Antonios Grigoriou, 11, says he was chased and assaulted after a confrontation over the contents of his lunch.
Antonios, a Year 5 student of Greek-Australian background at a Sydney primary school, said he and a friend were locked inside a library for safety after being chased by a group of Muslim boys offended by his choice of food while they were fasting.
The Grigoriou family said Antonios was threatened after the following exchange:
Muslim student to Antonios: "Why are you eating ham, it's Ramadan?"
Antonios: "My mum packed this for lunch today."
Muslim student: "Don't eat that. How can you eat pig, it's disgusting."
During the confrontation a Muslim boy allegedly accused Antonios of saying: "F--- the Muslims", but Antonios denied swearing.
But Antonios's family took him out of Punchbowl Public School, in Sydney's south-west, on Tuesday after he was again attacked by a Muslim student.
He was punched in the eye and kicked in the legs.
"It has broken my heart to see this happening to my boy," Andrew Grigoriou said.
"When I got down to the school he was in the sick bay," he said.
Antonios, who recorded the experience in words and drawings, remains terrified of his attackers and has nightmares.
Other parents have also complained about ethnic bullying at the school.
One said her son was scared to open his lunch box because he was "harassed about what is in it".
Coburg Mosque spokesman Baha Yehia said the behaviour was not what Islam promoted.
"I would say this sad incident is a result of the upbringing of the children rather than Islam," he said.
"Regrettably there's no silver bullet to end this kind of behaviour. To remove these barriers requires a process that involves multi-faith and multicultural education."
Source: Herald Sun