Bullying of Muslim Girls at Home and Abroad

Jenny Erikson

muslim head scarfA 12-year-old Staten Island boy has been charged with assault as a hate crime for taunting, beating up on, and attempting to rip the headscarf off of a female classmate. Osman Daramy and an unnamed accomplice demanded to know if the girl was Muslim, and when she told them to leave her alone, he punched and kicked her.

The attacks continued for months, until the girl had enough and reported the abuse to the assistant principal of her school, who then reported it to the police. The underage troublemaker is being held without bail for a third-degree assault as a hate crime. In addition to his abuse of this girl, Osman apparently enjoyed treating his peers like garbage -- he’s already been suspended three times this year, and just this week cut a chunk of hair off another female classmate’s head.

Osman’s father, Frank Davies, claims his son is a victim, and that ‘they’ are out to get him because he himself is a Muslim and African-American. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the kid’s malicious and hateful treatment of his peers.

The adolescent hooligan is being held without bail, and due to his juvenile status, the case will be handled in Family Court.

This case is being handled in a dramatically different manner than if the crimes had occurred in some parts of the Middle East. Earlier this year, 14-year-old Hena Akhter was sentenced (illegally) in Bangladesh to the punishment of 101 lashes for the crime of being raped by a male cousin her father’s age. She dropped after 70 and died later that week from her injuries.

Sharia law has been outlawed for years in many Muslim countries, but it is still practiced regularly in many rural areas. Authority figures like the doctor that reported no injuries and cited Hena’s death as a suicide on her autopsy report allow the practice of Sharia to continue.

Sharia is not kind to women. Rape victims are routinely brutalized. Women are beaten simply for dating non-Muslim men. Fathers lock their daughters in closets for four months as punishment for sitting next to a boy at lunch.

Knowing the atrocities committed against Muslim women in other parts of the world, I am grateful to live in a country where there is justice for females. No girl of any religion should ever have to fear punishment for the crime of existing.

I hope that whatever punishment Osman Daramy receives for his mistreatment of his peers is enough to make him knock it off. If not ... well, that’s why we have a criminal justice system.


Image via Funkdooby/flickr

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