61 percent of Muslim youths reported being bullied in a recent survey. This rate is more than double the national rate for students in general. The incidents ranged from verbal assault, abuse and being made fun of for being Muslim.
The Massachusetts Council on American-Islamic Relations conducted the report. CAIR surveyed 190 students in grades seven through grade twelve. 72 percent of those surveyed were girls. According to CAIR, the purpose of the report is to understand the extent to which Islamophobia manifests in the school environment in the form of bullying and discrimination.
17 percent of students who wore a hijab said that their hijab had been touched or offensively tugged on. In other words, nearly 1 in 6 respondents reported their hijab being touched without their consent.
One of these incidents happened to a fourteen year old girl named Yusra. At school, girls spread false rumors about Yusra. Girls at Yusra’s school said that she had bragged about being part of ISIS and needed to be deported. Yusra stopped wearing her hijab as a result of the relentless harassment from her classmates.
A 14 year old Muslim boy was accused of being part of ISIS, being responsible for 9/11 and more for over a year by several classmates. The bullying only became worse when the school began a unit on Islam. The harassment only stopped after the family reported the bullying to the school and the students were suspended.
The CAIR report found 14% of students are not comfortable letting others in their school know they are Muslim. 33% of students have altered their name, appearance or behavior to hide that they are Muslim. According to a report by The Hill, CAIR recommended that schools adopt a curriculum that does not “lead to the otherization of Muslims”.
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