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Six Ways to Help Your Child Cope with Racism—Part 2

There are no words to describe how racism feels. Everyone deals with it differently. Some people lash out verbally, others withdraw into themselves. Some people can talk openly about how it feels, others hide it deep within… How many of our children are trying to learn in racist classrooms? How does a child reach their full potential and exercise their rights as citizens of this country when they are given messages every day that they are worthless human beings? What if it was your son or daughter? What would you do?

Racist interactions experienced by children and adolescents can take the form of name-calling, teasing, being excluded, physical threats, and cyber-bullying stemming from the target’s racial and ethnic differences, such as skin color and cultural practices. Douglass found adolescents report an average of 3.5 racial/ethnic teasing experiences every 21 days. While she found the interactions were guised as being humorous they nevertheless had adverse effects on the target’s self-evaluation and psychological well being. In our (Iyer and Haslam, 2003) research, 86% of South Asian-American women reported being racially and ethnically teased as children, and for many such experiences contributed to low self-esteem, depression, body image dissatisfaction, and disordered eating. While such interactions can take place anywhere, i.e., at a grocery store or at a shopping mall, given the amount of time children are in school they are most likely to occur within a school setting. These experiences can lead targets and their parents to feel helpless and not know how to respond. Listed below are signs to look for that might indicate your child is being victimized, followed by suggestions for empowering your child and yourself to face these difficult situations.

Click here to read more from psychlogytoday.com

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Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).