indian-ocean-copyThis is a limited list of core websites related to these topics. These and many other specialized websites are described and linked on the Teaching Resource pages on this site under the relevant topics.

Readings and resources on Islam, information on resident and visiting scholars at the Al-Waleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding are available from this and related links that can be found when exploring the site. Among the resources are the Oxford Online Encyclopedia of  Islam [gated], the Muslim-West Facts Initiative (see below for link), and access to the Gallup polling site.

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The Institute on Religion and Civic Values, formerly the Council on Islamic Education (CIE), is a national, non-profit research institute whose mission is to strengthen civil society by exploring issues at the intersection of faith, citizenship, and pluralism and to serve as a catalyst to align public policymaking with our nation’s core values. Based in Fountain Valley, California. IRCV is formally comprised of Muslim academic scholars and full-time professional staff with expertise on matters related to U.S. education, civics, politics, the media, faith communities and other components of American society and the institutional system. Articles, lesson plans and teaching resources to download or purchase are found on either site of this organization dedicated to standards-based, constitutionally appropriate resources  for teaching about Islam.

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The former Religious Perspectives Database created by the Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University has moved to a new section entitled Knowledge Resources/Traditions. It is an excellent resource for teaching comparative religions or learning about some of the important issues that are seldom covered in the standard “thumbnail sketch” of world religions in history or geography survey courses. Five major world religions–Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism–are compared in terms of five issues. Brief essays by experts on these religions’ views of peace and violence, wealth and poverty, health and illness, justice and injustice, insiders and outsiders are complemented with numerous passages of scripture that allow access to the primary sources.

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The Islam Project is a multimedia effort aimed at schools, communities, and individuals who want a clearer understanding of this institution: complex, diverse, historically and spiritually rich, and–to many–mysterious and even forbidding.The project provides companion teaching resources for two PBS documentaries Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet and Frontline: Muslims, a vibrant community engagement campaign, and an ambitious educational effort. The lessons are also suitable for stand-alone lessons on various aspects of Islam and Muslim history.

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The Indian Ocean in World History web site is a resource for middle and high school teachers and students studying world history, geography and cultures, and may also be useful for undergraduate survey course students as well. The website is a map with overlays for each of seven world eras, showing pictorial icons and routes linked to images and texts that explore long-term interactions in the Indian Ocean. The icons represent places, routes, travelers, objects, trade goods, documents, technologies, and geographic features. To facilitate interpretation of the primary sources, the map key includes a set of  skills lessons with questions to ask about each type of icon. Each map is associated with a timeline that anchors world events during these eras. The Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center, sponsor of the Indian Ocean in World History project, has numerous interesting educational resources on its website related to Oman and its fascinating history at The site was reviewed in the online journal World History Connected at and on the Center for History and New Media World History Sources: Finding World History at

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The documentary film Cities of Light explores the history and culture of Islamic Spain from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries, with particular emphasis on the factors that created the conditions for religious tolerance and the outcomes of cultural and economic flourishing that resulted, as well as the downfall of tolerance ending in expulsions and the loss of the heritage of tolerance. The companion website features a full set of lessons, both for comprehension and for enrichment, as well as an array of interactive features on arts and science, material culture, slide shows, video clips, maps, articles and a portal where teachers can write to request a shorter version of the documentary for the classroom.

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This is the companion website for the award-winning documentary Prince Among Slaves. In 1788, the slave ship Africa set sail from the Gambia River, laden with hundreds of men, women and children bound for the Americas.  Eight months later, those who survived the journey were sold in Natchez, Mississippi. One of them was a 26-year-old male named Abdul Rahman Ibrahima who was an African prince, educated heir to his father’s kingdom. His claims of royalty were dismissed, and Abdul Rahman resigned himself to his fate, working for many years before meeting a physician who recognized him. The rest of the film tells how he attracted the attention of prominent American leaders and eventually returned to Africa with his wife, dying soon after his return. His descendants celebrate his legacy today. The companion website gives historical background on the historical figures, documents, and the period.

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The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) is the only academic center in the United States focusing essentially on the Arab world–the region from Morocco to the Gulf. CCAS has had a strong program of educational outreach for the past 25 years, having received its first Title VI grant to establish a National Resource Center on the Middle East in 1997. Under Director of Educational Outreach Zeina Seikaly, the educational outreach program holds teacher workshops. Saturday seminars, summer teaching tours, and summer institutes, in addition to the lending library and consulting services. The website includes seven downloadable teaching units and more than 160 educational links for online resources.

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Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think is one book that cuts through the media haze to expose the views of ordinary Muslims in a wide variety of countries. This book is the product of the Gallup World Poll’s massive, multiyear research study, in which the organization conducted tens of thousands of interviews with residents of more than 35 nations that are predominantly Muslim or have significant Muslim populations. These hot-button issues are addressed on this online resource in the form of short readings containing digests of the polling data, in video clips, and in the form of a Teacher’s Guide for using the book in the classroom. Also on the page are resources from the Muslim-West Facts Project.

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World History For Us All is free, web-based curriculum has two major elements: 1) A logical conceptual framework of guiding ideas, objectives, rationales, themes, and historical periods, and 2) a rich selection of units, lessons, activities, primary documents, and resources that are linked to this overarching conceptual structure. The curriculum offers several special features: (1)  It proposes the idea that humankind as a whole has a history to be investigated and that a world history course may be more than study of various “cultures,” each disconnected from the others. (2) It has a unified chronology, organizing the human past into nine Big Eras, each encompassing changes around the globe. The curriculum does not use civilizations as the main units of history, but developments within major societies are richly explored.

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The Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC), established in 1981, is a national nonprofit organization working to increase public knowledge about the peoples, places, and cultures of the Middle East, including the Arab world, Israel, Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan. Teachers will find interesting and useful resources on the site, and the organization’s newsletter Perspectives, contains timely articles and teaching materials in every issue–all archived on their website. MEOC is a national network of educators dedicated to disseminating apolitical and nonpartisan information, resources and activities furthering understanding about the Middle East. MEOC’s target audience is non-specialists at the K-12 and college levels, although its services are also relevant to broader community needs. MEOC has members around the country and its services include a semi-annual newsletter, member list serve, annual book award and a website. MEOC is an affiliated organization of the Middle East Studies Association.

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The Center for Media Literacy Media Lit Kit is an integrated outline of the foundational concepts and implementation models for organizing and structuring teaching activities using a media literacy lens. The site includes a full curriculum for various age levels from K-14, including handouts and a slide show. Based on longstanding theoretical foundations, the kit reflects a philosophy of empowerment through education and articulates the key components of an inquiry-based media literacy education, including Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of Media Literacy for deconstruction or consumers of media.