(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/5/2016) â€“Â The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today published â€œA Muslim Parent's Guide to Talking to Children About Acts of Violent Extremismâ€ in response to concerns voiced by a number of American Muslim parents.
CAIRâ€™s guide, published on its Islamophobia.org website, was authored by a board-certified psychiatrist and offers strategies for having age-appropriate conversations with young people who are growing up in a time of growing Islamophobia in America.
â€œActs of violent extremism perpetrated by people who falsely claim Islam sanctions their atrocities, combined with growing Islamophobia, create a difficult environment for parents,â€ said Corey Saylor, director of CAIRâ€™s Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia. â€œThis document provides guidance for parents who are struggling to help calm the anxiety and fears in the minds of young people.â€
The introduction to CAIRâ€™s guide states:
â€œMuslim children are growing up in a challenging time in America. Our nation is engaged in military conflicts in places with predominantly Muslim populations, and the domestic war on terror is focused disproportionately on Muslim citizens. There is also a surge in Islamophobia and hate crimes against Muslims in America. Round the clock cable news coverage, combined with a constant exposure to social media contributes to a heightened sense of insecurity and urgency for all Americans and especially Muslims. In this complex environment, it is important for parents of Muslim children to recognize their own needs and their childrenâ€™s needs.â€Â
Topics covered by the guide include â€œStart with Yourself, Be Their Anchors.â€ â€œKnow the Factsâ€ and â€œHave Age-Appropriate Conversations.â€
A PDF File of CAIRâ€™s Guide is Available at:
Additional resources offered in the guide include â€œKnow Your Rights as a Muslim Youth at School,â€ a CAIR booklet advising youth on their rights when responding to bullying and when requesting religious accommodation for things such as wearing a hijab at school and being excused to celebrate Eid holidays.
SEE: Anti-Muslim Attitudes Have Infected Classrooms Across the US â€” And Young Kids are Paying the Price
Also included in the guide, â€œMislabeled: The Impact of Bullying and Discrimination on California Muslim Students,â€ a 2015 CAIR report indicating that 55 percent of California Muslim students have been subject to at least one form of religion-based bullying.
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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