Laith Matari: Teen Social Activist

On November 16, 2016 sophomore student Laith Matari, a member of the Hawthorne High School Peer Leaders, made a presentation explaining what it means to be a Muslim teenager in America, while also shedding light on the misunderstood religion of Islam. In attendance were a select group of other Peer Leaders,  Board of Education members, and the Superintendent of Hawthorne Public Schools,  Richard A. Spirito. The Clarion was able to catch up with Laith and ask him about his presentation.                                                                    

Clarion Reporters: What was the objective of this presentation?

Laith Matari: The objective of this presentation was to bring awareness to students on how Islam is a religion of peace. This was my objective because in the world today, social media dominates people’s opinions and how they look at things. Educating my fellow classmates on how Islam is a peaceful religion will help clarify and make it easier for others to understand the religion.


Clarion Reporters: What stereotypes about Islam do you find most appalling?

Laith Matari: It’s not that I find one stereotype more appalling than the other, it’s just that I focused on the stereotype of Islam being a violent religion that supports killing, when in fact even the holy book of Islam, the Quran, clearly specifies that Islam is a religion of peace, and can be proven by some of the quotes in my presentation such as…  “O people! We have formed you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another” (49: 13)–not to conquer, convert, subjugate, revile or slaughter but to reach out toward others with intelligence and understanding.


Clarion Reporters: What are your plans for continuing to spread the truth about Islam?

Laith Matari: I hope to share my presentation with a larger audience in the future in order to educate everyone about my misinterpreted religion.



Students greatly enjoyed Laith’s presentation and many more are excited for future ones. Laith prepared for this remarkable presentation since the summer of 2016. Thank you, Laith, for such an incredible and informative presentation! We hope that many more students will be able to learn more about your presentation as time goes on.