Jihadi indicted for forcibly cutting Sikh boy’s hair

published on March 15, 2008

Teen indicted for forcibly cutting Sikh boy’s hair
Source Link: http://indiapost.com/article/usnews/2246/

NEW
YORK: The trial of Umair Ahmed, who has been indicted for forcibly
cutting the hair of a Sikh classmate in May last year, began in a
Queens Court on Feb 29. Ahmed, 17, has been indicted on a total of nine
charges, four of which are hate crimes.

The incident in
question occurred on May 24, 2007, at Newtown High School in Queens,
New York, according to a police deposition. The victim, whose name is
not being released in order to protect his identity, was allegedly
approached by Ahmed, who declared, “I have to cut your hair.” After the
victim explained to his would-be assailant that cutting hair was
against his religion, the latter showed signs of becoming violent, and
threatened to punch the victim with a ring.

Feeling
threatened by Ahmed’s behavior and the fact that Ahmed was wielding the
ring and a pair of scissors, the Sikh student feared for his safety and
followed his attacker’s instructions to go to the bathroom with him. It
was in the bathroom where Ahmed allegedly forced the victim to remove
his turban, which he wore over his then-unshorn hair, and then
proceeded to cut the Sikh boy’s hair after threatening physical harm.

The
hair was thrown into the toilet and onto the floor by the attacker.
After the incident, the United Sikhs worked with the victim and his
family to relocate the child to another school due to the fact that his
original school claimed they could not guarantee his safety. Kesh, or
unshorn hair, is a Sikh article of faith that is obligatory for a Sikh
to keep at all times.

“Cutting a Sikh’s hair is an attack, not
only on a Sikh as a person, but also an attack on their faith,”
commented
Jaspreet Singh, Staff Attorney for United Sikhs. Ahmed was indicted in
September of 2007 by a grand jury that added the four additional hate
crime charges. Currently, Ahmed is being charged with the following
counts.

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