The Bridge Initiative was born out of recognition that the age of the Internet-with its democratization of communications-presents unique challenges and opportunities for those seeking to educate the public and inform popular culture.
In recent decades, anti-Islam and anti-Muslim bigotry and discrimination has increased exponentially in the United States and Europe, with national and global consequences. Pseudo-scholars and polemicists peddle their writing online, are viewed by many as credible and reliable voices, and therefore strongly impact popular culture.
The Network Against Islamophobia (NAI), a project of Jewish Voice for Peace, was created to serve as a resource in organizing against Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism and to be a partner to the broader, Muslim-led movement against Islamophobia. NAI provides workshop curricula and modules, and facilitates online resource-sharing of FAQs, public letters, press statements, articles, and other materials.
Islamophobia is Racism provides an interdisciplinary reading list for teaching and learning about anti-Muslim racism in the United States. The term Islamophobia frames the forms of discrimination Muslims face in the US solely as a problem of religious discrimination, and suggests that it is solely a problem of individual bias. This syllabus reframes “Islamophobia” as “anti-Muslim racism” to more accurately reflect the intersection of race and religion as a reality of structural inequality and violence rooted in the longer history of US (and European) empire building. While the readings include pieces that address recent events like the 2017 “Muslim ban” executive order, they also show that similar policies extend to both earlier moments and other communities.
This guide was created by a group of educators and counselors working in New York City Schools, as part of an Inquiry to Action Group (ItAG) organized by the New York Collective of Radical Educators. We work with young people in transfer schools, international high schools, ‘regular’ high schools and elementary schools, independent schools and non-profit in-school partnerships. We came to this study group, on the heels of a hugely divisive election cycle firmly planted in anti-Muslim rhetoric. While this vitriol is neither new nor solely practiced by one political party, this moment is uniquely alarming to us. As educators and allies to those most impacted by institutional, political, cultural and social islamophobia, we came to this ItAG hungry to unpack this context and learn how we can interrupt islamophobia, inside and outside our classrooms.
MTV’s “Look Different” campaign is here to help you contextualize the current threats to equality, empower you to rebel against injustice and show you how to protect yourself from hate. We’ll help you unlearn biases, open up conversations with family & friends and always give you specific things you can do to fight for what’s right.