The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections on behalf of Elsiddig Elhindi, a prison guard who claims to have suffered anti-Muslim harassment for 12 years.
Elhindi, 56, told the Huffington Post he had been subjected to "very very severe harassment" from co-workers and supervisors "as high as the warden's office at some times." He said he had been ridiculed because of his accent and "referred to as a terrorist" and a "suicide bomber." This amounted to "emotional torture, for years and years" and it was "so severe, so frequent, it has affected my life in many ways." Elhindi said co-workers called him a "rat and a snitch" and the prison administration was "dismissive of my cries for help" and suggested he retire.
Elhindi, who left Sudan at age 19, allegedly suffered this abuse while working a California State Prison, Sacramento. He told Steve Magagnini of the Sacramento Bee "My accent was joked about, my color was joked about, and the use of the N word was unbelievable, It's scary." The stress level, he told the Bee, "amounts to emotional torture" and "never stopped." He declined to retire because "I have a family to support and have invested 27 years of my life into state service and cannot just walk away." But it wasn't just about him.