6-year-old Muslim child with Downs reported to police

28th Dec 2017

Harun Nasrullah

According to media reports a substitute teacher in C J Harris Elementary School in Pearland, Texas, US, called the police because she feared a Muslim boy with Down syndrome was a terrorist.

Mohammad Suleiman, 6, was reported after his teacher called the police and told them that the boy kept repeating the words “Allah” and “boom.”

The incident prompted both a Pearland Police Department and Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation into the family. The police department says that it has concluded its investigation and has found no need to take further action, while the CPS department says its investigation is ongoing.

Pearland Independent School District refused to disclose the details of the incident, however in a statement to The Muslim News the school has denied media reports the child was reported due to his faith; fears that the child would commit a terrorist act and that “The substitute teacher was not involved in any way with this report to the police.”

However, Mohammad’s father, Maher, insisted the incident was discriminatory as his son has Down’s syndrome chromosome 21 is mute and has the mental capacity of a one-year-old.

“This is so stupid, it’s discrimination. Actually, it’s not implied discrimination, it’s actual discrimination. The last three to four weeks have been the hardest of my life, my wife and kids were crying a few days ago and I told them everything is fine,” he said.

A spokesman for the District said, “The reasons for the report to the police are serious and were legally required of the individual making the report – but those reasons cannot be revealed by the school’s District – without compromising student, family, employee confidentiality laws.”

“While we understand the police department may have referred this matter to Child Protective Services, we are bound by the same restrictions as are CPS officials with regard to the release of information,” the District added.

Executive Director for the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Mustafaa Carroll, said, “It’s unbelievable. I just don’t get it, it’s hard. You want to be pretty balanced in these types of things – but this is just outrageous.”

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