Islamophobia and a call to action for ESL teachers

On the recommendation of a committed and insightful professor at the Graduate Center of City University of New York, where I am now in my second year of study, I am resuming my blog. Thank you, Steve Brier!

This came from the NY Times the other day, regarding the Islamophobia that many Muslims across the country are facing now as a result of GOP candidates’ racist commentaries and xenophobic reactions by other Americans across the country to the tragedy in San Bernardino (also see…):

“Muslim Americans are now confronting the fact that to many Americans, Mr. Farook [one of the shooters in the San Bernardino massacre] and other terrorists do represent Islam — especially since polls show that most Americans know no Muslims and little about Islam.”

You know who among Americans have had personal relationships with Muslims, native-born and visitors alike? ESL TEACHERS, especially those of us who have taught in non-profit education. This is something to consider when we hear people make ignorant comments about Muslims by people WHO HAVE NEVER MET A MUSLIM.

How can we contribute to this conversation? How can we add a pacifist, yet activist response to the anti-immigrant, nativist vitriol that once again comes into our civic space? Remember that Muslims are not the first religious group to face persecution and invisible-ization in this country; anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic movements are not that far in our country’s past.


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