Lesson Plan

Anti-Muslim Bigotry and Being an Ally

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GRADE LEVEL: Middle School, High School

COMMON CORE STANDARDS: Reading, Speaking and Listening, Language

After the terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut and San Bernardino, California, there has been an increase in incidents targeting the Muslim community and those who are perceived to be Muslim. Since the Paris attacks on November 13, 2015, there have been at least seventy-five incidents in the United States, including assaults, vandalism and threats. In the wake of these terrorist attacks, the emergence of ISIS combined with a lack of information among the general public and the tendency to conflate Islam with terrorism, there has been a surge in anti-Muslim sentiment in our public discourse, political rhetoric and everyday interactions. This trend is similar to the anti-Muslim sentiment that escalated following the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001.

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about these incidents, reflect on the connection between these anti-Muslim acts of bigotry and the misunderstandings and stereotypes about Muslim people, and identify ways they can be allies in the face of bias and discrimination.