Unfortunately, signs of inequality are often manifested in education systems, formal and non-formal schools. Those who are most often targeted are individuals from minority, indigenous and other vulnerable groups. In class, you were asked to choose between reading one of two cases related to educational injustice and inequality (particularly against a religious minority)--anti-Muslim discrimination in U.S. Schools and denied access to higher education for Bahá’ís in Iran. After reading the case that you selected, please make sure to answer the following questions: 

  1. Which case did you read? Please provide a brief summary (two to three sentences) explaining the background of the case study you read. 
  2. What do you think the potential and actual causes of this kind of discrimination could be? Why is it happening in the first place? What factors are at play here?
  3. How would you personally feel if you were in the place of the religious minority group that was discriminated against? Please explain your response. 
  4. Think of a time during any part of your own educational/sc experience in which you experienced and/or witnessed an act of injustice, discrimination, inequality, inequity, and/or prejudice taking place. Please explain the event, and how you reacted to it. Would your reaction be any different now? If so, how so? If not, why not?

***Your response (blog post) to this blog above is required by Sunday, December 18, 2011  at 11:59 p.m.***
Larai U.
12/14/2011 04:53:18

I read the case study,"Taking Responsibility for Anti-Muslim Discrimination in our Schools." The article gave examples of students being insulted, bullied, harassed, and assaulted in U.S. schools because they are Muslim or Arab. This particular discrimination derives from the war in Iraq, 9/11, many terrorist acts committed on U.S. embassys in other countries. It is happening because of fear. Fear opens up the doors to racism and discrimination. The 24 hour news cycle consistantly shows images of acts of terror connected to the Arab world, therefore the fear is being perpetuated. Americans have come to know Muslims as their enemy because of the terrorist acts of some Muslims. I know what discrimination at the hands of fellow Americans feels like because I am African-American. Africa has never posed any threat to America, but Africans were treated like savages. There is a constant fight for equality by minority groups in America. Unfortunately, ignorance and fear has given way to innocent Muslim-Americans being the target of racially driven acts of violence. It is somewhat difficult to recall one specific personal experience with prejudice because it happens all the time. Everyone is not perceptive to it, but sometimes its a look or body language, or even a tone of voice used that is inappropriate. If you go to a certain part of town or visit an establishment that doesn't usually cater to people of other ethnicities, you can encounter prejudice. The best way of handling the situation is to address it at the moment it happens and also go through the proper channels to report the incident. I must say that I have not had any personal experiences with discrimination at school.

Fraol Bejiga
12/16/2011 07:08:31

I read the case studies from the Bahai’i Institute for Higher Education. The article tells about the discrimination of Bahai’i faith students in the school system in Iran. Bahai’i students are denied access to universities in Iran and some are even expelled from primary and secondary education schools for no other reason than adhering to Bahai’i faith. Bahai’i students are forced to attend the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education by limiting their interest to the few majors available at the Institute. Even though I don’t have deep knowledge about the Iranian society, I think the cause of the discrimination is the culture. The society’s rigid structure and little freedom or tolerance of belief lead the Bahai’i faith adherents to be pushed to the margins. The unique ideology preached by Bahá'u'lláh and the solutions he presented to the well-being of humanity may be contrary to the belief of the Iranian society. I also believe the other reason behind the prejudice against the Bahai’i students is the belief of the government. The government may believe that they should discourage the Bahai’s by rejecting them from admission to universities so they could change their faith to Islam. I believe it would definitely hurt me if I were in the place of my Bahai’i brothers and sisters in Iran. I don’t think there will be a change just because Bahais are struggling for justice because they are minorities. The solution resides in the majority of the people in Iran. There should be a fundamental change in the Iranian system and belief. Though they think their religion is right, they should also tolerate and respect the ideology and belief of others. I didn’t experience discrimination in school.

12/17/2011 02:14:48

I read “Case Studies from the Baha’i Institute of Higher Education”. The article focuses on different cases where because they belong to the Baha’i religion, they were denied acceptance into the universities in Iran. Although they were aware of the bleak chances they had, they still applied and hoped for a window of opportunity, not only for higher learning, but for social justice in their country as well.

