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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Muslim Student Labelled 'Isis' in High School Yearbook

  • Carrie Dedrick
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 May 10
  • Comments

A Muslim student at a California high school was labelled “Isis” in the high school yearbook. According to CNN, Bayan Zehlif, a senior at Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga, appeared in a photo wearing a Muslim hijab. The photo was labelled with another student’s name: Isis Phillips. 


Zehlif believes that the misnomer was a purposeful allusion to the Islamic extremist group ISIS. 


She wrote on Facebook, "I am extremely saddened, disgusted, hurt and embarrassed that the Los Osos High School yearbook was able to get away with this. The school reached out to me and had the audacity to say that this was a typo. I beg to differ, let's be real."


The school district is still unsure if the “Isis” label was intentional. 


School principal Susan Petrocelli posted on Facebook, “LOHS is taking every step possible to correct & investigate a regrettable misprint discovered in the yearbook. We sincerely apologize.”


The Council on American-Islamic Relations is standing with Zehlif as their civil rights attorneys investigate the matter.


Council executive director Hussam Ayloush said, "We join with the family in their concern about a possible bias motive for this incident and in the deep concern for their daughter's safety as a result of being falsely labeled as a member of a terrorist group. No student should have to face the humiliation of being associated with a group as reprehensible as ISIS."


Zehlif said that she does plan to walk for graduation, as she has family coming in from Jordan for the event. 


“They’ll be proud to know I kept my head up high,” Zehlif said. 



Publication date: May 10, 2016