Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2845, the Safe Place to Learn Act, which seeks to protect students from anti-Muslim bullying — and no other kind of bullying based on religion.
The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Das Williams (D-Carpenteria), claims: “Pupils who are Muslim, Sikh, or of South Asian descent often face verbal, physical, or online harassment, all of which have significant effects on their academic achievement and mental health.”
The bill also cites, approvingly, the federal government’s call on Muslim parents to contact the U.S. Department of Justice if their children experience bullying in school.
The bill was supported by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which was declared a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates and an unindicted co-conspirator in a the Holy Land Foundation terror-funding trial. It argues that Sikh and South Asian students are also targeted, mistakenly, by anti-Muslim bullying because of the way students may dress or look.
There is nothing in the bill about bullying of Christian or Jewish students, whether by Muslims or other students.
Anti-Jewish rhetoric and antisemitic attacks are a serious problem at several universities in California. A recent study found that of the top ten most antisemitic campuses in the U.S., six were in California, and five were from the University of California system. Though the bill only covers elementary and secondary schools, habits and prejudices formed — or ignored — during those years arguably form students’ attitudes and opinions before they reach tertiary educational institutions.
State Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) opposed the bill, telling the San Diego Union-Tribune: “Religious bullying of any faith is wrong, and I would have supported a bill that was inclusive of all faiths.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.