Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal


Engy Abdelkader


In recent years, controversies surrounding curriculum and instruction about Muslims and Islam in U.S. public schools have become more common. In some instances, Muslim American parents and students have challenged representations that spread and reinforce denigrating stereotypes and misconceptions about their faith and co-religionists. In a seemingly growing trend, however, some non-Muslim students and parents are objecting to courses and programs due to perceived favorable or neutral treatment of the Islamic faith. Such cases, controversies and curricula illustrate how popular anxieties surrounding the integration of immigrant populations, particularly Muslims, are increasingly infecting classrooms, school districts and communities. They also provide a unique lens through which to glimpse the status of and tensions surrounding multiculturalism—the coexistence of diverse racial, religious or cultural groups—in contemporary America. Set against this backdrop, this essay briefly employs a case study approach to promote critical reflection, analysis and discussion about the subject particularly as it relates to Muslims and Islam.

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