Federal Guidance Specific to Religion Based Harassment in Schools; 10/27/10

ING is pleased to call attention to federal guidelines issued in October, 2010 by the Department of Education that are specific to religion-based harassment in schools. The guidance emphasizes that harassment related to a student’s religion can trigger a school’s responsibilities to investigate and remedy the harassment under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While Title VI does not cover discrimination based solely on religion, groups that face discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics may not be denied protection under Title VI on the ground that they also share a common faith. These principles apply to students from any discrete religious group that shares, or is perceived to share, ancestry or ethnic characteristics (e.g., Jews, Muslims, or Sikhs). Thus, harassment against students who are members of any religious group triggers a school’s Title VI responsibilities when the harassment is based on the group’s actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, rather than solely on its members’ religious practices. A school also has responsibilities under Title VI when its students are harassed based on their actual or perceived citizenship or residency in a country whose residents share a dominant religion or a distinct religious identity. The full press release with links to the guidance is as follows: Read More

Year-End Appeal: Thank You for All Your Support; 12/8/10

Thank you for your continued support and generous gifts to ING. Your support this year has helped build a more peaceful, harmonious community by allowing us to: Reach thousands of students, community members, service providers and professionals through the Islamic and Interfaith Speakers Bureaus Build relationships among members of the Bay Area's diverse communities Expand our work nationally by partnering with other communities around the country that have benefited from our expertise and programs Work with federal agencies to help prevent harassment and hate   Read More

Popular Protests in Egypt Forge Change Not Only in Politics, But in Perceptions; 2/11/11

02/11/11 - A new day has dawned in the Middle East and in the world. The entire world has watched as for nearly three weeks, Egyptian protestors have called for the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt with an iron hand for the past 30 years. These protests have not only created a sea change in the way that the mainly autocratic rulers of the region will function, but how the rest of the world views the region, not only politically, but at a human level. For while the protestors have not only inspired the entire world with their bravery and courage, they have also achieved what organizations like ING have worked for over nearly two decades: they have challenged many of the common stereotypes about Arabs and Muslims that have for so long prevailed in the media, Hollywood, politics, and society. Those frames have commonly been used to paint a picture that both demonizes Arabs and Muslims and portrays them as “the Other,” worthy only of our fear and contempt. Read More

ING Speakers Bureau Training Workshops in Dallas, Texas February 25-27; 2/24/11

02/24/11 - Today Muslims in the U.S. are enduring a wave of hostility and suspicion largely due to a rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric, fear- mongering and misrepresentation of Islam and Muslims. From the Park51 controversy and protests against proposed mosques across the country, to the planned Qur'an burning and continuous demonization of Muslim individuals and groups, Islamophobia has pervaded the media, politics, and the general culture in the U.S. The need for better education about Muslims is crucial. According to a 2010 Gallup Poll, 53% of Americans have an unfavorable view of Islam; 52% admit to feeling prejudice toward Muslims; 66% disagree that Muslims accept other religions; 68% disagree that Christians' and Muslims' religious beliefs are basically the same; and 81% disagree that most Muslims believe women and men should have equal rights. However this and other polls have indicated that perceptions about Islam improve by 50% if people have a personal relationship with a Muslim. The onus is upon Muslims to represent themselves rather than allowing others to misrepresent them. Each one of us can make a difference in changing perceptions to increase interreligious understanding and mutual respect among all Americans, and create a more harmonious society and world. Read More

Did you know these famous Americans have Arab backgrounds?

April is Arab-American Heritage Month Most people are not aware that April is Arab-American Heritage Month, which highlights the contributions of this diverse population. Many are also not aware that while the majority of Arabs worldwide are Muslim, most Arab-Americans are Christian. Among them are scientists (clockwise from upper-left) like… Read More