As the investigation continues into a fight between two teens at a Pittsburgh-area school that was recorded on cell-phone video, Islamic activists want what happened to be looked at as a hate crime.
This viral video has garnered national attention.
It shows an altercation between two Chartiers Valley students inside a school bathroom.
You can see the girl in the light purple hoodie lunge toward the other girl wearing a headscarf and begins punching her, saying you’re lucky you’re from another language, I would crush you.
“It was a one-sided beatdown. But it was pre-planned and that is very obvious. You don’t start videos rolling before anything happens,” Safdar Kwhaja said, whose on the Council for American-Islamic Relations.
Leaders from the civil rights group the Council for American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, are now calling for the fight to be investigated as a hate crime.
“It was terrible to see,” Wasi Mohamed said.
Wasi Mohamed is the Executive Director of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh.
He said the video was brought up in a previously-scheduled meeting with the FBI Greater Pittsburgh Civil Rights Working Group.
Released in the meeting, Pittsburgh’s findings that over a 10-year period, the city averaged 19 hate crime incidents a year and eight violent ethnic intimidation incidents per year.
Despite numbers remaining steady, Mohamed says we have to look deeper than the data.
“Those statistics are missing a lot of data,” said Mohamed. “The statistics don’t tell the story. Talking to the communities tell the story. Say this incidence of bullying wasn’t caught on camera, this would not be a story. And this is a very typical thing that happens across the country.”
Police originally said they did not believe the incident was racially motivated.
The school district says it does not condone violence and is working closely with police during the investigation.
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