Sydney, 1 Dzulhijjah 1436/15 September 2015 (MINA) – Reflecting a deep-rooted Islamophobia in the 14th anniversary of 9/11, a Muslim student has been asked whether he was trying to imitate those involved in the 2001 US attacks, after going to school free dress sports day while donning a traditional Islamic garb.
The Queensland education department said it was “aware of a complaint arising from free dress day at Runcorn state high school,” the Guardian reported on Monday, September 14. OnIslam.net quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
“As a consequence, the principal is working with the family, school community and cultural leaders to ensure all concerns are resolved.
“The school wants to ensure all students feel accepted and supported at school,” Queensland education department added.
The education department made these comments after the Islamic Council of Queensland (ICQ) filed a complaint with the Queensland anti-discrimination commissioner over abuse faced by a Muslim student.
Last Thursday, a 16-year-old boy at Runcorn state high school in Brisbane was asked by teacher whether he was trying to imitate 9/11 attackers when he wore long Islamic gown over his sports uniform at a “free dress” event.
When sent to school Principal Roger Atkins, the student was told that he was dressing “inappropriately.”
Moreover, he was asked to return home to get his attire changed.
The ICQ spokesman said the school principal had conceded in a meeting with the council representatives after the incident that “in hindsight, he should have done things differently.”
However, Atkins denied the teacher made the comment and refused to apologize to the family.
The Muslim student would provide his account of the incident in a complaint file by the ICQ to state anti-discrimination commissioner Kevin Cocks.
Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.
In post 9/11-era, Australian Muslims have been haunted with suspicion and have had their patriotism questioned.
A recent national survey has found that a quarter of Australian population has a negative attitude towards Muslims, amid increasing racial attacks against the religious minority.
The survey found that people over 65 and educated to year 11 are the most likely to be highly intolerant towards Muslims, unlike young people, between 18 and 44, who have the least negative opinion.
Last February, an Australian Muslim woman was named the 2015 Queensland Young Australian of the year, in recognition of her work in leading a successful youth project for years. (T/P007/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)