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US police investigating beating of teenage Muslim girl in Florida

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A sheriff’s office, in Florida, has said that it is looking into the beating of a Muslim teenage girl by three other girls after a video of the incident was posted on Facebook.

Spokesperson for the County, Teri Barbara clarified that the law enforcement authorities were working with officials from the school to investigate the beating of the 14-year-old Muslim teenager. She also added that charges into the case could be filed.

“Thursday’s fight may have been over a boy and not religion,” Barbara said, but did not elaborate further.

The incident took place at a park near the West Boca High School which the Muslim girl attends.

The media are keeping the name of the Muslim family involved in the incident secret in order to protect their identity.

The father of the Muslim girl had earlier posted the video of the incident on his Facebook page, alleging that his daughter had been assaulted because she is s Muslim.

Attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations Florida Omar Saleh said Friday that he held a brief conversation with the girl’s mother, who said her daughter was receiving medical treatment.

Barbera said the Muslim girl and one of the other teens, who attends a rival high school, had agreed to meet at the park. The Muslim girl thought the meeting was to discuss an ongoing dispute between the two, while the other girl believed they were meeting to fight.

In the 53-second video that has since gone viral on the internet, one teen pulls the Muslim girl by the hair and drags her to the ground. She starts hitting the Muslim girl, who curls into a fetal position and covers her head.

Other teens start screaming in apparent glee and use their cellphones to videotape the fight. Two other girls join the fight, kneeling on the girl as they throw punches at her. A fourth girl briefly tries to intercede, but one girl keeps swinging.

One of the three girls then pulls the Muslim teen’s hair to flip her onto her back, the video shows. The beating continues.

The video stops, then resumes with the Muslim teen standing. One of the three girls charges and again uses the Muslim teen’s hair to pull her to the ground. She hits her several times before she is pulled off. Throughout the video, the Muslim girl is never seen throwing a punch.

Palm Beach County School Superintendent Robert Avossa said in a statement that he is “saddened by this senseless violence” and disappointed that the students who videotaped the beating didn’t come to the girl’s aid.

“As a community, we cannot ever get to a place where we are passive bystanders of such acts. We must expect more from one another and certainly, I expect more from our students,” he said.



Ref:  The Express Tribune

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