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CAIR-LA Concerned About Safety of Muslim Student Smeared as ‘Isis’ in H.S. Yearbook

cair ca logoMuslim civil rights group is calling for a thorough investigation, ‘appropriate measures’ to address suffering of the student and her family

(ANAHEIM, CA, 5/8/16) – The Greater Los Angeles office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today expressed concern about the safety of a Muslim student at Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., who was pictured wearing her Islamic head scarf (hijab) with the false name “Isis Phillips†in the school’s yearbook.  

Attorneys with CAIR-LA’s Civil Rights Department are currently investigating the incident. To date, some 200 yearbooks have been distributed to students at Los Osos High School. CAIR has learned that this may not be the first Islamophobic event to have occurred recently at the school.

CAIR: Yearbook Photo Misnames Student in Hijab as 'Isis,' Sparking Outrage  

The student and her family were deeply embarrassed after seeing the picture in the yearbook and have suffered a great deal of emotional and psychological distress. It is unlikely that the student will return to school until the issue is resolved appropriately.

“We join with the family in their concern about a possible bias motive for this incident and in the deep concern for their daughter’s safety as a result of being falsely labeled as a member of a terrorist group,†said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. “No student should have to face the humiliation of being associated with a group as reprehensible as ISIS.”

CAIR-LA is calling for a thorough investigation of this incident and appropriate measures to prevent its reoccurrence and to address the emotional and psychological suffering of the student and her family.

The family is requesting that their daughter’s privacy be respected and are asking that all media inquiries be directed to CAIR-LA.

Last year, CAIR-CA published a report that highlighted incidents of bullying state-wide and indicated that 55 percent of California Muslim students have been subject to at least one form of religion-based bullying. That is twice as high as the national average of students reporting being bullied at school.

Mislabeled: The Impact of School Bullying and Discrimination on California Muslim Students

Hundreds of California Muslims recently met with elected officials in support of anti-bullying legislation.

CAIR: 600+ to Take Part in April 25 California ‘Muslim Day at the Capitol’  

Action Alert: CAIR-CA Urges Support for Anti-Bullying Legislation

CAIR offers a booklet, called “An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices,” designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for Muslim students.

SEE: An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices 

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

 

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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Coordinator Ojaala Ahmad, (714) 776-1847, oahmad@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

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