BOSTON – An elementary school student who received threatening notes in her classroom. A congressional candidate who dealt with anti-Islam political flyers during her campaign. And a mother who was subjected to an invasive airport search.
Those and many other cases from 2018 are highlighted in a new report released Wednesday by the Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the state’s largest Islamic advocacy organization.
The goal of the report is to educate the public about the abuses local Muslims are facing while also encouraging people to step forward if they’re dealing with similar issues, said Barbara Dougan, the group’s civil rights director.
“The perpetrators and haters are emboldened,” she said. “The level of aggression toward women is especially troubling. Muslim women who wear hijabs are shouldering the greatest burden of the physical violence and harassment.”
Among the prominent cases highlighted was one involving a fifth-grader at Hemenway Elementary School in Framingham who received two notes in her classroom storage bin — one calling her a terrorist and the other threatening her with death. The incident prompted an outpouring of support from across the country as some 500 people sent letters of encouragement to the young student as part of a campaign promoted by the council.