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California School Calls Muslim Girl 'Isis' in Yearbook, Say It Was a Misprint

California School Calls Muslim Girl 'Isis' in Yearbook, Say It Was a Misprint

The US has some serious racial profiling issues.

A California high school has asked students to return nearly 300 yearbooks that wrongly identified a Muslim teenager wearing a traditional headscarf as "Isis," officials said on Monday.

The yearbook photo of Bayan Zehlif, a student at Los Osos High in Rancho Cucamonga who is seen smiling above a caption with the name "Isis Phillips," came to light after she posted a picture of it on social media on Friday.

The Los Angeles Times reported that District Superintendent Matthew Holton said Zehlif was incorrectly identified as another student whose name really is Isis. Reuters could not reach Holton for comment.

Nearly 300 yearbooks were distributed to students before the erroneous photo caption was discovered, said representatives for the Chaffey Joint Union High School District, which oversees the school about 45 miles (70 km) east of Los Angeles.

School officials asked students who received those yearbooks to return them so they could be corrected with a sticker affixing the student's correct name to the photo.

Officials at the school, which has more than 3,000 students, had withheld the majority of the yearbooks and those also are being fixed, representatives said.

"I am extremely saddened, disgusted, hurt and embarrassed that the Los Osos High School yearbook was able to get away with this. Apparently I am 'Isis' in the yearbook. 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." said Bayan.

The student has disputed contentions from school officials that the caption was a "misprint." Muslim advocacy group the Council on American-Islamic Relations has said the incident should be investigated for any possible bias.

ISIS, a name often used to refer to the militant group Islamic State that controls swathes of Iraq and Syria, has claimed responsibility for attacks in Paris and Brussels and a number of other countries.

Last year, a couple said by US authorities to have been inspired by Islamic State killed 14 people at a holiday party in San Bernardino, which is less than 20 miles (32 km) from Rancho Cucamonga. They later died in a shootout with police.

Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement over the weekend the organization and the student's family were worried about the girl's safety as a result of being falsely labeled as a member of ISIS.

Cases of racial profiling and Islamophobia are on a rise in the US and they are getting more and more bizarre. Last week, a man on American Airlines was suspected of terrorism on the basis of 'Islamic looking' notes he was going through. The notes turned out to be a math problem, and the suspected terrorist, a doctored Ivy league Italian economist.

(With inputs from Reuters)

first published:May 10, 2016, 11:29 IST