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(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 11/22/2016) - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called for increased protection of Muslim students in that state's schools following an incident in which an Afton Lakeland Elementary School 5th grade student allegedly brought an air pistol to school after he threatened to shoot a Somali-American Muslim 3rd grade student.
Parents of the student reported to CAIR-MN that on Friday, November 11, the 5th grader threatened to shoot the Muslim student. On Monday, November 14, the same 5th grader reportedly brought an air pistol to school. The school bus driver confiscated the air pistol and called the police.
"Thankfully, a major tragedy was averted by the quick action of the school bus driver," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. "We are asking all school districts across the state to step up protection for Muslim and other minority students in the wake of this incident and because of the wave of racist and anti-Muslim incidents nationwide following the November 8 election."
Hussein added that an early response to bullying incidents can prevent further harm to students.
CAIR-MN is also looking into other recent incidents involving female Muslim students who were allegedly assaulted and had their religious head scarves (hijabs) pulled in Northdale Middle School and St Louis Park High School. Students in St Louis Park reported the incident occurred on November 11 and, to date, no actions have been brought against the student who allegedly committed the assault. School officials have stated there is no evidence of the assault, even after three eyewitnesses reported the incident.
SEE: CAIR-MN Concerned About School's Lack of Response to Assault on Muslim Student
Hussein said his organization is also looking into other recent hate incidents targeting Minnesota students in Blaine High School and Spring Lake Park among others.
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The Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization said that newly-released FBI hate crime statistics showing a 67 percent jump in anti-Muslim incidents in 2015 should push the nation's leaders to repudiate growing Islamophobia.
SEE: CAIR Says FBI Report of Sharp Jump in Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Should Push Nation's Leaders to Reject Islamophobia
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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