Date :Thursday, November 15th, 2018 | Time : 18:27 |ID: 77892 | Print

10-year-old Muslim girl in Massachusetts receives threatening notes

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SHAFAQNA- Muslim elementary school student has received threatening notes at a school in Massachusetts, and police are investigating death threats as a hate crime.

The family of this 10-year-old Muslim girl says they just want the person responsible to come forward, so they can turn this into a learning experience.

They’re also asking that the school district does what it can to make sure she’s safe at school.

“It’s pretty disgusting,” said Jamaal Siddiqui, who is the girl’s uncle. “Threatening a child for no apparent reason.”

The girl, who is a fifth-grade student at Hemenway Elementary School, is being targeted for being Muslim, he said.

“Last week on Friday my niece received a letter that was left for her in her cubby saying, ‘You are a terrorist’ with her last name,” he said.

But then on Tuesday, it escalated.

When she came back to the classroom, there was a letter stating “I will kill you” and her name,” he said.

Students were asked to be supportive and wrote “kind” letters to the girl, offering words of encouragement, he said.

But after the second note, police were called and a full investigation began.

“We are told that the detective investigating is going through each student’s backpack to see if there is anything that could be dangerous that could harm anyone in the school,” Siddiqui said.

Nothing dangerous was found, but they still don’t know who wrote the note.

“It could be anybody but they have to take measures because we don’t want any incident to occur that could harm anybody,” the girl’s uncle said.

In a second letter to parents, the principal said they’re taking the incident seriously and, “This is a stressful time for our community; it is of the utmost importance that our students are, and feel, safe and respected at school.”

They have no plans to keep the girl from going to school.

“You can’t fall for this because if you start showing that you’re soft, you’re going to let people who are mean (succeed). You have to stand up for yourself,” Siddiqui said.

A noticeable police presence was also seen outside the school Wednesday.

The principal said in the letter to parents that they have set up a box inside the school so that students can leave anonymous messages if they know who wrote the letters, BOSTON25NEWS reported.

The district also said it would be working with the Interfaith Advisory Council on “next steps,” noting “this type of incident is bigger than a school issue – it affects the larger community.”

“While it’s not great to be featured on media right now for a hate issue, I think it presents an opportunity for a bigger conversation in communities across the commonwealth,” he said.

Mr Tremblay told reporters that the hateful notes the Muslim girl received are emblematic of a bigger problem in the US.

The school’s committee board chairman, Adam Freudberg, called the threats a “discriminatory hate crime”, Independent reported.

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