Washington, D.C., 24 Dhulhijjja 1435/19 October 2014 (MINA) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nations’ largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today announced that it has asked the principal of Parkdale High School in Riverdale, Md., to investigate a teacher who made a series of anti-Muslim statements to his class.
According to a report received by CAIR, the teacher took time during his English class last month to discuss ISIS and the 9/11 terror attacks, telling the class, “Muslims are dangerous. They are terrorists and they will kill you.” Interjecting into a conversation between students, the teacher allegedly told students that one should never “be Muslim.”
Addressing Muslim students in the class, he reportedly said “You guys did 9/11.” When one student objected and said “we are not all like that,” the teacher allegedly said “No, all of you are like that,” according to CAIR website: www.cair.com reports monitored by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA), Sunday.
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.
According to CAIR’s investigation, other students in the class disagreed and felt uncomfortable with the teacher’s remarks.
In a letter to Parkdale Principal Tanya Washington, CAIR Litigation Director Jenifer Wicks wrote in part:
“We believe [the teacher’s] discriminatory statements were intended to provoke hatred and arouse suspicion and fear of Muslim students present in his class, as well as all Muslims in general, based on their Islamic faith. Such offensive remarks are particularly disturbing because they came from a faculty member who is entrusted to maintain a safe, inclusive classroom and serve as an example for his students. We are hopeful that you will agree that such invidious statements have no place in an academic environment.”
CAIR is seeking an investigation of the incident, disciplinary action against the teacher, protection from retaliation for the students in the class, and diversity training for faculty and staff.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is offering to assist in designing diversity training for faculty, staff and students.
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.
Earlier this week, CAIR launched Islamophobia.org, to monitor and challenge the growing anti-Muslim bigotry in American society.
In 2013, CAIR’s California chapter released a first-of-its-kind report documenting bias-based bullying of American Muslim students in that state’s schools.
The new report revealed that nearly half of Muslim students say they have been subjected to some form of bias-based bullying. One in five Muslim youth reported they were unsure of participating in classroom discussions in which Islam or Muslims are discussed and were unsure of whether teachers respected their religion. (T/R04/P3)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)