Teaching kids to stand up against anti-Muslim discrimination

Teaching kids to stand up against anti-Muslim discrimination

With increased access to media, kids are seeing discrimination and hatred online even when we don’t realize it. It’s so important for us to talk to our kids about what they might be seeing and hearing, especially when it comes to issues of justice and identity. We want to make sure they value and appreciate cultural and religious diversity! 

This year, Little Justice Leaders created a learning box for elementary kids on "Combating Anti-Muslim Discrimination." This toolkit is not just a collection of activities but a bridge to understanding and respect, created specifically for parents and teachers of elementary students.

Anti-Muslim discrimination is a persistent issue around the world, and we’ve seen heightened Islamophbia in the media and our communities lately. Teaching children about Muslim identities and the importance of religious freedom helps them build a foundation of empathy and justice from a young age. This learning kit offers an engaging way to introduce these critical lessons.

Let’s jump in and see what’s in the kit: 

An activist sticker: When kids (and adults) first open this box, they’ll see a simple message on a sticker: "Everyone should be free to practice their religion." This acts as a conversation starter about religious freedom and respect. It’s also a fun reminder that you can put up in your home or classroom after you’ve completed the kit! 

The book "Salat in Secret": Salat in Secret is a story of a young Muslim boy who gets a salat, or prayer, rug for his 7th birthday. Through the support of his loved ones, he finds his bravery and works out how he will pray throughout the day. An expanded five-day lesson plan for the book is included in this month’s kit.

Info cards for adults: To equip adults with the right tools, the box includes a set of info cards offering conversation starters and tips for discussing Muslim culture and experiences in a way that is kind and rooted in justice. 

Craft supplies: As always, this box includes materials to engage kids with hands-on activities! The kit includes art supplies for projects like creating a paper lantern, a traditional symbol in many Muslim cultures. There's also a moon phase spinner craft to help kids learn about the lunar calendar that guides the Islamic months.

Digital resources: Extend the learning journey with exclusive online materials that offer additional lessons and activities, available through a special link provided in the box.

I hope all parents and teachers can use this learning box as a springboard for deeper exploration and discussion. Whether through reading additional books listed in our digital resources, participating in community activities, or simply having open conversations at home, there are endless ways to continue this important education.

By introducing these topics early, we prepare our children to be thoughtful, informed, and compassionate leaders of tomorrow. Thank you for joining us on this journey to combat anti-Muslim discrimination and foster a more inclusive world.

Ready to be part of something bigger?

Join the Little Justice Leaders community. Together, we're creating a space where educators and parents can learn together, grow, and help build a movement to create a generation of changemakers.

Embrace the challenges, celebrate the wins, and remember that every step you take in social justice education is a step toward a brighter, more inclusive future. Your voice and experiences are vital in shaping the next generation. So, keep those conversations going, and let's continue changing the world, one conversation at a time!

To get access to tons of free resources and connect with other like-minded educators and families, join the Little Justice Leaders community. 

Huge gratitude to our content leaders who helped create this box:

  • Manar Hussein (she/her) is a Muslim Egyptian-American professor, anti-racist educator, advocate, and consultant. You can follow her on Instagram @ma.narism.
  • Teaching While Muslim is an organization that confronts discrimination and bias in public schools by providing culturally responsive resources and materials to address the lack of diversity in teaching about Muslim identity. You can learn more about their work on Instagram at @teachingwhilemuslim and online at teachingwhilemuslim.org.
  • Zainab bint Younus (she/her) is a visibly Muslim Canadian woman of color. She is a mother, writer, community worker, grassroots activist, librarian, and book reviewer. You can learn more on her website muslimmatters.org and social media @bintyounus
  • Muslim Book Reviewers is a collective of four Muslim Reviewers who formed a united collective to elevate Muslim literature and celebrate Muslim creatives in the online book space. You can learn more and follow their work on Instagram @muslimbookreviewers.
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