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CAIR-DFW Survey: Almost Half of Muslim Students Say They Have Been Bullied

(DALLAS, TEXAS, 2/26/20) – The Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Dallas Fort-Worth (CAIR-DFW), a chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today released a new report, “Singled Out: Islamophobia in the Classroom and the Impact of Discrimination on Muslim Students” indicating that 48 percent of respondents say they experienced some type of bullying — nearly double the national average.

Singled Out: Islamophobia in the Classroom and the Impact of Discrimination on Muslim Students

http://www.cairdfw.org/media/attachments/2020/02/25/cair-tx-dfw-bullying-report.pdf

CAIR-DFW’s report examines how Muslim students feel about their school environment, about identifying as Muslim and the extent of anti-Muslim bullying and harassment students experience.

The anonymous survey involved 321 students living in the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex. Participants were between the ages of 11 and 18 years old. It surveyed those American Muslim students who attended either public or private (not-Islamic) schools.

CAIR-DFW Executive Director Faizan Syed said:

“American Muslim students, like all students, should be given the opportunity to thrive in their learning environment. Bullying undermines that environment and the feeling of inclusion. This survey is the first step in collecting hard data that can be used by parents, educators and community leaders to tackle this problem.”

Other key findings show:

  • 42% reported offensive statements and posts about Islam and Muslims online.
  • 25%, almost 1 in 4, did not respond that they felt welcome and respected in school.
  • 15%, almost 1 in 7, reported having their hijab (Islamic head scarf) tugged, pulled or other forms of offensive touching.
  • 18%, almost 1 in 6 students, were bullied by a teacher, administrator or other official.
  • 23%, almost 1 in 4, reported being victims of cyberbullying.
  • 41% of Muslim students were not comfortable engaging in class discussions about Islam and Muslims.

The report offered recommendation for educators, parents, students, and lawmakers, including:

  • conducting assessments in which “all members of the school’s community, including teachers, students, counselors, coaches and parents are surveyed and asked their views about Muslims and Islam,
  • reporting “any instances of bullying and discriminatory harassment,”
  • requiring that states “report data on bullying and harassment” to the U.S. Department of Education.

CAIR-DFW is working on expanding the scope of this survey to include American Muslim students all across the state by 2021.

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

END

CONTACT: CAIR-DFW Executive Director Faizan Syed, Executive Director (469)290-2909, faizan@cairdfw.org

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