Georgia Muslims report surge in verbal assaults, threats

Muslim teacher threatened by Dacula HS student

ATLANTA, Ga – A Georgia Muslim advocacy group is planning to announce a series of initiatives designed to counter what they say is a surge in bullying and threats against their community.

"Since Election Day, we have seen a spike in verbal assaults on Georgia Muslims and other minorities, particularly within school systems," said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Georgia chapter.

The organization is set to announce the initiatives on Wednesday morning, which include a hotline that Georgia Muslims can use to report incidents of bullying, harassment and discrimination; a series of private security seminars that include self-defense tips and active shooter seminars; and community outreach programs.

“We get reports of hate speech every once in a while, but last week, across the country, we saw a surge of incidents,” said Mitchell. “And there’s no question these are connected to the election.

"We may have a new president, but we do not have a new Constitution," he said. "This is still America. Every bigot who thinks otherwise should know that their harassment only strengthens our resolve to proudly and publicly practice our faith while building bridges with our neighbors."

One such incident involved a Dacula High School teacher, who said she was threatened by a student because of her headscarf.

Mairah Teli posted a note to her Facebook page on Friday in which an anonymous student allegedly wrote, "Your headscarf isn't allowed anymore. Why don't you tie it around your neck...and hang yourself with it...on your neck instead of your head!"

On Monday, Teli said she and her family were declining any other comments on the incident, and asked local and national media to respect her family’s privacy.

Mitchell said no actual criminal incidents against Muslims have been reported.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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