Muslim students report bullying at twice the rate of non-Muslim peers, survey shows

Muslim students in California schools report being bullied and discriminated against at significantly higher rates than their peers, according to a study released Friday by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The report is based on a 2014 statewide survey of more than 600 Muslim American students ages 11-18, who described incidents of discomfort in the classroom, cyberbullying, negative reactions to wearing a hijab and to religious-accommodation requests, negativity from teachers and increased scrutiny after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The organization administered the survey to raise awareness of the challenges young Muslims face in the United States.

Among the survey results:

  • About 55% of the Muslim students surveyed said they’ve been bullied or discriminated against, twice the number of students nationally who reported being bullied.
  • About 29% of students who wear hijabs said they experienced offensive touching or pulling of their hijab.
  • About 20% of students said they experienced discrimination by a school staff member.
  • An estimated 76% of respondents said they felt comfortable participating in discussions about
  • Islam or countries where Muslims live, down 4% from the organization’s 2012 survey.

“Your existence is always interrogated, investigated and questioned,” said one student in the report.

Link to Full Report:

Religious leaders in Rhône-Alpes gather to fight radical Islam

The State, mayors in the Rhône-Alpes, and local religious leaders have set a goal to curb radicalization of young Muslims in the region, introducing 10 propositions. These include: opening the mosque to women, lessening financial burdens, mentoring Arab language schools, reinforcing interreligious dialogue, creating a regional council of Muslims.

These goals are intended to “clarify” the roles of several institutions, such as mosques that are often accused of harboring foreign salafi imams. “We must help each other” because “today it’s important that associations and mayors work together,” declared Abdelkader Laïd Bendidi, president of the Regional Council of the Muslims Faith (CRCM).

These “extremely realistic and constructive measures were unanimously supported by religious leaders, mosques, mayors, and state representatives, and I will make every effort to support them,” said prefect Michel Delpuech.

Youths of non-western descent still more often unemployed

Youths from non-western backgrounds are strikingly more often unemployed than youths from Dutch descent. In 2015 8,8 % of native youths were unemployed as opposed to 21,5 % of youths with a non-western background. These and more statistics were bundled in a new factsheet on youth unemployment between 2010 and 2015 published by the Kennisplatform Integratie & Samenleving / KIS (English: Knowledge Platform Integration & Society).

The percentages of unemployment are mostly higher for Dutch youths with a Moroccan, Turkish, Surinam, Antillean, and Aruban background. This is also the case for youths that fell in the category “other non-western.” This last group showed a striking increase of unemployment in the first half of 2015, against the trend. The category “other non-wester” alludes to south from Africa (except for Morocco), Mid and South-America (except for Surinam and the Antilles), and Asia (except for Turkey, Indonesia, and Japan).

The high amount of unemployment is explained amongst other things by: the fact that youths from a non-western background on average have a lower degree of education, they have less opportunities for networking, they more often experience discrimination, and they acquire less working experience and labor market skills during their studies.

More details can be found in the KIS factsheet:

David Cameron: Muslim silent majority must tackle Islamist extremism

David Cameron has said it is time for the Muslim “silent majority” to stand up and tackle Islamist extremism in their communities. The Prime Minister said those who have so far failed to confront the fanatics’ ideology can “make all the difference” and must speak up.

He said they were central to challenging their warped views and can show young people how to be proud to be both Muslim and British. Mr Cameron spoke out as he prepared to launch the Government’s extremism strategy designed to tackle fanatics and hate preachers and restrict their activities.

But writing on Facebook, he added: “As a government, I know we must own this problem. But our Muslim communities must own it, too. We have all got a critical part to play, but I strongly feel the currently silent majority can make all the difference.

“They’re central to standing up and challenging the warped interpretation of theology and scripture. They’re central to putting forward a liberal, tolerant and inclusive Islam, and demonstrating how it can work in harmony with democracy, freedom and equality. They can show the boy in East London or the girl in Birmingham how proud you can feel to be both British and Muslim, without conflict or contradiction. And in standing up, by speaking out, I am confident that we will defeat the extremists, and together build the Greater Britain that is within our grasp.”

Mr Cameron will later say that defeating Islamist extremists “will be the struggle of our generation” as he reveals a series of new laws to “disrupt” radicals operating in Britain. Mr Cameron will announce sweeping new powers for the Disclosure and Barring Service to ensure that anyone with a conviction for terrorist or extremist activity is automatically banned from working with children and vulnerable people – in the same way as those convicted of sexual offences against children.

