Press Releases

CAIR Welcomes Maine School’s Reversal of Ban on Student Artwork Inspired by Book on Muslim Girl Who Fought Racism

(WASHINGTON D.C., 10/4/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed a decision by a school in Maine to reverse a ban on a piece of student artwork inspired by a book about a Muslim girl who fought racism. 

A senior at York High School in Maine created a piece of visual artwork inspired by the book “A Very Large Expanse of Sea” that tells the story of a Muslim girl who fought back after experiencing racism at high school. The student gave the artwork to the school librarian, who displayed it at the school library. This led to backlash from some parents who disagreed with the message of the artwork, which focused on racism in America. The school district responded by removing the artwork. This led to backlash from others in the community, and the student staged a walkout at the school last Wednesday. The principal said on Friday that the school will allow the artwork to be put back on display in the library. 

SEE: ‘This is America’: Removal of York High School student artwork on racism sparks furor

“It is essential that our youth be encouraged to challenge the systemic racism that continues to exist in our nation,” said CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ismail Allison. “We welcome the school’s decision to return the artwork to its display, and applaud the student for her courage in standing up for civil rights and justice.”

Allison said the American Muslim community and CAIR are standing in solidarity with all those challenging anti-Black racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and all other forms of bigotry. 

SEE: CAIR Condemns Theft of American Flag, Raising of ‘Traitorous’ Confederate Flag at U.S. Military Base in Germany 

CAIR Condemns Anti-Asian Attack in Wisconsin, Welcomes Dropping of N.C. Institutional Names Associated with Racism

CAIR Marks Beginning of National Bullying Prevention Month with Resource Doc for Schools to Combat Anti-Muslim Bullying 

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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