A Muslim Parent's Guide to Talking to Children About Acts of Violent Extremism

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Muslim children are growing up in a challenging time in America.  Our nation is engaged in military conflicts in places with predominantly Muslim populations, and the domestic war on terror is focused disproportionately on Muslim citizens. There is also a surge in Islamophobia and hate crimes against Muslims in America. Round the clock cable news coverage, combined with a constant exposure to social media contributes to a heightened sense of insecurity and urgency for all Americans and especially Muslims. In this complex environment, it is important for parents of Muslim children to recognize their own needs and their children’s needs.

Obtain a pdf of this guide here.

Start with yourself, be their anchors

Know the facts

Have age appropriate conversations

Additional Resources

Know your rights as a Muslim youth at school

A brief CAIR guide advising youth on their rights when responding to bullying and when requesting religious accommodation for things such as wearing a hijab at school and being excused to celebrate Eid.

Mislabeled: the impact of bullying and discrimination on California Muslim students

This 2015 report finds that 55 percent of Muslim students have been subject to at least one form of religion-based bullying. This is twice as high as the national average of students reporting being bullied at school. The findings are based on a statewide survey of over 600 Muslim students, ages 11 to 18.

Author

This brief was authored by Dr. Aliya Saeed in partnership with CAIR’s Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia.

Aliya Saeed, M.D is a mother, and a board certified psychiatrist in clinical practice. She completed her psychiatric residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital and her fellowship from Columbia University. She is an active member of her faith community and was the founding president of her local Muslim community center. She is a member of the Terrorism and Violence Committee of the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry, a national think tank of psychiatric leaders. Her published work has focused on issues of violent extremism, Islamophobia and racism.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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