A Brooklyn family is suing New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority for discrimination after a bus driver allegedly called their 10-year-old son a “terrorist” and denied him entry for chanting a Muslim prayer in Arabic.
The boy, now 12, is suing for civil rights violations and religious discrimination. Here’s what New York Daily News reported earlier this week:
The unidentified plaintiff was searching for his MetroCard as the B36 Bus pulled up on Sheepshead Bay Road last October, according to the suit, filed Friday in Brooklyn Federal Court.
He began reciting a Muslim prayer: “I stand in the name of God the most merciful, the most beneficent,” the suit states. The driver became alarmed, called the boy a “terrorist” and slammed the door shut, the boy’s lawyer, Hyder Naqvi, told the Daily News.
“The driver said ‘Get off!’” and used the T-word,” Naqvi said, referring to the word “terrorist.”
The lawyer said the boy was so hurt afterwards that he was didn’t want to use public transportation, but later he became angry and is resolved to right the wrong.
“He was two days shy of turning 11 when this happened, but he’s old enough to know what it feels like to be discriminated against,” Naqvi said.
Due to the boy’s age his identity has been kept confidential, with court documents referring to him by his initials, “C.S.” According to The Raw Story the boy has been able to identify the driver.
The boy told his parents what had happened after he got home, and they met with representatives from the MTA.
The transit authorities showed the family photos of various drivers to help identify him, but they said they were never told who he was.
The suit claims religious discrimination and civil-rights damages, and the family is seeking unspecified damages from the agency and the driver.
The MTA has declined to comment on the investigation. The boy’s parents had previously filed a complaint directly to the MTA that led to an internal investigation but they were never notified of its results.