Islamophobic Discrimination Targeting Muslim Minors in the United States
There has been a massive 63% increase in 2022 in the volume of complaints filed by Muslim schoolchildren in the United States, according to a report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Speaking to AA, Cory Saylor, CAIR’s chief of research and advocacy, said this is the first recorded decrease in civil rights complaints by American Muslims since they began tracking this data in 1995.
“This decrease gives us hope, but the hope for us comes in that environment where we see discrimination against other communities increasing, and now we’re starting to see kind of an escalation of civil conflict again.”
Saylor said that the American people still do not embrace Muslims as part of society, adding that the portrayal of Muslims in the media after the US Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case in 2022, and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 is evidence that highlights this.
He also noted that complaints related to school accidents increased by 63%.
“Bullying or Islamophobic material in classroom teaching is incredibly concerning to us. So while we’d be happy to see government-type cases go down, unfortunately, children seem to be one of the main targets.”
He referred to a video of a teacher in Florida disrespecting Muslim students while performing prayers.
“Wait, this is in my office, and you guys are doing this magic?” the teacher said in a viral TikTok video in December 2022. She then commented, “I believe in Jesus, so I’m boycotting the floor.”
He stressed that despite some negative examples, there is positive news for Muslims in education and sports.
Saylor noted that government officials in Ohio and Maryland have passed laws to protect athletes who wear headscarves because of their religious beliefs. The law was passed after athletes Nour Abukaram and Jeananne Hayes were disqualified from athletic competitions in the two states for wearing headscarves.
Law enforcement focuses on real threats after the January 6, 2021 riots
Saylor said there was a 32% increase in complaints of anti-Muslim actions by law enforcement and government officials during the first year of former President Donald Trump’s administration.
He said he believes the drop in these complaints in 2022 could be related to President Joe Biden’s new term and the January 6 Capitol riots.
“Donald Trump said he’s going to ban Muslims from this country and that he thinks Islam hates us. So, when you have someone like that controlling the government, you’re going to see a lot of government-driven issues.”
He said law enforcement focused on real threats after the Capitol riot.
Saylor also noted that there is still a rising trend in anti-Muslim bias in the education and banking sectors despite a 23% decrease in total complaints, adding that financial institutions open and close bank accounts based on religious beliefs, making banking a major issue. Challenge to Muslims.
He pointed to a survey conducted last March by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, which revealed that 27% of Muslims in the United States are experiencing difficulties with financial institutions.
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