NORTH CAROLINA – For Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani wife and kids, the America of Donald Trump is not a place they wish to live in.
The wife and three sons left the US for Pakistan after her 7-year-old boy was beaten by five students on a school bus, called names and kicked for being a Muslim.
“These are six and seven year old kids calling him names, with one kid punching him in the face, while two other kids attacked him, kicked him, and held his arms back,” Usmani told BuzzFeed of his son on Tuesday, October 11.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, issued a statement Monday calling for a probe into the incident, which occurred Friday afternoon on a bus traveling from Weatherstone.
The boy is an American citizen of Pakistani heritage, according to the organization.
Five students on the bus talked about Islam, Muslims and Pakistan, and the boy was punched in the face, had his arm twisted and was kicked in the stomach, the boy’s father reportedly told the group.
After the attack on his son, Usmani wrote in Facebook “Welcome to the United States of America of Donald Trump,” in a post showing his son’s arm in a sling.
He described his traumatized son “as American as you can get.”
“They keep beating him all the way from school to home on the bus,” Usmani said of the ride home from Weatherstone Elementary School in Cary, North Carolina.
The principal at Weatherstone Elementary School in Cary has done an initial investigation and hopes to speak with the student’s family, Wake County schools spokeswoman Lisa Luten said Monday.
“[The principal] interviewed seven students sitting near this child, and none of the students, nor the bus driver, witnessed any type of altercation or incident,” Luten said.
Speaking about allegation of discrimination based on religion or race, she added, “When [the family] originally shared the information, they didn’t share any info about religion or race, and just that their child was bullied.”
The boy’s father, Usmani, first came to the US as a Fulbright Scholar from Pakistan and currently works as a Chief Technology Officer of a Silicon Valley data software company.
“Times are changing and it’s not the America we always thought of and believed in. It’s not the America that I studied in,” Usmani said.
“If Trump wins, America will be great again, but a great that nobody will care about.”
He said that his two elder sons and his family have been the targets of discrimination for years because of their religion and nationality.
The family was also harassed by a neighbor for months because of their religion, and that his other son has been called a terrorist.
A report by CAIR’s California chapter, titled “Mislabeled: The Impact of Bullying and Discrimination on California Muslim Students,” indicated that that more than half of Muslim students in that state have been subject to at least one form of religion-based bullying.
In early October, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed “The Safe Place to Learn Act” — an anti-bullying law that aims to provide schools and teachers with resources to help combat bullying against Muslim, Sikh, or South Asian students.
Usmani said the irony of the alleged discrimination is he has been working to combat the effects of terrorism and has worked with the UN’s Special Envoy for Global Education on a safe school initiative in Pakistan.
Usmani has developed software to “model the effects of suicide bombings” in order to create safer environments and reduce injuries in the event of an explosion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Usmani said his family will stay in Pakistan until after the election to see if Donald Trump is elected to determine if his family feels safe enough to return.
“All of these events, by the neighbors and everything skyrocketed since the beginning of the presidential campaigning last year,” Usmani said.
“That’s why I’m coming back from Pakistan to empty my apartment [in North Carolina] and wait and see what happens.”