(SACRAMENTO, CA - 10/16/2019) – Today, Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Sacramento Valley office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) will join the three other CAIR-California (CAIR-CA) offices in holding simultaneous press conferences to release a new report documenting faith-based bullying of Muslim students in California schools.
The report, titled “Singled Out: Islamophobia in the Classroom and the Impact of Discrimination on Muslim Students," is based on a statewide survey of approximately 1,500 Muslim students ages 11 to 18.
CAIR-CA asked the students questions about their relationships with peers and teachers, their school environment, and bullying they have witnessed or experienced.
Survey results show that Muslim students feel less safe, welcome and respected in their schools than other students, with 40% of respondents reporting experiencing some form of bullying, more than double the national average.
Anoosh Ali, 18, a first-year student at Sierra College and former CAIR-SV intern who will be speaking at the CAIR-SV press conference, said:
"I was in second grade when I first decided to wear a headscarf (hijab). Three days after my decision, a classmate attacked my new appearance by implying that I was connected to Osama Bin Laden. I returned to school four days later without my headscarf, fearing judgment in a place that should have been welcoming. I suffered the consequences of one day, one boy, one finger, until just last year when I finally decided to wear the hijab again. It took me 10 years to get over the shattering effects that bullying had. 10 years. I am one of many, but one of very few who decided to share my story. We need to take action to eliminate these stories entirely."
Zara Rodriguez, 18, a first-year student at Sacramento State and CAIR-SV intern, said:
"Being bullied for being Muslim has been an ongoing experience in my life. Though it can have a negative impact on my life, I decided to turn that around and use those experiences to educate people about Islam and to speak up about racism and discrimination."
WHAT: CAIR-SV Press Conference to Release Report on Bullying of Muslim Students in California
WHEN: 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16
WHERE: The CAIR-SV office, 1122 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815
MORE INFO: The Sacramento press conference will include comments from CAIR-SV's new Civil Rights Attorney Dustin Johnson, CAIR-SV allies and a Muslim student who has experienced bullying. Watch a live video of the press conference on the CAIR-SV Facebook page.
CONTACT: CAIR-Sacramento Valley/Central California Communications Manager Kalin Kipling-Mojaddedi, 916.441.6269, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-Central California Outreach Director Sukaina Hussain will also be available for comment at 847.924.9592 or email@example.com.
NOTE: You can reach the other CAIR-CA offices here:
- CAIR-LA Communications Manager Eugene Fields, 714.851.4851, firstname.lastname@example.org;
- CAIR-San Diego Executive Director Dustin Craun, 858.774.9991, email@example.com;
- CAIR-SFBA Communications Coordinator Zoha Raza, 408.986.9874, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CAIR-CA report also shares anecdotes collected from students during survey outreach. It follows similar reports in 2017, 2015 and 2013, and charts how the landscape of faith-based bullying of Muslim students in California has changed. The report provides recommendations for policymakers, school officials and families about how best to protect children from bullying in school.
CAIR-CA is California’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.
– END –