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A federal judge ordered the San Diego Unified School District on Tuesday to hand over evidence detailing its correspondence with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) about the implementation of a controversial anti-Islamophobia bullying initiative at San Diego public schools.
The development is the latest in a long-running saga concerning school officials in San Diego coordinating with CAIR, an American-Muslim civil rights and religious organization with known links to a number of anti-Israel groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood.
Controversy - April - San - Diego - School
The controversy began in April when the San Diego school district announced it was launching an anti-Islamophobia initiative to combat what it described as a vast and underreported epidemic of anti-Muslim bullying in the district’s schools.
The multi-year anti-bullying plan, developed with assistance from CAIR, called for adding Muslim holidays to staff calendars, introducing new library materials on Muslim culture, encouraging Muslim-centered high school clubs, creating “safe spaces” for Muslim students and providing staff training about Muslim culture.
Hanif - Mohebi - Director - CAIR-San - Diego
Hanif Mohebi, the executive director of CAIR-San Diego, praised the initiative and said it should serve as a model for school districts across the country.
“If we do this right, San Diego Unified School District would be the leading school district in the nation to come up with a robust and beautiful anti-bully and anti-Islamophobic program,” Mohebi told The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Mohebi - Talks - Dozen - San - Diego
Mohebi was invited to give talks at more than a dozen San Diego schools starting in late 2016 to teach students and teachers how to reduce bullying of Muslim students.
Hanif gave pamphlets to students that advised Muslim youth to contact CAIR if they faced bullying, which according to CAIR includes “insulting comments about Islam.”
Pamphlets - Exercise - CAIR - National - Executive
Handing out such pamphlets is considered to be “both a religious and educational exercise,” according to the CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad who testified before the National Labor Relations Board in 2016.
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