British School Officials Questioned a Muslim Boy About ISIS For Comments About Ecoterrorism

His parents are pursuing legal action against the school.

Image by Flickr user Alamosbasement.

In the U.S., a Muslim schoolboy named Ahmed Mohamed was arrested and questioned by authorities after he brought a clock to school. But across the Atlantic, in North London, another Muslim schoolboy suffered similar treatment at the hands of school officials when he had made the mistake of talking about ecoterrorism in his French class. According to The Guardian, the young 14-year old was reportedly contributing to a conversation about how people use violence to protect the planet. But the boy set off some really sensitive alarm bells when he accurately identified the concept as ecoterrorism.

A few days later, he found himself removed from class and shuttled off to an “Inclusion centre”, where he was questioned by a child protection officer about ISIS, or the Islamic State. His parents were not called to accompany him.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” he told The Guardian. “They said there had been safety concerns raised. If you are taken out of French class and asked about Isis, it is quite scary. My heart skipped a beat.”

His parents are pursuing legal action against the school, arguing that the their son had been mistreated by officials because he was Muslim. The U.K. has been a frightful battleground for Muslims in the past few years, as Met Police figures reveal that Islamophobic hate crimes have risen in the past year by a staggering 70 percent. Earlier this month, a Muslim woman who wears the hijab was beaten unconscious by a man who was yelling, “you people are killing Christians in the Middle East!” Footage of the attack went viral, evidencing the sharp increase in Islamophobia in the U.K. and Europe.

The school has declined answering any questions about their treatment of the boy. They did, however, release this statement:

“The safeguarding and the wellbeing of our young people is our primary concern. The school is confident that its safeguarding policies and the work of the professionals in the operation of these policies are proportionate, justified and place the wellbeing of the child to the fore. We do not comment on confidential matters relating to individual young people.”

It appears to have been lost on the school officials that interrogating a young boy on such tenuous grounds, without his parents present, is, in fact, harmful to his emotional and psychological well-being. But it’s clear that, as a Muslim, these teachers do not consider him an equal member of the student body and does not qualify for the same “safeguards” to which other students are entitled.

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