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Building Bridges Tool Kit
This list of resources is designed to provide an overview of the civil-liberties violations that Muslim and Arab communities in the United States are facing and ways that you can be part of a solution.
If you are interested in designing a workshop for your congregation or group and would like more information on how to do so, please contact us — we can help you get started.
- "Building Bridges," by Rev. Hannah Petrie [PDF]
- "When Society Seeks Unity: Religious Pluralism," by Rev. Paul Beckel [PDF]
Organizing and action resources
- Media talking points [PDF]
- Not In Our Town, a national movement that connects communities across the country with resources and organizing strategies to counter hate violence; resources for community action include a guide on strategies for responding to hate groups
Are Suspects Now: Untold Stories from Immigrant Communities After 9/11,
by Tram Nguyen
Explores the lives of people targeted on the basis of immigration status, religion, and nationality, and shows the human cost of the so-called "Global War on Terror" in the United States, through the personal stories of communities facing a climate of fear, detention, and deportation.
It Feel to Be A Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America, by Moustafa
Intimate portraits and conversations with a diverse group of seven young Arab Americans attempting to define their identities and grappling with the challenges they face in post-9/11 America.
Insecurity: The Arab American and Muslim American Experience After 9/11,
by Louise Cainkar
Academic work examining in detail the harsh impact of post-9/11 social, political, and legal changes on Arab and Muslim Americans.
by Dave Eggers
Powerful account of the experiences of a Syrian-American man and his family in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and the breakdown of justice that leads to his wrongful arrest and detention. Reviewers note that this book "highlights so much about the tragedy of Katrina, post-9/11 life for Arabs and Muslims, and the beautiful nature of American multicultural society," revealing the "demons of xenophobia and racial profiling that converged in the swirling vortex of Hurricane Katrina."
These titles are available for purchase through UUSC's Powell's Partner Program!
Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath,
by Valarie Kaur
Disturbing, eye-opening documentary on hate violence, killings, and profiling after 9/11, particularly as it affected Sikh Americans targeted based on the mistaken perception that they were Muslim. This film is available for UUSC members and interested congregations to borrow for viewing; contact Anna Bartlett for more information.
- USA vs. Al-Arian, directed by Line
Revealing documentary highlighting flaws in the justice system and questionable actions by prosecutors during the trial of a Florida university professor accused of terrorism charges, as well as the harrowing effects on his family. A 2008 Human Rights Watch Film Festival selection.
- For a short video clip that aims to counter monolithic stereotypes of Muslim Americans, see the video for Muslim American country singer Kareem Salama's song "A Land Called Paradise."
Lesson plans and curriculum guides
- Unitarian Universalists and Islam: An Introduction to Interfaith Dialogue and Reading Group Guide [PDF]
- Responding to Hate Speech: A Citizen's Guide
A simple guide from UUSC partner HAMSA on how to respond when an individual is engaging in hateful rhetoric.
Teacher's Guide on Islam:
This guide helps teachers introduce Islam in a way that highlights the complexities and diversities within the Muslim community. The guide provides the appropriate context for teaching complex issues such as American Muslims' views on Al Qaeda and the current war, and the evolving attitude of non-Muslim Americans toward the Muslim world.
A New Guide for Muslim Interfaith Dialogue
HAMSA's unique approach to interfaith dialogue.
An online resource aimed at transforming harmful stereotypes and providing tools for educators, religious leaders, and individuals seeking to build bridges of understanding within their communities. Among the tools are lesson plans and curriculum resources for religious educators.
This project from the Southern Poverty Law Center includes a number of lesson plans on the following topics:
Hate Crime: A Manual for Schools and Communities
This resource by the U.S. Department of Education describes examples of projects initiated by different schools and community organizations to address hate violence.
New York Times website
A number of relevant curriculum resources, such as "A Rose By Any Other Name," which examines common stereotypes and media representations of particular groups as well as a Muslim American's video response, and explores ways students can combat those stereotypes in their schools.
Anti-Discrimination Committee lesson plans
Relevant curriculum resources from an organization based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on protecting the civil rights of Arab Americans.
Background educational materials
- "Muslim Americans: A National Portrait" [PDF]
- "Restoring the Rule of Law: A Report on the Obama Administration's Efforts in the First 100 Days" [PDF]
- "Unreasonable Intrusions: Investigating the Politics, Faith & Finances" [PDF]
For more information, please contact Anna Bartlett by e-mail or at 617-301-4367.