Put a Face to the Muslim American Civil Rights Experience
Social alienation. Emotional and psychological suffering. Discouraged from using community resources.
These are common and consistent consequences associated with anti-Muslim school bullying, profiling based on religion, race, ethnicity, and national origin, and immigration-related discrimination. All three are civil rights issues for which the associated pain, stress, and trauma affects not only the victim, but family and friends as well. We want to shift how profiling, bullying, and immigration issues are discussed in the public realm. With that, Muslim American Stories was born.
Rarely framed as a “Muslim issue,” bullying alienates, isolates, and emotionally devastates children. Bullying makes it harder to children to focus on their studies, though schools are often slow or reluctant to address the problem. Unfortunately, the effects are often felt for years after the initial trauma.
Muslims are often profiled not only because of their perceived religion, but also because of their race, ethnicity, and national origin. Profiling alienates Muslim Americans because it suggests they are lesser Americans against whom discrimination is OK. The psychological effects are obvious, as profiling fosters social distrust and discourages Muslim Americans from becoming more active in their neighborhoods and communities.
Significant numbers of Muslim Americans are harmed by immigration policies discouraging reliance on federal, state, and local law enforcement. This discourages seeking help in situations like domestic violence, makes it almost impossible for young people (i.e. Dreamers) to gain access to higher education, and encourages profiling based on national origin and race. Moreover, many Muslim American immigrants struggle to get justice because the courts provide inadequate language services or the laws force victims into hiding.