By Debbie Gregory.
The parents of a former Marine recruit who died at Parris Island after a three-story fall have filed a $100 million lawsuit against the federal government.
Ghazala Siddiqui and Masood Siddiqui claim their son, Raheel, was “assaulted, hazed and discriminated against because of his Muslim faith, and died after allegedly being abused.
The lawsuit claims the Marines “fostered a culture of abuse and hazing” at the training base at Parris Island, S.C.that led to the death of the 20-year-old in March, 2016.
The Marines have maintained that Siddiqui’s death was a suicide, a conclusion that his family has rejected, along with suggestions that Siddiqui was somehow not prepared for the rigors of Parris Island.
Siddiqui, in his second week on the island, was reported to have been trying to request permission to go to medical for a sore throat on the day of his death. He was refused medical attention, instead being forced to run laps in his barracks. When he collapsed on the floor, his drill instructor allegedly slapped him. That is when Siddiqui allegedly ran through a door in the barracks and leaped over an exterior stairwell, falling three stories.
Siddiqui succumbed to his injuries at Medical University of South Carolina Hospital several hours later. His parents have maintained that their son, as both a faithful Muslim and son, was morally incapable of purposely killing himself. In Islam, suicide is a mortal sin. They also claim that Siddiqui never had any mental health issues or threatened suicide. He had spent months training with his recruiter before boot camp in order to succeed.
Making him seem weak or unprepared, the family and their lawyer argue, shifts blame away from where it belongs: with the Marines.
Following Siddiqui’s death, the Marine Corps instituted a zero-tolerance policy for abusing and hazing recruits.