(ATLANTA, GA, 11/15/16) – On Wednesday, November 16, the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-GA) held a press conference to announce a series of initiatives designed to counter a post-election surge in hate incidents targeting Georgia Muslims and other minorities.
Representatives from other local civil rights, interfaith and advocacy organizations, including Project South, the Georgia Muslim Voter Project, the Council of Mosques of Metro-Atlanta, and the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, also plan to react to the post-election climate and discuss solutions, including:
- Speak Up: a text, phone and email hotline that Georgia Muslims, particularly youth, should use to immediately report incidents of bullying, harassment and discrimination. Email [email protected], text 770-742-6876, or call 404-419-6390 to report harassment. Call 911 if it is an emergency.
- Security Seminar: Georgia Muslims plan to host private security seminars offering guidance on mosque security, responding to active shooter situations, and self-defense tips for women.
- Interfaith Outreach: Georgia Muslims plan to renew and expand their efforts to deliver educational presentations about American Muslims across the state, particularly in areas where incidents of bigotry occur.
“Since Election Day, Georgia Muslims have received countless messages of support and reassurance from neighbors of various faiths and backgrounds,” said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR-GA. “But we have also seen a spike in verbal assaults on Georgia Muslims and other minorities, particularly within the school system.”
Among the incidents of school harassment since Election Day include a female Muslim student being called a “f**king terrorist,” an anonymous note telling a female Muslim teacher to “hang” herself,” and a female Muslim student taunted on her school bus so viciously that she removed her hijab in an unsuccessful attempt to satisfy her harassers.
During a Muslim youth camp held the weekend after the election, CAIR-GA also interacted with dozens of Georgia Muslim public school students. Almost all of the students reported experiencing harassment at school because of their Islamic faith.
“We may have a new president, but we do not have a new Constitution,” said Mitchell. “This is still America. Every bigot who thinks otherwise should know that their harassment only strengthens our resolve to proudly and publicly practice our faith while building bridges with our neighbors.”
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.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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