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Teen brandishes knife after Islamophobic abuse at Scottish school

27th Sep 2013

teen brandishes knife after islamophobic abuse at school

[Hassaan Mansoor, 17, 'flipped' out after continues Islamphobic and racist bullying]

 

By Elham Asaad Buaras

 

A Muslim teenager was spared jail for threatening a fellow student with a knife after Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard how he finally “flipped” after being subjected to a series of Islamophobic and racist taunts.

17 year-old Hassaan Mansoor, snapped last winter following abuse from bullies at Garnock Academy who branded him a “terrorist”.

Mansoor, of Howat Crescent in Irvine, was warned that because his mother wore a hijab she would be stabbed if she came to school.

Mansoor, the only Muslim at 1300-pupil academy, was spared jail on September 6 and given a year’s supervision and told to serve 130 hours of unpaid work.

Mansoor said: “The abuse had been going on for so long but nobody did anything about it.

“I said sorry to the boy right after I took the multi-tool out of my pocket. I’m sorry for what I did and it’s the only time I’ve ever been in trouble. It was totally out of character and it only happened because of what they had been doing to me for so long. I went to another school after that and the abuse stopped.”

The court heard that his knife threat came after “prolonged and horrific racist bullying” in the classroom and canteen.

Mansoor said students would ask if he carried a bomb in his bag after they had heard rumours saying that was why the school alarm went off.

He eventually turned on one of his tormentors in December 2012 after school authorities ignored his complaints about racism and bullying.

A spokesperson for North Ayrshire Council told The Muslim News: “We wholeheartedly refute this untrue and unfair misrepresentation of the school community.

“Prior to the incident in question, the pupil had only ever reported one occasion where an unacceptable remark had been made and, on that occasion, the school took immediate action to fully resolve the matter.”

“Garnock Academy – in common with all other North Ayrshire schools – educates pupils, staff and the wider community to understand and be tolerant of religious belief and cultural diversity, and to encourage this in others.”

Aamer Anwar, defending, said: “In this situation we were dealing with a young man in a school which failed to take any action when it was aware of racism.

“Secondly, the school actually aggravated the situation and most of the time was simply unaware of what was happening.

“On a daily basis he was subjected to abuse because of his religion or the colour of his skin but thought if he complained it would make matters worse. He was subjected to repeated intimidation and abuse, including being called Al Qaeda, terrorist and Paki black b*****d, and this led to his becoming even more isolated at school.”

The lawyer added: “He was repeatedly told that his religion was s**t and humiliated in front of other pupils. On each and every occasion no one intervened. He did not retaliate, which emboldened the bullies and increased the casual racism. As he was pushed to the limits to react he thought of fighting back but stopped from doing so as he knew he would be excluded and bring shame upon his family.”

Mansoor had been working on his family’s new home and still had a bladed multi-tool in the pocket of his winter coat when he went to school next day.

After suffering further taunts he brandished the tool at a 16-year-old boy, apologising immediately after.

Police statements taken from witnesses after the incident confirmed racial abuse against him took place.

Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane said she would not be sending him to prison “based on what I heard at the last hearing”.

She added: “You presented a knife to someone at school, which is unacceptable in any shape or form.”

Describing the school authorities as being “in denial”, Anwar added: “We have heard of no action or even an investigation against these thugs who tormented this young man on a daily basis.

“What is sad is that, while Hassan has been punished, those who committed criminal acts against him are free to carry on.”

Mansoor transferred to Greenwood Academy in Dreghorn after the incident and is now going to college.

 

One Response to “Teen brandishes knife after Islamophobic abuse at Scottish school”

Iftikhar AhmadSeptember 27, 2013

There have been almost 1,300 racist incidents in Scottish schools in the past two years, according to figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats.

The party submitted Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to local councils and received responses from three-quarters of them.

The findings, for 2011 and 2012, showed 730 racist incidents reported in primary schools and 544 in secondary’s.

The Scottish government said racism in schools would not be tolerated.

There were a total of 1,274 racist incidents reported at schools in 2011 and 2012.

Of these, 667 were recorded in 2011, with the number falling to 607 in 2012.

‘Reality check’

The figures showed Edinburgh City Council recorded 279 racist incidents in primary schools over the two years, with a further 114 incidents in secondary schools in the capital.

Scotland’s largest council, Glasgow City Council, was among the local authorities which did not provide the information requested.

Scottish Lib Dem education spokesman Liam McArthur said the statistics showed Scotland still had “a long way to go” in tackling racism.

He called on ministers to look again at how youngsters were taught about racism and prejudice.

He added: “We all want to see a fairer society where everyone has the chance to get on in life regardless of their racial or ethnic background.

“Over the past five years we have made real progress in tackling racism but the fact that progress seems to have stalled is a concern.

“I do not doubt the commitment of ministers and teachers to battling racism, but these new figures show that we have a long way to go.”

He said the figures should act as a “reality check ” and addressing these issues should start with education.

“There is a real case for looking again at how we talk to children and young people about racism and teach them that prejudice – in whatever form – is simply not acceptable,” Mr McArthur said.

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: “Racist behaviour or bullying is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in any Scottish schools.

“We expect councils and schools to tackle racist behaviour where it does occur.

“Under Curriculum for Excellence pupils will learn about different cultures and beliefs and materials to support teachers in this area are available from Education Scotland.”
IA
http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

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