“We just finished studying Islam in class,” said teacher Jeanne Claire Cotnoir. “These women, who are all highly educated, go to schools and share a presentation about Islam. They are just amazing and really just smash the stereotypes.”
Students were attentive during the assembly, openly shared some of their own misconceptions and asked thought-provoking questions of the guests.
“The students asked why some of the women were wearing hijabs and others were not,” said Cotnoir. “The women explained the Quran tells women to ‘dress modestly.”
The women also described instances in which they were harassed because of their appearances, humanizing their experiences for students to better relate.
“They got to see that Islam is not what’s on television,” said Cotnoir. “It really is a religion of peace. The women said, ‘ISIL is not Islam; it is not who we are.’”