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CAIR Releases School Resource Guide to Help Teachers Address 20th Anniversary of September 11, 2001 Attacks 

(WASHINGTON, D.C, 8/23/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today released a school resource document with tips and educational resources that teachers can use to teach about the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks. 


“Teaching students about the September 11th attacks and their impact on our nation and the world is critically important,” said CAIR Research and Advocacy Coordinator Huzaifa Shahbaz. “It is just as important to educate students in an accurate way using reliable sources that do not contain anti-Arab or anti-Muslim content.” 

Every year, CAIR offices normally receive complaints from students and families about anti-Muslim bullying and Islamophobic rhetoric in classrooms tied to the anniversaries of September 11, 2001. In CAIR surveys, large numbers of Muslim students reported being mocked, verbally harassed, or physically abused because of their faith or ethnicity.   

SEE: CAIR-MA Issues First-Ever Report on Muslim Youth Bullying in Massachusetts 

CAIR-CA REPORT: 40% of Muslim Students in California Experience Bullying, Discrimination

CAIR designed the school resource document to give teachers additional tools they can use to discuss the 9/11 attacks using vetted and reliable sources.  

The resource document includes a list of general lesson plans about 9/11 created by educators, as well as documentaries, news reports and articles that cover both the attacks and their impact on people across America, including American Muslims. The document also includes recommended tips that teachers can use to avoid incidents of bigotry in the classroom during discussion of 9/11. 

Examples of tips include:  

1. Alert students a few days in advance of the 9/11 lesson plan so that families have time to prepare their children for the discussion.  

2. Only use external instructional materials – such as photographs, documentaries, etc. –from vetted, reliable, mainstream sources such a museums and major media outlets.  

3. Vet all materials, including internal materials such as textbooks, to ensure that they do not include inaccurate information or inflammatory content.  

4. Immediately respond to any incidents of bullying or harassment that occur in the classroom during the lesson plan.  

5. Refrain from asking students to engage in educational activities that stimulate the roles of perpetrators, targets, or bystanders.  

CAIR National’s 2021 Civil Rights Report, Resilience in the Face of Hate, documented various school-related complaints ranging from bullying, Islamophobic school curriculum, and holiday denials in 2020. Bullying accounted for 44% of all school-related complaints.  

SEE: 2021 Civil Rights Report: Resilience in the Face of Hate

Bias and Bullying in Public Schools: Mitigating the Impact on Muslim and Perceived-as-Muslim Students 

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.          

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CONTACT: CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell, 404-285-9530,; CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,  

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