March 31, 2004

Nickelodeon Kids' News: Muslim Kids in the U.S. =:D
Posted on Sat, Mar. 27, 2004

American Muslim youth get a hearing

By Mike Duffy

Knight Ridder News Service

American Muslim children have been caught in the middle of the emotional aftermath of 9/11 and during the continued violent strife in Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel.

"It is easier to fear what you don't know. And most of us don't know much about Muslims or the Islamic faith," Linda Ellerbee says in her calm, down-to-earth manner as she hosts "Keeping Faith: Muslim Kids in America" at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow on Nickelodeon.

It's the veteran journalist's latest Nick News With Linda Ellerbee special. The award-winning series is the longest-running children's news show in TV history.

In the last 13 years, Ellerbee's Nick News specials have addressed such events as the 9/11 attacks, the 2000 presidential election, the Columbine slayings, the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, AIDS, and the Balkans war.

"Keeping Faith" echoes the straightforward and respectful tone of the previous specials. The casually dressed Ellerbee hosts the program while surrounded by a diverse group of young Muslims, who discuss what it's like growing up in America these days.

One schoolgirl recounts having heard taunts of "Go back to your own country!" in the months following 9/11 attacks.

"This is my country. I was born here," says the young girl. "I'm Arab American."

In addition to the lively, sometimes revealing thoughts of the young Muslims, the program offers a clear primer on the Islamic faith and its practices. It also explores key misconceptions about Muslims.

"The United States Constitution guarantees us the freedom to worship," Ellerbee observes near the conclusion of the half-hour program. "The right to be respected, to be treated with kindness, to be understood, no matter what your religion, is not in the Constitution.

"But it is in us."


Posted by shereen at March 31, 2004 05:07 PM