A 10-year-old boy who thought he’d lost his Metro Card was kicked off a city bus when he said a quick prayer in Arabic to help him find it. Now the boy’s family is suing the driver of the bus and New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority for discrimination.
The suit alleges that when he heard the Muslim boy speaking to himself in Arabic, the bus driver, who has not been named publicly, called the boy a “terrorist,” told him to get off the bus, slammed the bus door and left him stranded.
“He was two days shy of turning 11 when this happened, but he’s old enough to know what it feels like to be discriminated against,” Hyder Naqvi, the attorney on the case, told the New York Daily News.
The boy is not named in the suit, in accordance with New York rules regarding minors, but he is referred to by his initials C.S. The lawsuit was filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, over the incident which allegedly took place in Sheepshead Bay during October of last year.
The boy was about to take the bus home from school. When he got on board he realized that he couldn’t find his Metro Card, the pre-paid pass used on public transportation in New York City. So he said a quick prayer to help him.
In English, the prayer says, “I stand in the name of God the most merciful, the most beneficent.” The prayer is commonly uttered in difficult situations.
The MTA sent representatives to meet with the boy’s family after hearing of the incident, but they never revealed the name of the driver on the bus. That’s when the family got a lawyer.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for civil rights violations and religious discrimination.