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The burden of being a young American Muslim

"The burden of being a young American Muslim" is a newspaper article written by Hailey Woldt and published in The Washington Post in 2010.
Author
Hailey Woldt
Grade Level
6-8

Source
Republished with permission from Hailey Woldt
Text Dependent Questions
Question
What was the purpose of Akbar Ahmed’s project? How did they accomplish this?
Answer
The purpose was to learn what it meant to be Muslim in America after 9/11. They did this by traveling to about 75 cities across the country, visiting over 100 mosques and interviewing thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims.
Question
Based on the information in the text, why might Muslims be discriminated against following the attacks on 9/11?
Answer
They might be discriminated against because people think all Muslims are “bad people” after what happened on 9/11.
Question
What are some of the bad things happening to Muslims according to Akbar Ahmed’s research?
Answer
Schools for Muslim children are being vandalized, Muslim children are being bullied and teased and their homes are being searched.
Question
Explain what the 10-year-old boy says in your own words.
Answer
He says that the Constitution states that they can practice their religion in peace, but other people try to prevent them from doing that. They’re mean to them and try to “push [them] around.” And even if they call the police about it, the police won’t do anything, because the police will just blame them for doing something wrong.
Question
What was the team’s research examining and what was their primary method for collecting data?
Answer
He says that the Constitution states that they can practice their religion in peace, but other people try to prevent them from doing that. They’re mean to them and try to “push [them] around.” And even if they call the police about it, the police won’t do anything, because the police will just blame them for doing something wrong.
Question
What was the team’s research examining and what was their primary method for collecting data?
Answer
They were studying the experiences of Muslims living in the United States after 9/11. They collected data by traveling around the country and interviewing thousands of people, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to hear their stories.
Question
Justice Standard 11 of the Anti-bias Framework says, “Students will recognize stereotypes and relate to people as individuals rather than representatives of groups.” Give examples of how this text illustrates the way that stereotypes operate.
Answer
Responses will vary but should identify that the events on and following Sept. 11 increased bias among many non-Muslim Americans toward Muslims and those who they perceive to be Muslim or Arab. The text gives examples of specific individuals who have been prejudged and mistreated based solely on the false and negative perceptions of their religious group.
Question
According to the text, young Muslims living in places like Bridgeport and Brooklyn are experiencing what kinds of hate and bias?
Answer
Muslim students are being targeted with verbal and even physical assaults, bullying and crimes. There is the feeling that non-Muslims don’t respect their religious freedoms and the police don’t protect them.
Question
What does the word “regard” mean in this sentence?
Answer
Regard means to take into account, to consider, to heed.
Question
Concentration camps were the restricted camps or areas where Nazis held and killed millions of Jewish people during World War II. The reading says that “living conditions were harsh” in the internment camps set up by the federal government for people of Japanese ancestry during World War II. What can you infer about what this means, given Franklin D. Roosevelt’s comparison to concentration camps?
Answer
There was likely little or bad food, poor living structures, unhygienic or unsafe areas, not enough room given the number of people in the camps and other poor conditions.
Question
Using the recommended terms, construct a sentence that summarizes this reading.
Answer
During World War II, the United States government forcibly removed U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry from their homes and incarcerated them in concentration camps.