December 23 2017
A video has emerged showing a Muslim teenage girl being violently beaten by three other schoolgirls at a park near their high school in the US state of Florida.
The 53-second video, recorded by another student, shows one teenage girl pulls the 14-year-old Muslim girl, identified as Manaal Munshi, by the hair and drags her to the ground.
She starts hitting the Muslim girl, who curls into a fetal position and covers her head.
Two other girls later join the fight, kneeling on the girl as they throw punches at her.
The father of the Muslim girl, Shakeel Munshi, who posted the video on his Facebook page, said her daughter was bullied by her schoolmates for her religion at West Boca High School.
He said his daughter was repeatedly bullied by several girls “because she was Muslim.”
“She has bruises on her face. One eye is black – neck, had nails, big nails, on her neck, and there are lots of big bumps on her face, her head,” he said. “She used to say that they’re making fun of her … that she’s terrorist, kind of thing.”
The father said her daughter “did not even picked up a hand because don’t want to fight back.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called for the attacking girl to be charged for the violence.
Omar Saleh, an attorney for the CAIR-Florida said the Muslim girl’s mother had told him about his daughter health condition and that she was receiving medical treatment.
“We have reached out to the victim’s family and will ensure that this serious issue is addressed swiftly and appropriately by local officials,” Saleh said in a statement.
“CAIR-Florida receives numerous complaints of school bullying incidents and serious assaults against Muslim youth at a constantly increasing rate,” he added.
A Florida sheriff’s office said on Friday that it is investigating the attack. The spokesperson for the County, Teri Barbara, said that the law enforcement authorities were working with officials from the school to investigate the beating.
The school superintendent Robert Avossa also issued a statement saying he is “saddened by this senseless violence.”
He also criticized the students, who videotaped the beating but refused to intervene and stop the attack on the Muslim girl.
“As a community, we cannot ever get to a place where we are passive bystanders of such acts. We must expect more from one another and certainly, I expect more from our students,” he added.
CAIR reported earlier in September that the United States has seen a sharp increase in hate crimes against Muslims, an increase the Muslim group attributed to the 2016 presidential election that put Donald Trump in office early this year.
The report published back in September documented nearly 600 percent rise in hate crimes targeting Muslims over the past three years across the country. The report said it recorded over 2,200 “anti-Muslim bias incidents” in 2016, a 57 percent increase from the year before.
Common hate crimes last year included assaults, acts of mosque vandalism or arson, and threats, according to CAIR.