The potential causes for this discrimination could pertain to certain aspects of the Baha’i faith that are heavily frowned upon (maybe because they conflict with the beliefs of the country) or background events in history where the people of Iran tried to and still try to oppress them as much as possible.

Personally, I would feel as though I have no opportunities in that particular country to advance. As seen in the article, because of their religion, they have no opportunities of a higher education in the country because their religion is shunned by the society of Iran. In the article, they had to leave the country for opportunities of advancement and were able to receive higher education, but there were still attempts to oppress them if/when they returned.

I personally witnessed injustice when one of the intermediate level ESOL students I work with was in a situation where he got in trouble and the teacher, in the midst of scolding him, told him repeatedly to “speak English” when he was trying to explain what had happened. He had stumbled on his words, but not enough to not be able to understand what he was saying. I did not say anything during the situation, but I did counsel the student afterwards. This happened last school year. I may have reacted differently now, but the reason for not stepping in to say anything is because I myself do not have that much authority, and it would seem as though I am overstepping my boundaries. As my mentor/supervisor says “it’s like telling a parent how to raise their child”; which would create further conflict.

nadja bruskin
12/17/2011 09:54:17

I read "Taking Responisibility for Anti-Muslim Discrimination in our Schools" . Its about how muslim kids have to deal with stupid kids and teachers assuming stupid things about them just becasue they are Muslim. This isnt just really annoying for the kid but it also might inhibite thier ability to talk about themslves freely or even thier opinions on things because they are worried people will say stupid stuff to them. It bascially talks about how racist stereotypes on muslims that are being treated like reality in school are taumatizing to muslim kids.
In the article it talks about the media perpetual negetive stereotypes of muslims, "This media exposure, for the majority of Americans, is the number one information source about nearly one third of the world population." Factors of this media stereotype is all the news of the war and of terrorists. This creates a peticular image of what it is to be a muslim mostly that they are people to be feared and they are teh enemies of the U.S. Though at least there is that new show called All American Muslims trying to debunk many of the narrow views America has. Though now it is facing challenges like people tyin gto get ads to stop airing during the show. As to why America has these racist stereotypes in the first place is because anything that is not a christain white male is life threatening to the way of American life. Obviosly its not true but thats kind of how this country deals with what is "good" and what is "bad". Its always had a racist history since the settlers.
If I was in a religous group that was discriminated against I would constantly feel like I needed to be on the defense about my beliefs and would probably want to assimilate more into the "mainstream" so I didnt have to deal with people making assumptions, or insulting me or maybe even threats at me. I personaly have a really hard time dealing with mean strangers and if i was in a religous minority I would probably deal with it alot more and be more stressed out.
When I was in England I was at this school were you would work for your tuition and education. There was alot of different levels there some more faster and more knowledgable then others. There was this girl from Jordan and she had an American acccent and she didnt have the sort of personality they liked (she lived in california for a few years). They often called her slow and teased her behind her back and gave her teh worst and most dangerous jobs. One time we went to a bar and the other workers were gettting drunk and talking abotu her. I felt disgusted and I left the bar. I wouldnt tell her these things but I liked the girl and tried my best to give her support and be a freind. Also at that school, a paying student violenty attacked a "free" studen. He basically got off the hook because he was the one who was paying. They even treated her really badly and blamed her right after the event even when she was clearly traumatized and in tears. After I heard that happened I decided to leave. I wasnt going to give my money to a school that treated poorer students unjustly and let paying students off the hook.

Lisa D.
12/18/2011 00:02:15

1. I chose to read "Taking Responsibility for Anti-Muslim Discrimination in our Schools" by Sarah Childers. Basically the article was about how muslim and arab students feel like outcasts because of how their classmates, teachers and the school systems are treating them due to their ethnicity/religion. It also touches on how we can help them from the discrimination if we presence it.

