“High levels” of U.S. Muslim students bullied at school 

April 18, 2022 - 17:41

The largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group in America has highlighted the ongoing problems facing Muslim American students who are not only still facing different types of bullying and intimidation but their problems are getting worse. 

Surprisingly, there is no American federal law that directly addresses bullying and as Muslims bear the brunt of the discrimination it reflects a wider American policy.

The White House claims America is a multi-cultural society with people of different races and religions living side by side in coexistence. 

When we take a closer look at the research below, it indicates a pattern.

This pattern is not limited to corporate media with most of their pundits on air also having links with arms manufacturing companies. 

The narrative America sells through different methods to the American public, in this case, Muslims at schools suffering from bullying is another attempt to justify a pretext that Muslims are the bad guys and therefore America should maintain its military presence, especially in West Asia. 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has shed more light on how American Muslim students face bullying, harassment, and other forms of discrimination by not only their fellow students but astonishingly also adults, including their own teachers.

In the case of schools, Washington can easily address the problem with programs aimed at advising students and teachers that Muslims are not the cause of terrorism in America, but the U.S. chooses not to do so despite the pleas from CAIR and other groups. 

This brainwashing at such a young age is just what America wants its new generation to believe in. 

The civil rights managing attorney for CAIR-LA, Amr Shabaik says “Muslim students of all ages have been ostracized and mistreated in the past because of their faith and perceived, yet clearly false, association with 9/11 and other acts of terrorism,”

CAIR’s latest report focusing on the state of California shows the highest-ever percentage of Muslim students, feeling unsafe in school.

The figure is more than twice the rate of the national statistics.

Interviews conducted with 700 Muslim students in the state of California found high levels of bullying, harassment, and discrimination in schools. 

More than half of the respondents, 55.73 percent, reported feeling unsafe, unwelcome, or uncomfortable at school due to their Muslim identity.

This is the highest reported level since CAIR-California began conducting surveys in 2013.

What’s even more disturbing, according to CAIR, is that nearly one of three female respondents (30.12 percent) who wear a hijab, reported their hijab was tugged, pulled, or offensively touched.

an 18-year-old female student said, “I was constantly called Osama bin Laden by the same guy who would tell me that I looked Bomb with a big emphasis on the word bomb.” 

“People have verbally abused me for being Muslim,” a young woman, 18, from Redwood City told the survey. “(They) mocked me and Islam and I have had my hijab pulled off by a classmate for no reason.”

That reflects a major fault with the U.S. educational system that co-existence among Muslims and non-Muslim students has not been advocated to the extent that 30.12 percent of female students who wear a hijab have reported their headscarf being tugged at, pulled, or offensively touched.

The report also found approximately one-third of students experienced or witnessed some form of cyberbullying.

One of the other disturbing aspects of CAIR’s findings is that nearly one in four respondents, 23.5 percent, reported that a teacher, administrator, or other adults at their school made offensive comments about Islam or Muslims.

“A 16-year-old female public school student from Orange County reported that her ‘teacher attacked [her] in front of [her] class’,” said Shabaik. “Saying things like ‘terrorist’ and ‘you don’t belong here.”

Islamophobia in U.S. public schools is a prevalent and ongoing problem, CAIR says. 

“Muslim students of all ages have been ostracized and mistreated in the past because of their faith and perceived, yet clearly false, association with 9/11 and other acts of terrorism,” said Shabaik.

Professor Zahra Jamal, the associate director of Rice University’s Boniuk Institute for Religious Tolerance warned that discrimination against Muslims rose to more extreme levels after the 2001 attacks in the U.S. saying “after 9/11 and the rise of the Islamophobia industry, negative portrayals of Islam and of Muslims became more mainstream and codified in media, law, politics, education.”

“This has undoubtedly played a role in Muslim students’ experiences with bias and discrimination,” she added. 

Jamal said the survey’s findings are consistent with a nationwide poll taken in 2020 that found 51% of Muslim students in kindergarten through 12th-grade public schools faced religious bullying.

Jamal points out that bullying and racism have far-reaching effects including emotional, physical, and even social consequences.

“Some young Muslims experience anxiety, depression, insomnia, and low esteem, while others feel they must choose between being American or Muslim at school,” she said, citing the survey. “Sadly, 55 percent feel unsafe at school because of their faith … 32% percent hide their Muslim identity, and 20 percent skip school because they feel unsafe and unwelcome at school.”

The culture of stereotyping Muslims as terrorists needs to change. Experts believe the only way to change the outdated stereotypes is through education, which starts in schools, where children are supposed to learn about cultural diversity and acceptance.

Islamophobia in American schools is a common and continuing issue, as indicated by the latest CAIR statement. 

Last year 60 percent of Muslim youths surveyed in Massachusetts reported being mocked, verbally harassed, or physically abused because of their Islamic faith, the state's chapter of CAIR reported. 

The Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization said about one-third of students also altered their appearance, behavior, or names to hide the fact that they are Muslim. And about 17 percent reported other forms of physical harassment, 
including having their hijab pulled on.

CAIR says “we are in the midst of a crisis among Muslim youth in our state, we hope that it helps serve as a catalyst for urgently needed change by showing the full scale of the issue.”

The organization said the results come from its first-ever survey of Islamophobia in Massachusetts public schools. The survey was modeled after similar ones conducted every two years by the organization's California chapter.

According to CAIR, one 14-year-old student living in the Boston area said she stopped wearing her hijab after being harassed in high school.

She said students spread rumors about her being in Daesh, and when she tried to report a student that called her a terrorist, she faced further bullying from students at school. 

The Muslim advocacy group’s reports regularly provide and offer different recommendations.

For example, it says districts should make sure teachers and staff members participate in cultural competency training, as some 40 percent of survey respondents said those school officials also made offensive comments about Islam or Muslims, the organization said.

Recommendations in the report also included having Congress pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which would prohibit bullying and harassment based on a student’s religion, race, color or national origin.

But again, why would Washington want to pass such an act? Its economy relies heavily on a false pretext of a false enemy which in turn allows for conflicts to rage and arms manufacturers to prosper, while the establishment or deep state is busy elsewhere planning more plots on how to create more insecurity in the Muslim world. 

Unfortunately in this particular case, it’s American Muslim students who are suffering and paying the cost.

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