- Teenage refugee seen attacked in a viral video reveals he has settled into a new home in the Midlands.
- When the teenager and his family relocated to the UK, he says it was school that felt like dangerous territory.
HUDDERSFIELD, West Yorkshire – A young Syrian refugee, bullied at school in the UK, is planning to set up an anti-bullying charity with a GoFundMe campaign he set up has raised more than £158,000.
“When the video came out, I felt ashamed and was scared of people coming to my home and doing something,” the 15-year-old Syrian refugee, known only as Jamal, told Huffington Post.
“I was threatened with being stabbed and I would wake up crying after having dreams about people stabbing me.
“Then when Tommy Robinson made accusations on video saying I’d hurt girls at the school, I was so scared people might listen to him and believe him even though it wasn’t true.
“I was terrified of someone hurting me or my family.”
The incident happened at Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield in October and led to widespread condemnation when footage was circulated on social media and viewed millions of times.
Eventually, footage of Jamal being ‘waterboarded’ by a bully was shared on social media resulting in the outrage, and the subsequent outcry.
The online footage of the assault led to an outpouring of support for the Syrian teenager and a GoFundMe page was launched which raised more than £158,000.
“I did not ask for the money. I just wanted support and for the bullying to stop,” Jamal said.
“It wasn’t me who posted the video online – it was one of the bullies. But I am very grateful for all the money people raised. It made me realize there are good people and the world is not just about bullying.”
Jamal says he plans to start an anti-bullying charity as he believes there are a lot of bullied children suffering in silence.
“After I get the money, I am going to make a charity for children who are being bullied as I want to help them.
“The charity will be for everyone – for people of all colors, races, and religions. I feel people should respect everyone and accept them for who they are, even if they are different from them.
“I want to set the charity up in Huddersfield and want people to help me do it.
“I want people to know they are not alone and that I will stand up for them if they are being bullied.”
According to a 2014 census, the total population of Muslims in the United Kingdom was estimated to be 3,114,992.
Statistics from MEND show that 1 in 3 Britons admits being racially prejudiced. Whether this translates to direct or indirect abuse and mistreatment is a subject for discussion.