2. The causes for this discrimination happening not only in schools, but everywhere is due to the conflicts in the middle eastern countries dating back to 1940s. The media plays a big role in why all this discrimination continues to happen. The way the media portrays people from these regions makes them look like the bad ones; our enemies.

3. If I was the one being discriminated against in particularly in this country, I would feel idle. I wouldn't see myself being able to advance in the American society and possibly lose hope. Also I would look at the American system being hypocrites because they advocate equality and freedom when even at schools one isn't able to feel free of expressing where they come from and the religion they practice without being discriminated against.

4. Just recently I experienced an act of discrimination within Montgomery College. The professor was white and his classroom was all blacks, Hispanics and a few arab/muslim and he made a comment that did not sit well with me. It was a health class, so we were discussing parenting and he made a comment along the lines of we couldn't possibly be married but some of us might have or will have "baby mommas and daddys" and found it to be funny. No one addressed the comment, but we all looked at each other in shock that he felt he could get away with that comment.

Chun Yung
12/18/2011 02:09:54

1. I have read the Baha’I institute of higher education. It talks about people with Baha’I religion can not apply to the university in Iran. Although the universities not accept them, they still apply it. It is because they want the society know about this case.
2. The potential causes for this case could related to the faith of Baha’I, the faith of people in Iran, and the history background. It still being the factors until now.
3. In my opinion, if I were them, I would also keep applying to the university. It is because I believe in my religion, and I trust my faith. I trust that if I keep trying to apply, I would be success. My faith will protect me and guide me to success. Do not give up is the starting point of success.
4. When I study in a math class in high school. My teacher assumes that Asian are better on math, so he will give me a more harder exam than others. It is not extra credit; it will curve with other students. I think it is discrimination, for all students should have get the same materials in the exam. Then it can call a fair play. At that time, I just prepare harder on every exam. I think I would face the problem if the problem happen now.

Kinley Bunting
12/18/2011 03:20:29

I read the Case studies from the Baha’i Institutes for Higher Education, which outlined the educational hurtles put in front of Hamid, Parviz and Mariam, three Baha’i students living in Iran. In all three cases the students where denied access to higher education provided for students who believed in the four main religions found in Iran (Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. Instead these students and others who where Baha’i believers where forced to go to Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), which isn’t a traditional university. Eventually however all three students continued their path to higher education outside of Iran.

The main reason I feel this discrimination is occurring is because of Iran’s very strict religious views and intolerance of other religions. Also I got a feeling from the article that originally the Baha’i believers where the controlling class in Iran before Islam came and took over. Since Islam has become so institutionalized in Iran it makes creating, passing and enforcing religious laws acceptable and easier. I have a feeling historical events have played a role in this practice.

If where in this kind of situation I would never stray from my religious beliefs in order to conform to the cultural “right”. I would progress as far as allowed and then if I had the means leave the country to continue where I had left off in country. In my personal view no one should ever change whom they are to fit into what the society looks upon as “right”. Everyone should be allowed to have their own beliefs and customs and if the government or control group puts restrictions then the person should progress as far as they can and then, if they have the means, go to a more open country and progress further and if they don’t have the means try to bring about change in their own country to give the next generation a better chance and future.

I guess an event where I experienced prejudice was when I walked into a lower level math class in college and most of the students I was sitting next to seemed surprised that I was in this math class due to me being Asian. I found it annoying at first but then I just found it was easier to just let it go and not even address it. I think now my reaction would unfortunately be a lot more confrontational then it was because I have become less tolerant of ignorance and bigotry. I have higher hopes now that in this day and age the majority of people wouldn’t be as ignorant as in the past and that if they are unsure that they would have a better grasp of approaching the subject.

12/18/2011 10:38:58

I chose to read article "Taking Responsibility for Anti-Muslim Discrimination in our Schools." The article was about how muslim and arab students felt rejected by other student, teacher, and even the school system. All of this rejection and discrimination is influenced by the fear that many of the population had after the 9/11 attacks.
I had a teacher last semester that me feel discriminated. He would make really stupid comments, such as saying "i think its your understand of english, rather than my way of explaining" in other words saying that my english wasnt good enought. another time he made a dumb comment was to another student saying that "here in the US we use calculators, maybe back in OUR COUNTRY we didnt have them. Randon stupid comments like that really anoyed me. I just think its pure ignorance of people not to think or know that this country was made up of immigrants. I ignored my teacher, but im pretty sure other students did not.

