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Council on American-Islamic Relations Notes Arab Mascot and Alhambra High Mascot

Alhambra High School - Alhambra, CA Facebook
Alhambra High School - Alhambra, CA Facebook
The Council on American-Islamic Relations took note Monday of the recent controversy surrounding the Arab mascot at Coachella Valley High School, and the group's Dec. 2 newsletter mentions the Moors mascot at Alhambra High School in L.A. County.

"Coachella Valley isn't alone in invoking images of Arabs or Muslims," CAIR's American Muslim News Briefs began its summary of an Associated Press report. "In the Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra, the high school football team, known as the Moors, features a caricature of a scowling, dark-skinned man with two swords on its Facebook page. Yasmin Nouh, a spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in greater Los Angeles, said her group was going to speak with that school about making a change."

But the Moors haven't had a mascot for more than five years, and it's not clear where the mascot photo on Alhambra High's Facebook page came from, Becky Morales at Alhambra Unified School District told Patch in a phone interview Monday afternoon. The undated photo was uploaded in November 2011.

Nouh told Patch on Monday her group has not issued a public statement about the Moors mascot.

"We prefer to address these issues first with the schools because we understand that in almost all these cases, there is really no deliberate attempt to stereotype so we feel that a frank discussion with the schools is more fruitful and appropriate at this point," Nouh said in an email Monday afternoon.

Representatives for Coachella Valley Unified School District and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee did not respond to requests Monday for an update on the Arab mascot at Coachella Valley High.

According to historians, Alhambra, Calif., was named after a book by Washington Irving, who visited the nearly thousand-year-old Calat Alhambra palace and fortress complex in Granada, Spain in the 1820s.

The Alhambra: A Series of Tales and Sketches of the Moors and Spaniards was published in May 1832. The City of Alhambra was incorporated in 1903. Some historians use the term Moors to refer to medieval Muslim inhabitants of Spain, Portugal, Sicily, Morocco, western Algeria, the Western Sahara, Mauritania and Malta.

For more from a Nov. 15 meeting about the Arab mascot at Coachella Valley High see the following:

Coachella Valley High Students, Alumni, Officials Extoll Pride in Arab Mascot

VIDEO: Coachella Valley Arabs Superintendent Says 'We're Going to Keep Our Name'

ARAB MASCOT VIDEO: 'I Think it Speaks for Itself How Much We Revere This Name'

ARAB MASCOT VIDEO: 'If Someone says I'm Offended then We Should Listen'

VIDEO: Arab Mascot Supporter Says it Stands for 'Pride, Honor, Bravery . . . He Kind of Looks Hispanic to Me'

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