Muslim group in the Chicago area launches initiative against bullying

A recent increase in bullying targeting Muslim students in the suburbs has prompted the country’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization to launch a major anti-bullying initiative.

Among the cases cited was the case of Lisle High School for the second time Zoya Shaik.

At a school board meeting last month, Shaik complained that an unidentified employee during a health class on Oct. 12 made offensive and outrageous statements about Muslims, immigrants and indigenous peoples for 25 minutes. Lisle Unit District 202 officials are investigating these allegations.

Shaik and two other students joined the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) for the launch of Healsters.org, a project to help Muslim students stand up for themselves and get help.

“All students have the right to security and acceptance,” Shaik said at a news conference late last month.

Shaik said she is the only hijab-wearing Muslim student at her school. She called for cultural sensitivity training for district employees, the adoption of a spectator intervention program, and a district-wide campaign against bullying.

CAIR-Chicago CEO Ahmed Rehab said the group has received a number of reports of bullying, harassment and discrimination against Muslim students in suburban school districts, including a case in which a student lost his life.

“For every case reported, there are likely to be dozens that are not reported,” Rehab said. “Bullying is another pandemic that not only affects Muslim students and it needs to be addressed. Security, dignity and respect are fundamental human rights.”

Native American heritage

Waubonsee Community College hosts several programs to raise awareness of Native American culture, traditions, and customs for Native American Heritage Month.

The events are open to members of the local community and will be offered virtually and in person. There is limited space for personal events.

• “Journey on the Potawatomi Trail of Death” book lecture and lecture by George Godfrey, at. 14.00 16 November. A member of the Potawatomi nation, Godfrey, will talk about the forced removal of Potawatomi from the Great Lakes region. Sugar Grove was on track for at least three removals. Waubonsee is named after an important Potawatomi that passed through the area.

• Kachina doll workshop, at 4pm on November 18 at the Aurora Downtown Campus Library. Participants will learn about the Hopi people, read stories about kachina dolls and make their own doll using one of the included sets. Open to all ages. Advanced registration is required.

For a complete list of events, visit calendar.waubonsee.edu/NAHM.


The Buffalo Grove Police Department has published three new books titled "How to Report a Hate Crime" translated into Chinese, Japanese and Korean.  They were developed in collaboration with Esther Lim, who compiled similar books for police departments in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.

The Buffalo Grove Police Department has published three new books entitled “How to Report a Hate Crime” translated into Chinese, Japanese and Korean. They were developed in collaboration with Esther Lim, who compiled similar books for police departments in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.
– Lent by the Buffalo Grove Police Department

hate crimes

Buffalo Grove residents can now report hate crimes in Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

The Buffalo Grove Police Department has published three new books entitled “How to Report a Hate Crime” translated into these languages. They were developed in collaboration with Esther Lim, who compiled similar books for police departments in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.

Funding for the books was provided by Lake County Treasurer Holly Kim, a member of the Illinois Asian American Caucus, and Buffalo Grove Police.

“We have seen an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes,” Kim said. “It is important that we ensure that communities know how to respond and report these incidents.”

The books are also available in Albanian, English, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese. They define hate crimes, explain the importance of reporting them, recommend ways to avoid them, and make resources available in Cook and Lake counties, as well as state-wide agencies.

Printed copies are available from the police department, Raupp Boulevard 46. Digital copies can be found at hatecrimebook.com/portfolio-2.


Amina Waheed

Amina Waheed

Documentary talk

Amina Waheed, producer of Al Jazeera America’s award-winning show “Fault Lines”, will share her story on Wednesday as part of Benedictine University’s “Journeys in Leadership” speaker series.

Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, Waheed later moved to Chicago as an Indian Canadian immigrant to become a documentary filmmaker and filmmaker. She has worked on productions for the PBS series “FRONTLINE” and independent films in the United States and the Middle East. Waheed graduated from Lisle University in 2008 and received the Benedictine’s Procopian Award.

The virtual program runs from kl. 19:00 to 21:00. Sign up for the Zoom session at bit.ly/3GO6zz9.

Diwali festivities

Suburban Hindus observed Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, with celebrations last week.

Aurora leaders acknowledged the holiday last Thursday at City Hall. Indian Americans are the city’s fastest growing ethnic group.

Mayor Richard Irvin issued a Diwali Proclamation and presented expertise awards to more than 40 Indian cultural organizations from Aurora to Chicago, which together participate in Sewa Diwali Food Drive.

The groups collect thousands of pounds of food for Aurora food pantries. “Sewa” is the act of selfless service embedded in Indian culture.

“We recognize the historical and religious significance of Diwali and Diwali’s message of tolerance, compassion and the victory of good over evil, which resonates with the American and Aurora spirit,” said Irvin.

Light over darkness

Diwali is one of the most promising days in the Hindu lunar calendar. It celebrates the victory of light over darkness. It is when believers take stock of their spiritual relationship with God and reflect on progress or decline in the past year. This is also when business owners close existing account books and open new ones in preparation for the coming year.

The day after Diwali marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year, traditionally celebrated with “Annakut”, which literally means a mountain of food.

Devotees flocked to BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Temple) in Bartlett to see an Annakut family on Friday.

Thousands of vegetarian dishes were offered to the gods in gratitude for the past year and to seek blessings for the new year. The offer includes snacks, sweets, pickles, spicy dishes, salads, fruit drinks and other edible things.

Share stories, news and events from the suburban mosaic at mkrishnamurthy@dailyherald.com.

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