In order to counter Islamophobia, we had to start by learning about Islam

"We have learned much about the past, how Islam came to be, and the many ways it shaped where we are now. I find this part particularly interesting because of the fact that most argue that Syrian refugees will not fit in, will not be accustomed to western culture, and do not belong here. But in reality, a lot of our culture is derived from Islam and those who were part of it. We have also learned much about the war in Syria, for example who’s fighting for what and why. It gave me a sense of what Syrian refugees were trying to escape, and why it was so important." - Julia

"One Friday we were all split up into 3 groups where we either learned about Muslim scientists, frame drumming and Arabic rhythms or art with geometry. I was put in the group where we learned about frame drumming and Arabic rhythms. Nassim showed us many rhythms on these drums which helped us get a taste of the cultures connection to drumming. I learned that many parties would involve a point where the band would hand out drums and everyone would start a rhythm. This would go on for hours and everyone had a good time. I think the point of this lesson was to show us that drums played in big role in this community and religion." - Jenna

"Ever since we started our Activism Campaign we have learned about: Organizations that do work with Syrian refugees, the truth about the Syrian civil war and the refugee crisis, Islam and what the Qur'an says, and the SAFE Act and what we can do to stop discrimination against Muslims. " - Marcelo

"This year for activism we are focusing on the Syrian refugee crisis and Islamophobia.  So far we have looked deeper into Islam's principles to become more aware about the foundation of the religion. We have seen Islamic art, talked about Mohamed and the pillars of Islam, and looked at the origins of Islamic regimes.  Islamophobia is a huge factor in why many Americans do not like the idea of taking in Syrian refugees to the United States.  Many Americans minds are clouded by fear and lies that all Muslims are terrorists.  This is a deplorable accusation that we are taking a stand against." - Osiris

"I have learned a tremendous amount about our activism topic this year. I have done everything from calling my elected representatives to persuade them to fight to take in more Syrian Refugees in the United States to learning about the Qur’an, Islamic art, and the prophet Mohammed. I have learned an incredible amount about the Syrian civil war and why refugees are leaving Syria in the first place. I have learned the difference between a refugee and an immigrant, and why it is so important to help refugees around the world. My triplet did a lesson on geometry and art in Islam, and I looked at some amazing drawings and tile patterns. In our recent trip to the Islamic art section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we learned about the global influence and history of Islam and how impactful their way of life has been in shaping the world as a means of countering Islamophobia. We have signed petitions of many influential human rights organizations and made phone calls to our members of Congress, Governor and the White House. We went through the ordeal of applying for refugee status, and how demoralizing a process that is. We have learned all of this in less than a month; I cannot wait to see how we will continue our project and I look forward to continue to learn and grow as an activist." - Cal

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