This week in Learn, Love, Lead! the first of two messages with resources to understand and combat rising Islamophobia in the U.S. and help you support the safety and civil rights of ALL of Washington’s kids.
But first, today we extend our sympathy to victims of white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Racism is, and always has been, a threat to our children and our democracy. Together with you we will continue to fight for and win public policy change that advances racial equity and protects children.
Islamophobia is prejudice towards or discrimination against Muslims due to religion, or perceived religious, national, or ethnic identity associated with the religion of Islam.
Today American Muslims, including children and youth, are facing some of the highest levels of prejudice, discrimination and hate crimes, in our nation’s history. There was a 67% increase in hate crimes against American Muslims in 2015. And in the first half of 2017, the Council on American-Islamic relations reported that the number of hate crimes spiked 91% compared to the same period in 2016!
In a recent study, 42% of American Muslims reported that their children were bullied because of their faith, compared to 23% of Jewish, 20% of Protestant, and 6% of Catholic parents. Sadly, Muslim parents reported that an adult, a teacher or school official, was involved in 1 out of 4 of the bullying incidents.
This increase in hate crimes and bullying is tied to political rhetoric and proposals (such as the travel ban), as well as well-funded efforts to spread Islamophobia.
Rising hate and bias is harmful to our children, civil rights and democracy. Our ability to protect Washington’s children depends in part on our ability to understand how current policies and actions are affecting kids and their families.
Inform yourself and others! Together we can fight Islamophobia, promote compassion, and act in solidarity and support of American Muslim children and families in Washington State. Please read and share these resources.
Find answers to common questions and facts vs. myths about Islam and Muslims. Read Islam Fact Check.
Learn from Muslims and build your understanding of Muslims in America. Check out key findings of a 2017 poll of Muslim Americans from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.
Learn from parents. Read about how 6 Muslim parents are talking to their own kids about Islamophobia.
Find a story to read and share with a child. Check out this list of children’s books for all ages that feature Muslim kids living their lives, growing up, and being heroes.
Find your action. Check out tips and tools to speak up in solidarity with American Muslims from the Washington State Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and these resources and ideas from the Muslim Association of Puget Sound - American Muslim Empowerment Network (MAPS-AMEN).
Thank you for speaking up for kids.
Jon and the Children's Alliance Team
P.S. Studies show that when people learn about Islam or know a Muslim American, they hold more positive and compassionate attitudes and are less likely to support biased policies and rhetoric. Please share these resources with friends, family and colleagues!