Advertisement Close

Feds May Look into Attack on Ann Arbor Muslims

posted on: Oct 7, 2009

The attorney for two Muslim teens attacked last month aboard a school bus is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to step in after Washtenaw County prosecutors decided not to file ethnic intimidation charges in the case.

The girl, 16, and her brother, 15, were attacked Sept. 8 after they left Skyline High School.

They said the incident began aboard a school bus and escalated after they got off the bus several blocks from their home.

The girl said a group of black teens removed her hijab, a traditional head scarf, and yelled ethnic slurs at her and her brother before punching her. The girl suffered a black eye and said she required stitches to the top of her head. Neither teen is being identified.

The prosecutor’s office said it found no evidence the attack was motivated by their ethnicity.

“We did not feel there was sufficient evidence to justify prosecution for that based on information that was gathered by the Ann Arbor Police Department,” said Steven Hiller, the deputy chief assistant prosecutor for the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office.

The girl’s attorney, Nabih Ayad, expressed outraged over the prosecutor’s decision.

Ayad said the case “is clear” that the girl was a victim of a hate crime and said he will be filing a civil lawsuit.

Dawud Walid, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Michigan, said his office “will be closely monitoring the outcome of the court proceedings as well as any possible involvement in this matter by the U.S. Department of Justice.”

The four attackers will still face juvenile civil charges, Hiller said. He would not elaborate on what punishment they may receive.

Orlander Brand-Williams
The Detroit News