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Muslim Group Publishes Guide for Conversations With Children About Islamophobia and Violence

The PDF makes recommendations for parents talking to their kids about extremism.

Image from “Mislabeled,” a 2015 CAIR report on school bullying of Muslim-American children

As news of anti-Muslim hate crimes and Islamophobic political rhetoric continues to dominate headlines, a Muslim civil rights group released a guide for parents talking to their children about violent extremism. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) published a three-page PDF on that provides recommendations on how to conduct conversations with young people about the current events.

“Acts of violent extremism perpetrated by people who falsely claim Islam sanctions their atrocities, combined with growing Islamophobia, create a difficult environment for parents,” said Corey Saylor, director of CAIR's Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia, in a press release. “This document provides guidance for parents who are struggling to help calm the anxiety and fears in the minds of young people.”

CAIR enlisted a board-ceritifed physician, Dr. Aliya Saeed, to write the guide. Among other suggestions, she advises parents to avoid watching vitriolic cable news coverage of anti-Muslim politicians in front of their children and to educate them about the civil rights struggles of other communities. The guide also includes other resources, including a “Know Your Rights” brochure for Muslim youth who are being bullied or harassed at school.

In a 2015 report titled Mislabeled: The Impact of School Bullying and Discrimination on California Muslim Students, CAIR found that 55 percent of 621 students surveyed said they had experienced bullying or discrimination based on their religious identity.

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