Ms. Dickson: Make a Muslim American Girl Doll
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Dear Ms. Dickson,
My name is Salwa and I am a middle school Muslim American girl. My little sister Zahra is in elementary school and we grew up reading all the American Girl stories.
As American girls today, we are fortunate to be successors to a long line of real American girls who were strong, smart, courageous, and even defiant. But lately, it hasn’t always been easy to be strong. We’re lucky to go to a school where we are accepted, but we also know that many Muslim American kids are not as lucky. A recent study found that 42 percent of Muslims with children in grades K through 12 reported that their children had been bullied because of their religion. Even worse, the same study found that in 1 out of 4 incidents of bullying against Muslim students, teachers and school officials participated in the bullying.
It’s wrong that any American girl or boy should have to grow up fearful to be themselves. Now, more than ever, it is critical that all Americans come together to protect and support each other. My sister and I can’t think of a more powerful way to show that our country is welcoming than by having a Muslim American girl join Addy, Felicity, Josefina, Julie, Kaya, Kit, Rebecca, and Samantha as an official American Girl doll.
Sign our petition to ask American Girl to make a Muslim American doll.
We love how each story in the American Girl book series is about a different girl from a different time in our nation’s history. Each girl introduced us to a part of our country’s history that we didn’t know about, and what it was like to be a girl at that time and place. Addy showed us what it was like for African Americans escaping slavery and Kaya showed us what it was like to live on this continent before America even existed. We admire their courage and rebellious spirit, and that they would do anything to fight for what they knew was right. Each girl in the American Girl series has a distinct personality and story, but no matter what her circumstances, each of them is strong, smart, and curious.
By creating a Muslim doll in the American Girl series, our hope is that those people who are scared of or unsure about Muslims can get to know us through the story of the Muslim American Girl doll. With this doll, American Girl can help create a world where people like Zahra and I are accepted, and treated like any other American girl.
Salwa and Zahra
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