(BALTIMORE, MD, 4/10/19) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded public safety officials at the Community College of Baltimore County in Catonsville, Md., for taking swift action to address concerns regarding the alleged mishandling of an incident involving Muslim students on campus.
CAIR Good News Video: Incident Involving Muslim Students in Md. Leads to Dialogue, Policy Changes
On March 30, three students – who all wear hijab and are visibly Muslim – were taking photos with department-owned cameras for a class project at a popular photography spot on campus when two police cars pulled up.
An officer got out and approached the teens to ask if they were taking photos for a class project. They replied yes and were informed that this had been reported to campus police as suspicious activity.
Although they had done nothing wrong, they were instructed to notify officers before they took photos again on campus. At least one of the students reported to CAIR that she has experienced other Islamophobic incidents on campus, including being called “ISIS” and harassed for her Islamic attire.
CAIR met with the student and public safety officials, who agreed to coordinate diversity training for campus police; consider suggested policy revisions on cultural competency and diversity training; and explore holding a campus-wide event to challenge all forms of bigotry and intolerance
Quarterly round-table discussions with students from diverse backgrounds were also discussed as a solution to build trust and address concerns.
CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis said in a statement to CAIR:
“CCBC values the diversity of all people, cultures, ideas and viewpoints and honors the dignity of all students. We view our diverse student body as an asset to our academic community and are committed to ensuring that all students can study and learn in a safe and welcoming environment.”
“This case is an example of how a disturbing encounter can lead to positive results through constructive dialogue,” said CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry. “We are proud of the student for her courage in coming forward, and we applaud CCBC’s Department of Public Safety for their commitment to fostering a safe and inclusive learning experience for their diverse student body.”
CAIR is America’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.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.