A 2021 survey revealed that nearly 56% of Muslim Students in California said they feel, “unsafe, unwelcome, or uncomfortable” in their schools because of their (Islamic) identity.

The Survey which was released on Thursday was conducted by researchers with the California chapter of the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

According to the researchers, the survey result is the highest ever since they started recording sentiments and prejudices against Muslim Students since 2013.

Daily Bulletin reports,

“About 700 students responded to the surveys, which were done between January and August. Respondents were from fifth to 12th grade, with most being in high school. Most students who took the survey — 267 — are from the greater Los Angeles area.

“This year, we saw the the number of students who said they feel unsafe, unwelcome or uncomfortable in school is at the highest we’ve ever seen,” he said. “And 20% of students missed school because of those feelings.”

What Shabaik said he found most “alarming,” was that the survey showed 1 in 4 teachers, administrators or other adults in school made offensive remarks to students about Islam or Muslims.

“This makes it all the more important to assess a school’s environment and enforce a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to bullying,” he said. “It is also important for schools to provide bystander training to teachers, develop an anti-racist curriculum and ethnic studies courses.”

Nearly 48% of respondents said they saw a decrease in bullying after schools switched to remote learning because of the coronavirus pandemic. Also, 32% of students said they did not feel comfortable being open about their Muslim identity in school. One in 3 female students reported their hijab being tugged, pulled or touched in an offensive manner. Overall, 47% of the respondents said they were bullied in school before COVID-19 closures.

The report also gathered examples of bullying from students across California. One 18-year-old female student in Brentwood said she was called a “terrorist,” and “Osama Bin Laden’s niece” among other racial slurs. She said she would deliberately skip school on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks because her peers would ask her if she was “plotting something.”

Because many Muslims are also of Asian descent, they faced racism and harassment during the pandemic when anti-Asian hate crimes and hate incidents surged, Shabaik said.

KnowIslam Project

Source: Daily Bulletin


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