Over 100 Leaders, Academics and Activists Sign Letter Telling MCCCD: Get Hate Out of the Classroom

Over 100 Leaders, Academics and Activists Sign Letter Telling MCCCD: Get Hate Out of the Classroom

Recently, it was revealed that overtly Islamophobic course materials were being used in courses at Scottsdale Community College – to read more about this case and CAIR-AZ’s recently filed lawsuit, click here.

Tell Maricopa County Community College District:  Get Hate Out of the Classroom

Those of us from marginalized communities know just how deeply hate and disinformation results in the violence our communities face.  The violence that has reared its head in the Christchurch shooting,  Pittsburgh shootingQuebec City shootingCharleston shooting, and countless others has all been tied together with one common thread:  The rise in hate and misinformation being purveyed by hate groups in our society.  Put plainly: Hate puts our communities in danger.

In recent years, there has been a concerted effort by hate groups to imbue their ideologies within the framework of the educational system. This effort is very deliberate and lucrativefor those organizations who aim to push their ideology into the mainstream.  In this past year alone, CAIR-AZ has encountered a public school showing a film featuring hate group leader Steven Emerson(to teach the class about the 9/11 attacks), as well as grossly Islamophobic statements made during an active-shooter training to a school’s staff.  Most recently, a viral social media post by a Scottsdale Community College student revealed deeply misleading, false information being taught about Islam and Muslims within the confines of a political science course.  The materials and subsequent examinations indicated that Muslims are required to kill non-Muslims as part of their religious duty, that Islam condones terrorism and that there is no other contemporary form of terrorism other than what is termed “Islamic terrorism.”

Furthermore, the two assigned readings in this course are by individuals associated with hate groups – Raymond Ibrahimand Wallid Phares.  The infusion of these hate-laden materials, presenting them as the only legitimate viewpoint on the subject of Islam and terrorism is not only reckless, but also infringes upon the rights of Muslim students.  We support academic freedom unequivocally – however the issue at hand does not constitute academic freedom.  Rather, this is an individual who is compensated with taxpayer dollars at a state institution openly disapproving of a religion in the classroom – a clear violation of the First Amendment.  While there was an initial apologyby the college in response to the test questions going viral, there has been aneffective retraction by MCCCD,siding with the professor’s “academic freedom” rather than addressing the underlying hate that was being taught.  The professor (Nicholas Damask) has gone onto appear on a hate-talk-showafter the incident, making the claim that he believes Islamophobia doesn’t exist – during a timeframe when hate-crimes targeting Muslim-Americans are reaching all-time highs.

We cannot sit by and allow the forces of hate to permeate our education system.  As we highlighted earlier:  Islamophobia kills.  Anti-Semitism kills.  Anti-Blackness kills.  All forms of bigotry result in violence against marginalized communities.

Arizona is known nationally to be a battleground for those who aim to sow racism and bigotry within the education system. This incident within the Maricopa County Community College District is just the latest egregious example of the ideology of division and otherization permeating the confines of the classroom. Finally, permitting a public college to indoctrinate students with hostility is an abuse of our tax dollars. As people of conscience – we call upon MCCCD and all educational institutions to: Get Hate Out of the Classroom.


