(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 2/15/19) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today welcomed actions by Grand Forks, N.D., school officials against the reported racist and Islamophobic bullying of students.
Concerned families met with officials at South Middle School in Grand Forks on Wednesday to discuss the bullying, which reportedly included words like “monkey,” the “n-word” and “terrorist” directed at African-American and Somali children. In one case, a Somali student had her hijab (Islamic head scarf) pulled off.
District officials now say they will talk about cultural differences with teachers and students and “work to better educate teachers on how to handle bullying in the classroom.”
SEE: Parents claim pattern of racist bullying at Grand Forks middle school
“We hope the promise to take steps against bullying of African-American and Muslim students will be followed by concrete actions,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. “All children should feel welcome at school, regardless of their race or religion.”
He noted that CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.
CAIR also 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
The Washington-based organization’s recently-released 2018 Civil Rights Report, “Targeted,” showed a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents against American Muslims from 2016 to 2017, and a 15 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in that same time period.
CAIR 2018 Civil Rights Report: Targeted
Community members are being urged to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by going to: https://www.cair.com/report
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.