Using positive stories about Muslims to foster multicultural understanding
For Immediate Release
American Library Association
CHICAGO — Islamophobia, a long standing, deeply entrenched global issue, disrupts civil society at many levels, from anti-Muslim policies to heightened tensions and hate crimes, including the increased bullying of Muslim children. One of the root causes of Islamophobia is ignorance, often fueled by stereotyped and negative portrayals of Muslims in media and popular culture. Gauri Manglik and Sadaf Siddique’s new book “Muslims in Story: Expanding Multicultural Understanding through Children’s and Young Adult Literature,” published by ALA Editions, is a timely and proactive approach to tackling this issue, by engendering friendships and empathy through quality children's and young adult literature. Exposing children in their formative years to positive stories about Muslims can go a long way to creating a multicultural understanding by cementing ideas of tolerance, respect, and acceptance. This resource:
- recommends books that will act as windows and mirrors for PreK–12 readers by showcasing diverse foods, dress, and traditions;
- spotlights curated titles that feature Muslim kids as heroes, Islamic contributions throughout history, inspiring Muslim leaders, and folktales from Islamic traditions;
- includes helpful information such as an overview of Muslims in America, author interviews that lend insights into the stories, and hands-on programming activities and discussion tools; and
- provides a list of additional resources for gaining a better understanding of Islam.
Manglik is the CEO and founder of KitaabWorld.com, a literary organization that spreads awareness about South Asian children’s literature in the United States. Prior to founding KitaabWorld, Manglik practiced law in Silicon Valley and advised a number of start-ups. She has written numerous articles and research papers in various journals including Tax Notes International and Teaching Tolerance. Siddique is cofounder and Chief Creative Officer at KitaabWorld. Her journalism background and work in print, documentaries and online media in India and the United States focused on innovative ideas for social change. Her previous editorial experience includes work on social impact investing at Omidyar Network; global politics at Link TV; cultural identity on the award-winning, multilingual, and multimedia online exhibit Imagining Ourselves; and female-oriented films at Devi Pictures. Her writings have appeared in publications such as Teaching Tolerance, San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Hindu, and The Times of India.
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