By ANISAH ARIF
Over thousands of people viewed the disturbing video of a young Syrian boy who was strangled and ‘waterboarded’ by another student in Almondbury Community School, Huddersfield when it went viral on social media.
Now, after a fundraising page was set up by a man called Mohammed Tahir, the family of the boy have managed to receive over £150,000 worth of donations.
After the video was shared on social media, it went viral which provoked a flood of sympathy from the public. Donations of £150 – £500 were being made, as well as a £1000 by a man called Tal Fishman to the GoFundMe page that was set up. A total of £158,089 was contributed when the organiser stopped taking any more donations.
The Syrian family are refugees who came to the UK two years ago. The boy is said to have been a victim of bullying since then.
The family’s lawyer, Mohammed Akunjee of Farooq Bajwa & Co said his firm would work with GoFundMe to get the money to them.
However, not everyone was happy with this act of support. This recent incident sparked debate among viewers who believed the funds should have not gone to the family but for other reasons instead. Some viewers believed that this event will cause more people to claim money for videos that may or may not be true.
‘The family probably wanted to be moved to a larger house and kids paid for in private schools’
‘They have raised £126,000 for this poor family, aiming for £150,000. Get ready for a flood of bullying claims and videos coming out now. They’ve opened the floodgates.’
‘Two sides to every story. Except when it’s a immigrant!’
‘I’d rather see the money go to homeless or neglected kids. I’d happily let that young kid push me to the ground toss water in my face for 100k’
Tommy Robinson also took this platform to claim to the public that the Syrian boy was previously involved himself with a bullying incident where the boy bit another girls face. After just three days, the EDL member retracted his statement and said it was lies.
Meanwhile, the boy’s father spoke to the BBC after a second video showing his daughter being attacked at the school was shared.
He said: “We are surprised that in the school her friends beat her up and took her hijab. In the beginning I thought that we are coming for sanctuary and safety, but when I saw what happened to my children, I don’t know what to say.”
Yesterday West Yorkshire Police said a 16-year-old boy had been summoned to court to face a charge of assault.
The 16-year-old is to appear at a youth court over the video, which was posted online on Tuesday and has since been viewed millions of times. West Yorkshire Police said the incident occurred on October 25, and was reported to them the day after.
After just over a week, this incident has divided the country into opposing parties. The main argument believes that such a large amount of money could of potentially helped the homeless, or other families who are going through distress.
One prime example, that should be shared, happened right in the heart of Bradford just 3 years ago. A young 11-year-old’s body was found hanging in his bedroom, after it was revealed he was being bullied at his new school. His mother forced her way into his locked bedroom to find his body.
The youngster had attended Beckfoot Upper Heaton school in Bradford for just three weeks before he died on September 28, 2015.
After this incident, the family underwent a long process to fight reasons for his suicide to be bullying, which one could imagine caused distress, sadness and sorrow. The loss of their child is something one would not ever ask for. Yet, no help was made by the council or the community, to support the family in terms of funding, transport etc.
Which leads to the question, is there selective outrage based on who you are?