According to a new report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Muslim children in California schools continue to say they are being bullied or harassed at a higher rate than other students. The survey found 40% of respondents, ages 11 to 18, experienced bullying at school for being Muslim. That figure included 16% who said they were abused or harassed at least once a week, once a month or “sometimes.”
The mistreatment included students being called terrorists, made fun of because they wore a hijab, and reduced to tears from teasing, the report said. A similar survey by the organization in 2017 found more than half of Muslim students reported being made fun of, insulted or abused, which authors linked to “Islamophobic rhetoric” in the 2016 presidential campaign.
“I am cautiously optimistic that there is a drop in these reported numbers of bullying,” said Ammad Wajahat Rafiqi, an attorney with CAIR in San Francisco, who contributed to the latest report. “But we are also concerned that the numbers continue to be very high.”