By Anthony G. Attrino
The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is urging state public school officials to address the issue of Muslim-student bullying following the harassment of a student at Colonia High School.
"This and other cases of bullies targeting Muslim students points to the need for a statewide review of policies and procedures relating to bullying," CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Students of all faiths and backgrounds must be able to achieve their full potential in a positive learning environment free of harassment and intimidation," Sues said.
Last June, students took photos of high school senior Saira Ali in the cafeteria. The pictures later appeared on Snapchat with the word "Isis" on them.
Woodbridge school officials said they investigated the incident, determined a crime of harassment had been committed and notified local police. Students who took pictures of Ali were disciplined, but investigators were unable to determine who posted the images to social media. The investigation lasted four months.
A 2013 CAIR report documenting bias-based bullying of American Muslim students in California schools revealed that almost half of Muslim students said they had been subjected to some form of bias-based bullying.
According to its literature, 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.