  1. Rep. Athena Salman, Arizona State Legislature
  2. Imam Omar Tawil, Islamic Community Center Tempe
  3. Imam Umar Farooq Mahmood
  4. Imam Ahmed Shqeirat
  5. Didmar Faja, Greenway Academy
  6. Masud Rahman, Muslim Outreach and Volunteer Enterprise (MOVE)
  7. Usama Shami, Islamic Community Center of Phoenix
  8. Rizal Hariadi, Indonesian Muslim Community in Arizona
  9. Andy Burnette, Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation
  10. Emily Kirkland, Progress Now Arizona
  11. Raees Mohamed, RM Warner Law PLC
  12. Rev. Doug Bland, Arizona Interfaith Power and Light
  13. Yaser Ali, Yaser Ali Law
  14. Omar Wani, Islamic Center of Flagstaff
  15. Mohammed El-Sharkawy, Arizona Muslim Police Advisory Board
  16. Dr. Chad Haines, PhD, Arizona State University
  17. Debra Majeed, Beloit College
  18. Dr. Hadia Mubarak, Guilford College
  19. Farid Hafez, Williams College
  20. Miriam Cooke, Duke University
  21. Robert G. Morrison, Bowdoin College
  22. Ken Kenegos, AZ PDA/AZ Medicare for All Coalition
  23. Dr. Yasmin Saikia, Arizona State University
  24. Khaleel Salahudeen
  25. Ahmed Khalil, Islamic Community Center of Tempe
  26. Viridiana Hernandez, Poder in Action
  27. Maher Osman-Babikir
  28. Reyna Montoya, Aliento
  29. Nathalie Guevara, Aliento
  30. Diego Lozano, Aliento
  31. Isabel O’Neal, Progressive Democrats of America
  32. Cesar Aguilar, Arizona Students’ Association
  33. Rev. Susan Ringler, Tempe Interfaith Fellowship
  34. Ahmed Ewaisha, Arizona Muslim Alliance
  35. Crystal Carillo
  36. Zakir Siddiqi
  37. Mohamed Bacha
  38. Haneen Odeh
  39. Farah Tariq
  40. Patrick Denney
  41. Evan Gorelick
  42. Sadia Fatima
  43. Yousuf Salim
  44. Diego Salcedo
  45. Jamal Atalla
  46. Jesse Regnier
  47. Debra Majeed, Beloit College
  48. Imraan Mir
  49. Basela
  50. Rumee Balian
  51. Lailah Hamed
  52. Mary
  53. Samreen Haq
  54. Maham
  55. Umair Khan
  56. Nudrat Ahmed
  57. Patrick Denney
  58. Peter Wright
  59. Shermeen El-Hakim
  60. Farzana Salahudeen
  61. Elizabeth Sartell
  62. Ferdos Sarrar
  63. Abdul Awad
  64. Iwan Sumantri
  65. Amel Djelmane
  66. Mohja Kahf
  67. Humayun Mohamed
  68. Mabel Fimbres
  69. Samira Hussein
  70. Alley Hamie, South Mountain Community College
  71. Susan Salem
  72. Arwa
  73. Miriam Cooke, Duke University
  74. Alparslan Acigenc, Uskudar University
  75. Nermeen Moufth, Butler University
  76. Jerome Krase, Brooklyn College CUNY
  77. Omer Awass, American Islamic College
  78. Alex H
  79. Hana Diab
  80. Maida Al Sarayji
  81. James Edmonds, Arizona State University
  82. Richard McGregor, Vanderbilt University
  83. Samah Mohamed
  84. Stephanie Barriga
  85. Eiman K. Hannoud
  86. Hamza Shqeirat
  87. Razanne Shqeirat
  88. Yaman Shqeirat
  89. Aru Khan
  90. Sarah Graff, Arizona State University
  91. Amnah Abdelrahman, University of Texas-Arlington
  92. Debra White
  93. Sherifa Spriggs
  94. Shaimaa Elgendy
  95. Ibrahim Khattab
  96. Ameera Horeish
  97. Robina Sayed
  98. Samrah Ghafar
  99. Jaleel Hasan
  100. Debbie, Miera
  101. Weli Mohamed
  102. Muna Ali
  103. Mullaney Hardesty
  104. Karen Hadley
  105. Yushau Sodiq, Islamic Association of Tarrant County, Ft. Worth
  106. Asmaa Elbadrawy
  107. Izdihar Elhillal
  108. Sherifa Spriggs
  109. Suleman Abdul Latif
  110. Fayza Abdulrahman
  111. Ibrahim Khattab
  112. Jesion Rupardo
  113. Gabriel Sharif
  114. Mary Nasaredden
  115. Saad Ishrat