A graduate teaching assistant at the University of Missouri (MU) has been arrested and could be charged with child abuse after he allegedly assaulted a 14-year-old relative after seeing her in school without a headscarf.
Youssif Omar was reportedly at Hickman High School in Columbia, Mo., last Tuesday when he spotted the girl, and noticed that she wasn’t wearing a hijab, a traditional headscarf worn by many Muslim women and that many believers regard as a religious obligation.
According to a Columbia police representative who spoke with the Columbia Daily Tribune, Omar reacted violently when he saw the relative without her head covered, slapping her, grabbing her by the hair and dragging her down a flight of stairs and out to his car.
After the incident was reported, Columbia police arrested Omar at his home Wednesday night on suspicion of felony child abuse. Omar was released after posting a bond of $4,500.
It’s not clear whether the girl, whom police have not named, is Omar’s daughter or some other relation.
Notably, according to Omar’s LinkedIn page, he currently works as an assistant professor at the University of Missouri. He also is managing editor of MU’sundergraduate writing journal Artifacts and works in the university bookstore. Prior to coming to America, Omar says he was the head of the University of Benghazi’s English department in Libya.
Omar may be inflating his credentials somewhat, though. He doesn’t appear in MU’s faculty directory as a professor, and instead pops up as a graduate teaching assistant in Arabic.
Omar isn’t the first Missouri professor to grab unwelcome headlines in November. Three weeks ago, professor Melissa Click caused a national outrage when she attempted to rouse a mob to attack a student journalist trying to cover the school’s Concerned Student 1950 protests. Click has apologized and resigned a courtesy post she held with MU’s journalism school, but she remains a professor at the school.