Muslim civil rights group is calling for a thorough investigation, â€˜appropriate measuresâ€™ to address suffering of the student and her family
(ANAHEIM, CA, 5/8/16) â€“ 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 â€œIsis Phillipsâ€ in the schoolâ€™s yearbook. Â
Attorneys with CAIR-LAâ€™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.
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 daughterâ€™s safety as a result of being falsely labeled as a member of a terrorist group,â€ 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 daughterâ€™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.
Hundreds of California Muslims recently met with elected officials in support of anti-bullying legislation.
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.
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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