CAIR-Austin/DFW Survey: almost 1 in 4 students reported that other Muslim students in their schools got physically harmed for being Muslims
(Austin, TEXAS, 03/08/23) – The Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Austin and Dallas Fort-Worth (CAIR-Austin/DFW), a chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today released a new report, “The Illusive Inclusion: Islamophobia, Discrimination, and Lack of Accommodation in Public Schools” indicating that almost 1 in 4 students witnessed other Muslim students in their schools got physically harmed for being Muslims
The Illusive Inclusion: Islamophobia, Discrimination, and Lack of Accommodation in Public Schools
CAIR-Austin/DFW’s report examines how Muslim students feel about their school environment, about identifying as Muslim and the extent of anti-Muslim bullying and harassment students experience.
The anonymous survey involved 68 students living in the Greater Austin Metroplex. Participants were between the ages of 10 and 18 years old. It surveyed those American Muslim students who attended either public or private (not-Islamic) schools.
CAIR-Austin/DFW Community Relation Coordinator, Shaimaa Zayan said:
“American Muslim students, like all students, cannot learn or grow in an environment that does not respect ot understand their religion and religious practices and needs. This Survey is an answer to the recommendation stated in CAIR-DFW Bullying Survey (2020) to continue monitoring anti-Muslim bullying.”
Other key findings show:
- Only 11.8% of the students or their parents asked for Friday prayer accommodation and only 20% asked for P.E. Uniform accommodations.
- 38.2% experienced at least one offensive statement/post about Islam/Muslims by their school peers on social media.
- 37.3% witnessed in-person verbal abuse, based on religion, directed towards Muslim students in their schools.
- 64.7% of students reported that teachers are not completely factual and neutral when mentioning Islam/Muslims in a lesson.
when students approach a school staff after a bullying incident, 86.2% of them reported the issue was not completely resolved.
The report offered recommendation for students, parents, educators, and lawmakers, including:
- Conducting assessments in which “all members of the school’s community, including teachers, students, counselors, coaches and parents are surveyed and asked their views about Muslims and Islam,
Parents should be the school’s alley and offer support by sharing authentic resources, speaking at the classrooms, and attending parents’ meetings to discuss reasonable religious accommodations.
- Teachers and school staff’s professional development should include authentic information regarding appropriate religious accommodations for Muslims and not to leave it all on the shoulders of parents and students to explain their religious need
CAIR-Austin DFW is committed to repeat this survey bi-annually.
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR-Austin/DFW Community relation Coordinator Shaimaa Zayan