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CAIR Welcomes Letter on Racial, Religious Harassment Sent to U.S. School Officials



CAIR Welcomes Letter on Racial Religious Harassment Sent to U.S. School Officials(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/4/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed a letter from the U.S. Department of Education to school officials nationwide seeking to “ensure that your schools and institutions of higher education are learning environments in which students are free from discrimination and harassment based on their race, religion, or national origin.â€

SEE: Amid Growing Anti-Muslim Sentiment, Education Department Urges Schools to Prevent Discrimination

That “dear colleague†letter, issued in response to a request by the Islamic Networks Group (ING), states in part:

“In response to recent and ongoing issues, we also urge you to anticipate the potential challenges that may be faced by students who are especially at risk of harassment — including those who are, or are perceived to be, Syrian, Muslim, Middle Eastern, or Arab, as well as those who are Sikh, Jewish, or students of color.â€

“We welcome this initiative to help provide a safe learning environment for those students who may face increased bullying, harassment or intimidation based on recent events in our nation and worldwide,†said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

Awad said that 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

He also noted that CAIR’s California chapter released a report documenting bias-based bullying of American Muslim students in that state’s schools.

The report, “Mislabeled: The Impact of Bullying and Discrimination on California Muslim Students,†indicated that 55 percent of Muslim students said they had 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. 

To read the full 2013 report, go to: Growing in Faith

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 National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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