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Muslim School Teaches Students About 9/11

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A school for Muslim students in Morton Grove is teaching pupils how to deal with the repercussions of 9/11. (CBS)

A school for Muslim students in Morton Grove is teaching pupils how to deal with the repercussions of 9/11. (CBS)

Dorothy Tucker Dorothy Tucker
Dorothy Tucker has served as a reporter for CBS 2 Chicago since 1984....
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MORTON GROVE, Ill. (CBS) — Schools throughout the Chicago area on Friday remembered those who died on Sept. 11 and honoring the heroes of that day.

But perhaps the one community that has a slightly different perspective are members of the Muslim faith, who have been the target of discrimination. Ten years later, their children are being taught to be ambassadors of peace.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.

First-graders at the Muslim American School in Morton Grove color flags to mark this day. It’s to honor the police and firemen who responded to 9/11. The ones they’ve learned to call heroes.

Most of the students in the school weren’t born or are too young to remember that tragic day. But they’re not too young to understand the impact 9/11 has had on their Muslim community.

“They started thinking Islam supported extremism and extremism is not supported in Islam,” student Shanaal Shahzan said.

The students have heard their parents talk about the discrimination Muslims have faced because of 9/11. With so many reminders on this 10-year anniversary, some admit there is concern. 

“Some Muslims are afraid to go out,” student Maryam Skaikh said.

It’s a reality they have to accept, but teachers say it makes the lessons taught at this school more important — that the best way to address hate is promote a better understanding of the Islamic faith.

“It forced us as a community to do outreach and engage in interfaith dialogue, and all of these things break down barriers and build bridges,” teacher Sadiya Barkat  said.

A poem recited by two eighth graders underscores the lessons: “Together we stand hand in hand. Your faith may be different than mine, but united we are just fine.”

On Sunday, members of the Muslim community in Morton Grove will take part in an interfaith service to commemorate 9/11. Click here for details.

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