Add anti-racism lessons to curriculum: Muslim leader
A Muslim leader in Winnipeg wants schools to make anti-racism education part of the curriculum when students return in the fall.
Shahina Siddiqui, executive director of the Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA), says she worries about what children will face when they go back to school after a summer that has seen number of racist incidents in Manitoba and abroad.
Siddiqui said she is crafting a letter that she intends to send to school divisions and teachers. It will ask them to talk to their students about racism as part of their regular lessons, and not simply on a single day set aside to discuss human rights.
“We need our diverse school body of students to be talking to each other, to be understanding and caring — that it’s not just the issue of visible minorities, that is the issue for all of us,” Siddiqui told CBC News.
Verbal attack captured on video
In a video posted online, a Muslim woman from Calgary was verbally attacked in early July by a stranger after she stopped to ask for directions in a parking lot near Seven Sisters dam.
The man told the woman, who wears a hijab, to take her “head towel off” because it “supports Muslims” and told her to “go back to your country.” The man also called himself a “Nazi.”
The incident ended after two women who were passing by confronted the man, which Siddiqui said shows the importance for bystanders to intervene when they see attacks like this happening.
“Many times people, what they don’t realize is that when Muslim women are targeted, mothers are targeted. There are children that are witnessing this and it is also impacting them. And they don’t have the ability to articulate how they’re feeling, and so they are internalizing it,” Siddiqui said.