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Thursday, March 15, 2007
Muslim Like Me

Aw, isn't this a cute idea?

The 15-year-old freshman volunteered with a few other students to wear traditional Muslim clothing to school for an entire day in February after a Middle Eastern Studies teacher at Bacon Academy announced that she was looking for students to promote her class by wearing the garb. Caitlin covered her slender frame and short brown hair with a periwinkle burqa, which concealed her face.

The hateful and abusive comments she endured that day horrified teachers, the teen and many of her classmates. The remarks underscored a persistent animosity toward American Muslims that is driven largely by the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But they also opened up an important dialogue that could help teenagers in Colchester and across the state view the Muslim culture differently.

Shockingly, this academy seems to be otherwise a haven of tolerance:

In the days that followed, teachers and students at Bacon Academy discussed tolerance of other cultures. There was already a Gay-Straight Alliance at the school with some openly gay members, a save Darfur group and a diversity committee.

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