Bullying Hits California Muslim Students

CA-anti-bullyingby Joseph Mayton‚ Beyond Chron

Bullying of Muslim students in the Bay Area is a growing concern, a report published last month by the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) revealed. The survey showed evidence that Muslim students in California as a whole are facing religious-inspired bullying at school, creating fear among students that to be open about their Islamic faith will lead to hate speech and stigmatization.

For Hassan, an 11th grade San Francisco student at a public high school, he believes that a lot of the aggression facing Muslim students is a product of ongoing angst towards Islam and Muslims in the mainstream media.

"I get to school some days and many of my classmates will say things in passing, thinking they are funny, about this bomb or a bomb belt or even still box cutters and terrorism," he began. "It is hard to deal with every day and even though I haven't been attacked violently, the language is really hurtful and my friends and I are struggling mentally and emotionally."

Of the 50 percent who reported social bullying, along the lines of name-calling and other remarks, it was "stuff you would expect," said report author Fatima Dadabhoy, a staff attorney and civil rights manager and staff attorney with CAIR in Anaheim. ...

"Being called 'terrorist' or 'Bin laden' is still a reality for many American Muslim students," said CAIR-LA Civil Rights Manager Fatima Dadabhoy. "Throughout the course of this study, we were alarmed to find that many Muslim students didn't even deem this as a form of bullying. Through this report, we hope to show that a decision to dismiss mistreatment as a natural consequence of being Muslim in America, or simply part of growing up, is unacceptable and normalizes a toxic school environment." (Read the full article)

 


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