A new lawsuit filed Friday in Brooklyn Federal Court charges that a 10-year-old Brooklyn boy was called a “terrorist” and banned from boarding a bus when he recited a Muslim prayer in Arabic after losing his MetroCard.
According to the family’s lawyer, Hyder Naqvi, the boy was trying to board a bus home from school in Sheepshead Bay in October 2012 when he realized he’d lost his MetroCard. He recited the following prayer in Arabic as he searched for, and found, his card: “I stand in the name of God the most merciful, the most beneficent.” After hearing him do so, the driver became angry, called the boy a “terrorist,” and slammed the door shut.
MTA representatives met with the family after the incident but the family was never given much information nor were they given identity of the driver. According to Naqvi, they decided at that point “to seek counsel.” The family is suing the agency and the driver for unspecified damages.
According to both the New York Daily News and the New York Post, a spokesperson for the MTA has declined to comment on the lawsuit.