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Another 'Islamophobic Hate Crime' Hoax

It’s a recurring and strange phenomenon: anti-Muslim hate crimes that turn out to be none of those words.

This one was especially egregious and heartbreaking -- or at least that’s the way it seemed. The Huffington Post headlined its story with this:

Islamophobia Just Drove This Boy And His Family Out Of America

There was just one catch: none of it was true. The article began this way:

“I’m done with the U.S.,” Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani’s wife told him on Friday. Seeing her youngest son, just 7 years old, walk off the school bus bruised and battered that afternoon outside their apartment building in Cary, North Carolina, was the final straw.

It seems that the Usmanis’ son, “little Abdul Aziz, a first-grader and the youngest child of Usmani and Binish Bhagwanee, was traumatized.” The trauma came from bullying by his schoolmates that specifically focused upon the boy’s Muslim faith:

[He] told his parents a classmate had tried to force him to eat food that wasn’t halal. When Abdul Aziz refused, five of his classmates ganged up on him, making fun of his name. They punched him in the face, kicked him in the stomach, and twisted his arm while calling him “Muslim” again and again, Usmani said.

Horrible, right?

But there were problems with the story from the beginning. If Usmani’s claim were true -- “They keep beating him all the way from school to home on the bus” -- then the boy would have suffered extensive injuries, and the bus would have been in an uproar, as anyone who has ever ridden a school bus knows. Instead, after an investigation, school officials announced:

No students who were interviewed witnessed an altercation. The bus driver did not witness an altercation. The child did not report to the bus driver any injury.

I don’t know how far young Abdul Aziz lives away from school, but in a photo of him that was released after the supposed attack, the boy has his arm in a sling but otherwise looks happily unscathed. He hardly looks like a boy who has just been beaten all the way home from school. No facial marks whatsoever. Nary a bruise. No black eye. No fat lip. The bullies were strikingly ineffectual -- if they existed at all, and it looks as if they didn’t.