US Muslim Community Opens First Anti-Bullying Center in Los Angeles

Photo Source: Antara

Los Angeles, MINA – The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) established the first Hate Crime Prevention and Bullying Center in the United States (US) based in the City of Los Angeles, California.

CAIR Interim Director Masih Fouladi said the center is established to provide support to the Muslim community in the US in preventing hate crimes and intimidation.

“For the Muslim community, there are several key areas where hate crimes strike us. Mosques are one of the first places where hate acts are carried out,” said Masih Fouladi as quoted from AboutIslam on 1Monday.

According to Fouladi, many studies have revealed that bullying has become one of the biggest threats that disturb the peace of African, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian communities in the US.

Accordingly, the Center for the Prevention of Hatred and Intimidation will lead a “multifaceted effort” to combat hate crimes and bullying, especially in schools and colleges.

“(The campus) is no longer a place to share free thoughts,” he said, adding that members of the community who “look Muslim” like women in hijabs, are also targets for hate crimes.

The inauguration of the center comes days after CAIR California released its Bullying Report on October 29, 2021 which showed that approximately 56 percent of Muslim students in California felt unsafe, unwanted or uncomfortable at school because of their religious identity.

The Muslim students in California admit to experiencing high levels of Islamophobic bullying, harassment and discrimination by peers and adults, both in person and online. This treatment has a negative impact on their educational activities and comfort level at school.

The center also aims to collaborate with non-Muslims to learn about the issues that bother them. “The hate crimes we experience are systemic and change will not happen with just one community. We need to work together,” said Fouladi. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)