’Return to Pakistan!’ New York mother and father harass Muslim scholar and household after commencement speech


The chapter is now demanding that college officers publicly apologize and take corrective motion following the incident. In accordance with CAIR-NY, The Wheatley College supplied false info to each mother and father and the general public, in the end contributing to the bullying and harassment of the coed and her household. The June 20 incident has garnered a social following for not solely being Islamophobic, however anti-Palestinian and anti-immigrant underneath the hashtag #WeStandForHuda.

As graduate speaker, 17-year-old Huda gave a speech calling on college students to study worldwide affairs, together with human rights violations in Palestine and China. She was not solely met with hostility in the course of the speech itself however informed to “return to Pakistan” by a mother or father in the course of the commencement ceremony, in keeping with CAIR-NY. Huda had made her Pakistani heritage recognized in the course of the speech.

“Educate your self about worldwide dilemmas, together with the ethnic cleansings of Palestinians and Uighur Muslims. Households are repeatedly torn aside and actual human lives are being misplaced however ignored,” Huda stated in her speech.

“Educate your self on the widespread points that plague our planet and threaten our very existence in the long term: Contemplate world warming with the gravity that it must be checked out with. And by no means cease talking about these points till they’re resolved,”  she continued.

Mother and father within the viewers not solely booed Huda however chanted, “We help Israel.” In accordance with CAIR-NY, following the speech one mother or father was even caught on video questioning the coed about Hamas.

Moreover, Huda’s household was topic to harassment, towards which college officers took no motion. One male mother or father allegedly grew to become so aggressive that safety officers and a police detective needed to escort him away from the household.

However as an alternative of supporting the household and scholar, the principal allegedly blamed Huda for her point out of Palestine in her speech. He claimed that he allegedly didn’t evaluate the speech earlier than approving it. This remark has sparked controversy as to why a speech that mentions studying about worldwide points wouldn’t be authorized.

However that’s not the one problem: Following the commencement, the varsity despatched two emails to folks. In each emails, the varsity claimed that Huda’s speech was not authorized regardless of the principal’s acknowledgment of it and accused her of diverting away from her authorized speech.

The e-mail by the precept learn:

“Sadly, one of many scholar audio system diverted from the remarks that had been initially authorized by the Commencement Speech Committee who made the alternatives, presenting private views on the Israeli-Palestinian battle.

“I wish to be clear that the injection of such remarks was completely inappropriate to the commencement ceremony, as can be any political statements throughout a celebration solely supposed to acknowledge our seniors and their many achievements and accomplishments as members of our Wheatley College neighborhood. The feedback weren’t a part of the authorized speech. I apologize that such an exquisite ceremony grew to become marred for many individuals in attendance as a consequence of these remarks.”

Nowhere did the principal or college acknowledge the harassment or bullying Huda and her household confronted. In accordance with CAIR-NY, the e-mail despatched made issues worse and contributed to extra hate in direction of the household.

Solely after being known as out by CAIR-NY on June 22 did the principal, recognized as Dr. Feeney, be aware that he ought to have held “the adults to job” and condemned the mother and father’ actions.

Because of the harassment and bullying, Huda has suffered from extreme anxiousness, which has resulted in her having to make a visit to the hospital. Her household lives in concern of the threats and harassment they’ve confronted.

“It’s surprising to see the East Williston College District, The Wheatley College and Principal Dr. Feeney abdicate their basic responsibility to offer a secure and supportive atmosphere for all college students and households, together with Huda and different Muslims,” stated CAIR-NY Authorized Director Ahmed Mohamed.

“The East Williston College District and The Wheatley College should handle their anti-Muslim bias. It’s clear they don’t care about their Muslim college students. As an alternative of supporting a weak Muslim scholar, they selected to focus on, vilify and smear her to the whole college neighborhood. It’s abhorrent and should be known as out.”

The group is utilizing the hashtag #WeStandWithHuda to garner help for the coed and remind her that she just isn’t alone.

In accordance with a latest report by CAIR-MA, 60% of Muslim college students in Massachusetts have reported being mocked, verbally harassed, or bodily abused due to their Islamic religion. Stories in different states have discovered comparable outcomes. In accordance with a survey performed in California, 1 in 3 Muslim college students don’t really feel secure, welcomed, and revered in school, with virtually a 3rd of scholars reporting that college workers made offensive feedback about Islam or Muslims in school.   

Suggestions that colleges implement cultural competency coaching for each academics and workers members have been made as a result of usually, college students aren’t the one ones contributing to this anti-Muslim habits. About 40% of survey respondents within the Massachusetts examine stated college officers additionally made offensive feedback about Islam or Muslims.  

Amid rising studies on Muslim college students being bullied and harassed, CAIR is pushing for Congress to move the Protected Faculties Enchancment Act. The act would prohibit bullying and harassment based mostly on a scholar’s faith, race, colour, nationwide origin, intercourse, incapacity, sexual orientation, or gender id. In accordance with CAIR, at the moment there isn’t any federal legislation that straight addresses bullying.





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