Islam and September 11: A Teacher's Guide
Many Americans are first becoming acquainted with Islam in the
context of the September 11 tragedy. Teachers face the challenge
of helping students understand current events and the diversity
of Muslim attitudes on religious and political issues.
students about Islam requires two lessons, not one. The first introduces
the Islamic faith as a major world religion, similar to Christianity
and Judaism in many ways. The second presents Islamic civilization
as a rich history of peoples and cultures, now engulfed in a series
of internal and external conflicts. Teaching the second lesson without
the first would not instill a proper respect for the Muslim faith.
Teaching the first lesson without the second would not provide a
context for understanding current events.
We have fused the two lessons into one guide for teachers on Islam
and September 11, mostly in the form of questions and answers. We
begin with a discussion of the Muslim faith and its basic doctrine.
We then provide a historical overview of the religion's birth and
the spread of Muslim civilization. Discussion of the global Muslim
community profiles the vastness and diversity of the Muslim world
today and puts American Muslims into a broader context.
This context helps students understand the Al-Qaeda organization,
its historical roots, and the reasons for its limited popularity.
Finally, we bring the lesson home to our multicultural society in
America, and tackle the sensitive issues of American Muslims' views
on Al-Qaeda and the current war, and the evolving attitude of non-Muslim
Americans toward the Muslim world.
Part 1: QUESTIONS AND
ANSWERS ~ Part
2: SUGGESTED ACADEMIC PROJECTS
Download the Teacher's
Guide as a PDF file.