritage and blaming him for terrorist bombings.

Then things got physical. "Four kids punched me everywhere. They would spit in my face, and kick and punch me. I had injuries," Kristian said.

One time one of the teens attacked him in class, in front of a teacher.

"[He] touched me here and here," he said, pointing to his left elbow and forehead. Kristian said the teacher told the attacker, "'Why did you do that for? He's a good boy. Leave him alone. Why do you keep bothering him?'"

But still, Kristian kept quiet.

"I was very scared that if I told the teachers...they would beat me up more," Kristian said.

But now he could stay silent no more. The four suspects -- three 14-year-old Latinos and a black 15-year-old -- were arrested on charges of assault and aggravated harassment, both as hate crimes.


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