When thirteen year old Faiza Osman went to school, it was a normal day in the eighth grade at Shiloh Middle School in Snellville, Georgia. She came to school with her books and homework just like every other student and sat in her science class, just like every other student. But on that particular day, Osman’s teacher asked her a question different from any other student. The teacher wondered if she had a bomb in her bag.
Osman said that she could hear other students in the class gasp and that it was one of her fellow students who raised his hand and asked if the teacher understood how offensive the remark was.
Her father, Abdirizak Aden, explained to a local television station that he came to the United States from Somalia and the family is practicing Muslims. “I was upset,” Aden told their local newspaper. He even thought about taking her out of the school entirely. “She said she was joking. Then I said to her, ‘Do you know what’s going on in America? You’re not supposed to joke like this,” Aden explained to the television station.
What Aden is referring to are the constant implications that anyone of Muslim faith is a terrorist. According to new data from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University (CSU), there has been a significant increase in hate crimes against Muslim Americans and mosques in the wake of the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.
Director of the center, Brian Levin, wrote that the general monthly average in the last five years has been 12.6, but since those recent events that number has spiked to a minimum of thirty-seven suspected hate crimes per month. Eleven of those came in the week following the San Bernardino shooting.
Certainly, Islamophobia coming from the Republican presidential candidates in prime-time television aren’t really helping either. It’s sad that this is what we’ve become. It’s pathetic that republicans are all for religious freedom unless the religion isn’t theirs. This racism is causing hate to bubble up and run over.
Feature image via video capture.