This problem started to break out after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Aljahai Henley
12/18/2011 11:17:56

1. I chose the article "Taking Responsibility for Anti-Muslim Discrimination in our Schools" to read for this blog assignment.The article discusses several stories that show discrimination towards Arabic or Muslim kids. In addition to that some of those attacked or discriminated against have Muslim sounding names.

2.This could potentially lead to more aggressive acts towards Muslims and the perpetuation of violence on a larger scale. Much of this started after the September 11 attacks that claimed the lives of thousands of Americans and was carried out by Arabic men. Factors at play include racism, hate and ignorance.

3. I think I would be highly offended if I were in this situation, in addition to angry over such treatment from peers and teachers. Why is it necessary that I should be discriminated against for the actions of others?

4. In my educational experience I have not dealt with such things because I did not attend traditional school for most of my life

Hawaya Abby
12/18/2011 11:39:19

I read the case studies from the Bahai’i Institute for Higher Education. It talks about the fact that students from the Bahai’I religion are not allowed to attend university in Iran because of their beliefs. They are discriminated against because of their faith, and are forced to attend Bahai’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), which offers very few majors.
I think the cause of this discrimination has to do with Iran being such an extreme Muslim country. The country has the highest number of Shia Muslims; they have a very low tolerance for any other religion in their country if it’s not Islam.
I’d feel horrible if that was me. Being denied education because of my religion would make me really upset. Like the people we read about in the case study most likely I’d try to leave the country so that I can get a college education elsewhere.
I’m Muslim so I tend to experience discrimination often, especially when I have my hijab on. One time in particular, I remember at the airport my mom and brother have Muslim/Arabic names: Amina Abdi and Mohammed so I remember coming back from London last year and the TSA stopped both of them and asked them a bunch of questions. They didn’t stop me, but because my mother had an Arabic name they immediately saw her as a threat and had to do unnecessary questioning. I didn’t really react badly because it’s so common now, it disgusts me but unfortunately it’s the world we live in and I just don’t let it bother me as much anymore.

12/18/2011 11:42:22

1.I did the article "Anti-Muslim discrimination in U.S. Schools" which focused on the hardships endured by those muslim and middle eastern heritages. September 11th, along with the wars in Afganistan and Iraq created great controversy and tension in the lives of students as they were looked at as dangerous, evil people because of their ethnicities.
2.The fear and ignorant induced behaviors of Americans is a major factor of why the discrimination occurred. Anger, fear and resentment from September 11th along the wars is also a major cause.
3.I would be very outraged and saddened if I were the targeted minority because my ethnicity would have nothing to do with the behaviors and decisions of extremists and terrorists. I am individual and should be held accountable for my own actions as oppose to those of a terrorist who is the same race as me and who worships the same god. Unless I am guilty I should not be punished.
4.I was called the N word while playing on the playground in elementary school in the 3rd grade by two other caucasian students. I was outraged and there rocks at them and hit one of them in the head and they fell down and cried. I reacted violently due to my age and lack of maturity. At my current age I would do my best to exercise restraint, especially since the law prohibits violence. Today I am older and more in control of my emotions and would probably just remove myself from the situation to avoid great controversy. But not without giving the perpetrator a dose of his or her own medicine.

