Workshop teaches kids to resist hate and Islamophobia


SEATTLE – Dozens of young people spent Sunday learning how to push back against discrimination and Islamophobia. They’re anticipating a much greater need to speak up and denounce hate.

“I see a lot of prejudice just in our country right now, and I don’t want that prejudice in my life or my friends’ lives, and I don’t want to see it hurting people,” said Alex Davidson, 13.

She was among a large group of students who practiced how to express themselves so that they can protect each other.

The workshop, organized by local Muslim leaders, taught students how to write a letter to the editor or craft a thoughtful social media post in response to rising reports of discrimination and prejudice.

“In light of what’s happening in our country, this is a critical time, this is an important issue,” said Aneelah Afzali, an organizer of the event.

Some people in the group said they felt compelled to participate after they learned about this weekend’s arson at the Islamic Center of the Eastside in Bellevue.

“This issue is so important right now. It’s a critical topic, and it’s an opportunity for the youth to do something about it,” Afzali said.

The Muslim Association of Puget Sound recently started a new initiative, The American Muslim Empowerment Network, which is working on ways to educate Americans about Islam and Muslims. The writing workshop was a result of that.

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