Muslim boy thrown off city bus for saying prayer, court docs allege

A little boy, 10 years old at the time, was thrown off a city bus for saying a prayer in Arabic when he couldn't find his MetroCard, court papers allege. Credit: Daniel Barry/Getty Images
A little boy, 10 years old at the time, was thrown off a city bus for saying a prayer in Arabic when he couldn’t find his MetroCard, court papers allege.
Credit: Daniel Barry/Getty Images

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is facing a lawsuit from a Muslim Arab-American boy who says he was kicked off a city bus about a year ago by a driver who called him a terrorist.

The boy’s name is being withheld due to his age. The lawyer representing him, Hyder A. Naqvi, said the family declined to speak publicly about the experience.

The boy was 10 years old at the time of the incident, and was on his way home from school, Naqvi said. He was boarding a B36 city bus in Brooklyn and couldn’t find his MetroCard. Fumbling around in his pockets and searching through his wallet, he murmured a prayer in Arabic that is said when looking for lost things, Naqvi said.

That’s when the bus driver lost it, Naqvi said. He screamed at the boy, calling him a terrorist and ordering him to get off the bus. The boy still had one foot on the first step of the bus when the driver slammed the door shut on him.

The boy went home “obviously upset,” Naqvi said. But the boy, who Naqvi described as “very mature for a kid that age,” went online and filed a complaint with the MTA.

“He was old enough at the time to know what discrimination was, and he now unfortunately knows what it feels like,” Naqvi said.

Naqvi said MTA officials brought the boy and his parents into their office. He told them what happened and described the driver, whose name he didn’t know. Naqvi said he believes the boy was even shown an array of photos of possible drivers.

The MTA promised they were conducting an investigation, but ultimately never gave the boy or his family any information about the results of the investigation or the name of the bus driver.

Because the MTA has refused to disclose the name of the bus driver, the lawsuit names the transit authority and “John Doe” as the respondents.

Naqvi said the boy has had trouble going back to school, being in school, and taking public transportation since the ugly incident with the bus driver.

The suit is asking for unspecified monetary damages and mandated sensitivity training for MTA employees.

The MTA declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.