by Kelly Brennan
In June, a Muslim family in Northeast Philadelphia filed a federal lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and St. Dominic Catholic School, alleging their son endured months of discrimination.
Similarly last month, an 11-year-old girl had her khimar, an Islamic headscarf, abruptly removed by a classmate. And in a separate incident, a student alleged his teacher persistently harassed him because he was Muslim, according to Philadelphia’s Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Officials at CAIR-Philadelphia said these acts represent a pattern of anti-Muslim bullying in schools that has been on the rise since 2014.
Since August, the organization has received more than a dozen complaints of anti-Muslim bullying targeted at 15 to 20 students in 13 schools and colleges in the region, said Timothy Welbeck, the civil rights attorney for CAIR-Philadelphia. By comparison, there was one complaint of bullying for 2014, two for 2015, and nine for 2016.