UPDATE: 1:04 a.m. EST -- The man accused of assaulting a teenage relative for not wearing a hijab is not a "Mizzou professor," the University of Missouri wrote on its Twitter account late Sunday. The university said that the Youssif Omar was formerly a graduate student who was offered as assistantship, which ended in July.
A University of Missouri graduate teaching assistant was arrested last week for allegedly assaulting a teenage relative for not wearing a hijab, a traditional headscarf worn by Muslim women, media reports said Sunday. The professor has been identified as 53-year-old Youssif Omar.
According to local repots, Omar was at Columbia’s Hickman High School when he noticed the 14-year-old girl without a hijab. He grabbed the girl “very violently by the hair” and yanked her down a flight of stairs and out of the school, police said, according to the Columbia Tribune.
Omar was reportedly taken into custody while he was at his home Wednesday on suspicion of felony child abuse. He was later released from jail on a $4,500 bond, the Associated Press reported.
Omar, who is also an editor of the school’s student culture journal, Artifacts, reportedly wrote in an editor’s note for a recent issue about the need to accept other cultures and remain open-minded about one’s own.
“It is very hard for some people to be away from their own culture because they find themselves confined to the deep-rooted beliefs and customs they acquired and learned from the communities in which they were born and raised,” Omar wrote, according to the Daily Mail. “Such people see themselves as fish taken away from the water.”