Hawanya Jones
12/18/2011 12:10:21

The case studied i read was Baha'i institute for higher education.This was a case where Iran students was denied access to higher education because they was not from the four religions that had to be chosen from (Islam,Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism.)The Baha'i students was forced to attended institutes such as (BIHE). Most of the students had to attend Universities outside of Iran. I believe that the discrimination could be the fact that the student of Iran was not of Islam, Christian, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism religion.I believe this is happening because of the Islamic Revolution. Personally feel upset at the fact that because of my religious background that I would not be able to obtain a higher education in a University. I have never experienced or witnessed and act of of injustice or discrimination.

mydiem le
12/18/2011 12:38:21

I read the article about prejudice against Muslims in different schools across the country and I had no idea that teachers would treat other students this way. The article talks about diffenernt events where students would encounter their teachers treating them a certain way because of their ethnicity. When I read this I was shocked. Personally I think this is happening because of the ignorance that are in people. They listen to the public media and assume that the media is always right not realizeing that the minority also has feelings too. They are too people and they are no different than anybody else. Bedford the September 11th attack, I don't think I remember any kind of stereotype against the Muslims, but after people take that one event including the war and have the need to feel that every so.ble Muslim is out to get them, blow up the place, or is a terrorist. If I was in the place of a Muslim person or even look like a middle eastern person it really wouldn't make a difference to me I too am in the minority group. My friends make fun of me all the time about being Asian, but I never really take it to the heart. I don't think any type of predujice towards me will ever get to me on an emotional level because it doesn't define who I am as a person.
I'm going to admit that yes I too have a prejudice bone in my body, but really I think everyone does because how society has fixed people to be. At work whenever a person who is particularly black, male, dreads, and dark clothes I would become suspicious of them and keep a close eye on them. Yes its wrong and the aNd person that I was suspicious of could have the most money, but sometimes that just how my brain is fixed to be. I'm not a rasicist person, but this is how society fixed my brain to be.

Robel Beyene
12/18/2011 12:45:35

1) I read the Anti-Muslim case study, its about how Muslims are being treated badly from insults to beating do to media stereotype and because of the seer ignorance of the people around.

2) The causes are the radical Muslim groups that are terrorizing people around the world through the excuse of there religion and the basic fact that not many people know about the religion. So they tend to go against something thing they don't understand.

3) I would feel that I would no matter what I wouldn't be scared to be true to myself. Like if everybody is against me I would stay with what I believe and never change as long as feel its true.

4) I'd used to get beat the first time I came to America because I couldn't speak English. My teacher thought I was mentally challenged (called me a retard)since I didn't understand her. I didn't react to it much because I was in second grade and had limited idea of what they were saying. My reaction would be completely different since I'm very flaunt in this language and probably course her out. (which I might of done given that it was DC and that nobody was teaching the right thing)

Jeanne Jarvis-Gibson
12/18/2011 12:47:20

1. The case study that I chose to read is "-anti-Muslim discrimination in U.S. Schools" by Sarah Childers. This case described different stories of muslim girls and boys that were discriminated against. It also has statistics in it about the increase of muslim hate crimes.

2. Causes of this kind of discrimination could be due to fear of the American people. September 11, 2001 caused a lot of people to be afraid and scared of people with certain ethnicities. The media also is very powerful and tends to put certain ethnicities in a certain light.

3. If I were the person being discriminated against, I would inferior to others. I would also get upset at the people who judge me upon my religious background and generalize me upon that. It would seem hypocritical because America is supposed to be a free country and not base people upon their race or ethnicity.

4. I do not think I have personally experienced discrimination. My neighbors a couple years ago did not come over to my house to play with 2 African American girls who had just moved in near our house. They said that the new girls were "dirty". I was shocked that anyone would say that.I did not confront them about what they said. However, if this happened now I would confront them and tell them to not judge people based on their race.

Rebecc Odukoya
12/18/2011 13:06:52

I read the Anti Muslim Discrimination in U.S Schools case study and found it interesting. IT basically explained different cases where Muslim children were verbally harassed in school because of their religion. It emphasized how the schooling system is condoling children’s ignorance about the religion.
This is inequality and discrimination because of religion. After 9/11 this social issues skyrocketed.
Honestly I would not know what to do. Religion isn’t just like a t-shirts its more like your skin and make you who your are. So if I was getting targeted like these students were I would not what to do.
In elementary school, I use to be made fun of because I was African. Students would purposely mess up my name and made hurtful sound displaying their ignorance trying to mock my culture.


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