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Penn. Muslims to Challenge Anti-Islam Bias in Children’s Books

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 3/16/10) — On Wednesday, March 17, the Pennsylvania chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-PA) will hold a news conference in Philadelphia to announce the launch of a nationwide campaign to challenge anti-Islam bias in a series of children’s books that the Washington-based Muslim civil rights group says promote “hostility toward Islam and suspicion of Muslims.”
WHAT: CAIR-PA News Conference to Challenge Anti-Islam Bias in Children’s Books
WHEN: 11 a.m., Wednesday, March 17, 2010
WHERE: 1218 Chestnut Street, Suite 905, Philadelphia, PA
CONTACT: CAIR-PA Civil Rights Director Moein Khawaja, 215-592-0509, 217-638-7873, E-Mail: mkhawaja@cair.com
The 10-part series of books designed for middle and high school students, called “World of Islam,” is produced by Mason Crest Publishers in partnership with the right-wing Foreign Policy Research Institute. Both institutions are based in the Philadelphia area. CAIR-PA says it has received complaints about the books from concerned parents in different parts of the country.
“The overall tone and theme of the books is that Muslims are inherently violent, that Islam is a second-rate religion and that one should be wary of Muslims in any society,” said CAIR-PA Civil Rights Director Moein Khawaja. “Any young person reading these books would inevitably develop hostility toward Islam and suspicion of Muslims.”
He cited one book in the series that claims “Muslims began immigrating to the United States in order to transform American society, sometimes through the use of terrorism.” Another book shows an image of two 7-year-old girls wearing Islamic head scarves under the heading “Security Threats.”
Khawaja noted the publisher’s questionable sources, including Daniel Pipes, widely regarded by Muslims as one of the nation’s leading Islamophobes. (Pipes is a former director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute.) The books also cite anti-Islam activists such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
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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, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: arubin@cair.com

 

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