A teacher in the U.S. state of Texas reported a mute six-year-old Muslim boy with Down syndrome to the police on suspicion of “terrorism,” leading to his entire family being investigated for terror-related offences.
A police probe was launched after the teacher claimed Mohammad Suleiman was repeating “Allah” and “boom” in the classroom.
His parents said the accusation is impossible given that Mohammad “doesn’t speak at all” and has “the mental capacity of a one-year-old.”
Mohammed’s father, Maher Suleiman, told Fox 26 news: “Mohammad was born with Down syndrome Chromosome 21. He needs care all the time.
“They claim that he’s a terrorist. This is so stupid, this is discrimination actually. It’s not implied discrimination, it’s a hundred percent discrimination.”
Now that his family have been cleared of any terrorist activity, Mr Suleiman added his family went through “hell”.
He said: “The last three weeks, four weeks, have been the hardest of my life.
“A few days ago, I told my family ‘Okay, everything is fine’.”
But although his ordeal is over, Mr Suleiman claims discrimination is at play.
The teacher was covering for a regular member of staff at the CJ Harris Elementary School when he made the call.
A spokesperson for the district education authority said it was unable to release information on individual students due to privacy laws.
The Pearland Police Department said it has concluded its investigation and found no need for further action.
But the region’s Child Protective Services department said its investigation is ongoing.
Islamophobia has been on the rise in the U.S. in the past several years, boosted by the election of Donald Trump as president and his divisive rhetoric, as well as the media bias against Islam and Muslims.
According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), “the number of hate crimes in the first half of 2017 spiked 91 percent compared to the same period in 2016.”