Twelve-year-old Shukri Abdi came to the UK from Somalia last year as a refugee, seeking a safer life away from a civil war in her homeland. Instead, she was found dead in a river on Friday, June 28th.
Along with local police enforcement, her school, Broad Oak, has covered up the attack. They have claimed that there are no “suspicious circumstances” and “with the warmer weather, it’s tempting to go into the water to cool off.” Tell me, why would a young girl who was used to forty plus degree heat in Somalia summers, who cannot swim, willingly go into a river? She was scared to play on rides in the park, let alone swim by herself.
So, let me tell you why: because it wasn’t out of her own free will. Shukri Abdi had bite marks on her hand and neck. An innocent twelve-year-old girl was brutally murdered after being relentlessly bullied and attacked. Yet again, the world stays silent. Is it because she was Muslim, or Black, or a refugee?
Abdi had been bullied since she started at Broad Oak school. The school is known for its horrendous bullying, but instead of taking accountability for the death of one of their students, they’re ignoring the situation and choosing to change their uniform and the name of their school to distance themselves from this injustice.
A crowdfunding effort raised over £8,000 to support Shukri’s family in their pursuit of justice. A petition for local MP James Frith to start an investigation into this gained over 50,000 signatures so far, and a protest was held in Birmingham. At this time, thoughts and prayers simply are not good enough.
The is blatant Islamophobia targeting girls as young as twelve, and it needs to stop. According to activist Maz Saleem, despite a fisherman witnessing the incident and stating that he “saw Shukri being dragged by her neck and her hijab by four pupils from Broad Oak school,” the police dismissed him as drunk. The same group of attackers who were seen dragging Shukri into the river were known to have tried to push her into traffic weeks before.
I want you to imagine, Shukri Abdi could have been your friend, your sister, daughter or niece. Shukri Abdi could have been any one of us. This isn’t the first time a brutal murder was committed against refugees in this country, and it unfortunately won’t be the last.
Mass media won’t cover this, but social media will. So utilise the tools you have to create waves of change in society, and to achieve #JusticeForShukriAbdi.