Press Releases

CAIR Calls for Police Probe, Firing of Teacher After Tennessee Student’s Hijab Forcibly Removed in Class

screenshot 2017 11 10 09 47 53 731(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/10/17) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for a criminal investigation and the firing of a teacher at a Tennessee charter school after a video was circulated online of a Muslim student having her Islamic head scarf, or hijab, forcibly removed in a classroom.

CAIR says the Snapchat video, reportedly recorded inside a classroom at the New Vision Academy Charter School in Nashville and allegedly shared by the teacher, shows the Muslim student hiding her face while someone removed the hijab and exposed her hair to the class. Classmates can be seen playing with the girl’s hair as she tries to keep it covered. The teacher has been suspended by the school.

SEE: Teacher Suspended After Video Posted of Hijab Being Taken Off Student’s Head

Nashville Teacher Suspended After Student’s Hijab Ripped Off

“The video depicts a criminal assault, evidently motivated by the religious identity of the student, which makes this a possible hate crime,” said CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas. “We call on local law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident, determine who removed the student’s hijab, and take appropriate action to hold that person accountable.”

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization is also calling for diversity training for all school staff using CAIR’s “An Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices,” which is designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for Muslim students.

SEE: An Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices

A recent report by CAIR’s California office revealed that Muslim students are bullied at twice the rate as the national average.

CAIR-CA Report: More Than Half of Muslim Students in California Experience Bullying, Discrimination

CAIR said it has witnessed an unprecedented increase in hate incidents targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump.

The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at:

CAIR recently launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.

For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here:

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,


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