He will also announce Asbo-style restriction orders, named “extremist disruption orders”, designed to restrict Islamist preachers from broadcasting, using social media or speaking at public events. The Government will also extend powers allowing parents to apply for their children’s passports to be removed if they fear they are at risk of travelling abroad to fight alongside terrorists. Under the current rules, parents could apply to have the passports of under 16s removed by the authorities. However, Mr Cameron will say this will now be extending to under 18s amid fears that terror groups such as Isil are using social media websites like Twitter to radicalise teens and convince them to travel to Syria.

Mr Cameron will say that the measures are to be included in a new extremism bill.

He will signal his intention to revive the so-called “snoopers’ charter”, which was blocked by the Liberal Democrats during the coalition and will give the security services tough new powers to monitor telephone and internet communications by suspected terrorists.

Tony Blair: Islamic extremists’ ideology enjoys support of many Muslims

The ideology which drives Islamic extremists has significant support from Muslims around the world, Tony Blair has warned. The former British prime minister said that unless religious prejudice in Muslim communities is rooted out, the threat from the extremists will not be defeated.

Speaking at the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City, Blair said that while the numbers who engage in violence through groups like Islamic State are relatively small, many of their views are widely shared. “The conspiracy theories which illuminate much of the jihadi writings have significant support even amongst parts of the mainstream population of some Muslim countries,” he said.

“There are millions of schoolchildren every day in countries round the world – not just in the Middle East – who are taught a view of the world and of their religion which is narrow-minded, prejudicial and therefore, in the context of a globalised world, dangerous.”

Blair acknowledged that attacking ideas which resonate in parts of mainstream Muslim society could appear to be an attack on Muslims rather than just extremists, but he said such concerns have to be overcome.

“The reality is that in parts of the Muslim community a discourse has grown up which is profoundly hostile to peaceful coexistence. Countering this is an essential part of fighting extremism.”

GOP Lawmaker Wants To Cut Religion From Tennessee’s World History Curriculum, Because Islam

State Rep. Sheila Butt would rather cut back on all religious study than risk the “indoctrination” of Tennessee students.

A Republican lawmaker in Tennessee has proposed a bill that would ban public schools from teaching “religious doctrine” earlier than 10th grade after parents complained that middle school world history lessons on Islam were inappropriate.

Tennessee middle school students currently read from religious texts and learn about world religions, including the Five Pillars of Islam. Butt’s legislation doesn’t specifically mention Islam, but said students aren’t ready to learn about religion before a certain age.
Parents had made similar complaints, saying the curriculum focused more on Islam than on other religions and bordered on “indoctrination.”
Other Tennessee lawmakers also have weighed in with concerns about supposed religious indoctrination in schools — at least when the curriculum involves Islam.
“There is a big difference between education and indoctrination,” U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, (R-Tenn)., said in a statement in September.

French Muslim schoolboy shoots teacher with BB gun, yells ‘allahu akbar’

A 15-year-old high school student has been arrested after shooting his teacher with a BB gun and shouting “Allahu Akbar” in Châlons-en-Champagne. He arrived at school carrying the gun, an air soft grenade and a knife, intending to kill his literature teacher. The student was taken into custody.

“He told investigators that he had [worked on] a plan for one week to stab his French professor and steal the car of his physics teacher under threat before ramming the car in the gendarmerie to die a martyr,” Christian de Rocquigny, Châlons-en-Champagne’s prosecutor, said.

Sample menus for state school lunches in Chilly-Mazarin

[with non-pork alternatives that will disappear from November].

Tuesday 13 October
Starter: Pork liver mousse and cornichon pickle [or chicken pâté] with navette (Marseille orange-flower biscuit)

Main course: Organic blanquette de veau (veal stew), rice

Dessert: Organic apple


Thursday 15 October
Starter: Potted salmon and Swedish bread

Main course: Roast pork [or turkey ham], peas and carrots in yoghurt sauce

Dessert: Banana


Thursday 22 October
Starter: Green salad with vinaigrette dressing

Main course: Tartiflette (a traditional Alpine gratin of potato mixed with bacon and reblochon cheese) [or pork-free tartiflette]

Dessert: Natural yoghurt, low-sugar apple and vanilla compote