Appeal filed over ‘appalling, Islamophobic’ teaching material distributed in 7th-grade social studies class – Orange County Register

The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Los Angeles chapter filed an appeal this week on behalf of a Ventura County family whose son received instructional material in his seventh-grade social studies class that berated Muslims and which was taken, the group says, from an anti-Muslim website.

During a press conference Thursday morning, Jan. 11, at CAIR-LA’s Anaheim office, the boy’s parents said their son is afraid and reluctant to go to school since October because he is being bullied by his peers for being Muslim in reaction to the inaccurate statements contained in the history teacher’s instructional material.

CAIR-LA’s appeal to the California Department of Education challenges the Mesa Union School District’s determination that the teacher’s actions were not discriminatory. The school district is located in Somis, an unincorporated community in Ventura County.

District superintendent Jeff Turner declined comment. The district “continues to seek resolution of this matter,” he said in a released statement.

The material the teacher distributed contained information taken from the website, which makes “inaccurate and disparaging” statements about Islam and Muslims,” said Masih Fouladi, CAIR-LA’s advocacy manager.

The sheet of paper distributed by the teacher states Sharia Law, or Islamic religious law, gives Muslim men sexual rights over any woman or girl not wearing the hijab or head scarf; allows a man to marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9; and requires Muslims to lie to non-Muslims to advance their faith.

“The main issue at hand with this incident of bullying is that the material was drawn from a website that is clearly intended to promote one religion at the expense of another,” Fouladi said. “This has no place in our public school system and is a clear violation of the First Amendment.”

CAIR’s California chapter released a report in October which found that Muslim students statewide are bullied at a rate that is more than twice the average of Muslim youths nationally. The same study also found an increase statewide of bullying of Muslim youth by their teachers.

The boy’s mother, Carolyn Rodriguez-Quddus said she and her husband are concerned about the integrity and the mindset of the teacher and the school district’s defense of his actions.

“As parents, we are devastated that our son has to go through something like this at such a tender age,” she said….

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