Mohammad Akif is 15 years old, he was beaten up by a group of unsupervised thugs in a corridor at Linwood College on Tuesday, the assault was said to have been captured by security cameras. He suffered a fractured cheekbone and various cuts and bruises in the attack. See Cameras capture racist attack
He’d only attending the Christchurch school for for two weeks and perhaps hadn’t yet honed the skilled avoidance tactics that many immigrant children adopt. Racist taunts such as “curry chicken“, “black Indian“, “Indian boy” were also hurled at him but this probably wasn’t the first time he’d heard those words spoken by those children.
His mother told The Press that this wasn’t the first time her son had been the victim of racist abuse at the school and that other children in the Indian community had been bullied too.
The ironic thing is that Mohammad Akif and his family had moved to New Zealand to escape the violence of Suva where their home had been broken into several times by people with weapons. What on earth lead them to think that New Zealand was any safer? Only last month Ryotaro Wright was dumped on his head by 4 racist bullies at Forest View High School and needed surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. He’d been called a “whale muncher”.
Attacks on Indian people have happened many time in New Zealand, the situation got so bad for Indian students in Invercargill last year that mayor, Tim Shadbolt and chief executive of the Southland Institute of Technology Penny Simmonds arranged a meeting with local skinheads in an attempt to smooth things over. See Indian students subjected to racial abuse in New Zealand
Indian nationals in Auckland have also suffered from racist attacks: Nitesh Khanna was attacked on his way to work and Sunil Sharma (named changed) told DNAIndia that he often suffered racial abuse but felt powerless to do anything about it. See Now Indians face racism in Kiwiland. and “members of Indian community face far too much abuse“
A few days ago a study by Debbie Kohner was published and it showed that a staggering 90% of non-European people surveyed in the Nelson and Tasmin area had suffered racial abuse of one form or another. See Survey on racial abuse in Nelson and Tasmin.
School bullying second worst in world
For some time now it’s been acknowledged that New Zealand is the second worst country in the world for school bullying and that is reflective of a “punitive culture” within the country. See NZ scores second worst in world for bullying in schools. Combine that culture with overt, pig headed and insensitive racism in kids and it’s a recipe for disaster, as Ryotaro and Mohammed have found out to their cost.
Our sympathies go out to Mohammad Akif, we hope he makes a full recovery from his ordeal.