A Somali Muslim high school student, Sanaa Beaufort, covered from head to toe in offensive Islamic full bodybag attire, says she was jumped in school during the ‘holy month of Ramadan’ in Montgomery County, PA. The Muslim claims her hijab was ripped off her head by two other female students yet she was the one who got a 10-day suspension, not her alleged attackers. All three are now facing criminal charges.
The Mercury Timothy Welbeck, CAIR-Philadelphia’s civil rights attorney, who is representing Ms. Beaufort, spoke at the rally, where he said:
“We are deeply disappointed by the decision to pursue criminal charges against Ms. Beaufort. We have maintained from the beginning that our client is the victim in this incident, and our system should protect her rather than vilify her. We will do all in our power to vigorously fight against these charges.”
Demonstrators called upon District Attorney Kevin R. Steele to not charge Beaufort, who supporters maintained was attacked by two students in the school cafeteria on May 4, during which her hijab was forcibly removed in the fight and she was made to walk through the hall without her hijab.
CAIR-Philadelphia, the group representing North Penn High School junior Sanaa Beaufort, said that she was targeted by two other students specifically due to her ethnicity. CAIR alleged further violation of her rights because her hijab was forcibly removed in the fight, and school officials made her walk through the halls without it on.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said that the investigation showed that all three girls “were mutually engaged in and responsible for the fight.” All three have been charged with the same misdemeanor count of mutual combat assault. Steele added that his office reviewed the totality of the Towamencin Police Department’s investigation “and found no evidence that racial or religious bias motivated this fight.
Welbeck claimed no charges have formally been filed against Beaufort “but the process has begun,” adding Beaufort had to present herself at the Towamencin Township Police Department on Monday to be fingerprinted and photographed.