Online links to Documentary Films:

Unity Productions Foundation has made many of its documentary films available on various video platforms. These films are especially relevant to issues being discussed in the public forum. The controversy over the proposed Community Center near Ground Zero, as well as mosque construction proposals around the country, has raised hate speech and misinformation about Muslims to a new high. Such divisive speech harms our nation and violates our highest principles. You can view several award-winning PBS films online, in their entirety, at no cost. These films speak directly to the issue. They include: Talking through Walls: How the Struggle to Build a Mosque United a Community, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet and Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think.

An Introduction to Islam


Calligraphy of the Kalima, or statement of Islamic beliefs in the shape of a boat, from F. Robinson ed., Atlas of the Islamic World Since 1500 (Equinox/Oxford, 1982).

This is a new teaching unit based on the workshop module Basic Beliefs and Practices of Islam by S. Douglass, published by the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University. The lesson provides an overview of major introductory topics required in survey courses, written for middle and high school level, or teacher preparation at lower levels.

Glossary of Islamic terminology (CIE, IslamProject)

This resource from the book Teaching about Islam in the Public School Classroom (Council on Islamic Education, 5th edition). Used in 35 states, the guide provides a wide range of basic information based on current academic standards.  The teacher’s guide  provides a thorough glossary.

Muslim Holidays, 2nd Edition: Teacher’s Guide and Student Resources

  • This resource is a teachers guide covering sensitivity issues pertaining to the needs of Muslim students in the public schools, especially in regards to Muslim holidays. It includes background readings, short stories, discussion questions and suggested activities. Learn why Ramadan and the Hajj are important to Muslims, and how they celebrate Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, as well as the importance of Friday as a day congregational worship.

Multiple-author Qur’an translations

  • Find subjects or specific chapters and verses of the Qur’an online, and view multiple English translations as well as transliterated text and Arabic text on the Qur’an search database, and even listen to the verse recited in Arabic.
  • Go to the online resource at

Jerusalem, Haram al-Sharif, Masjid al-Aqsa Virtual Walking Tour

The third holiest site for Muslims, the mosque in Jerusalem, the Haram al-Sharif Virtual Walking Tour allows the viewer to see the tour in 360-degree panorama, along with an outstanding description by Oleg Grabar, scholar of architecture and the leading western academic expert on this site.

Other Introductory Lessons and Historical Issues

  • Geography of the Arabian Peninsula and pre-Islamic history, a summary of the biography of Muhammad, important personages in early Islamic history, vocabulary, maps, information on Five Pillars; lessons on the spread of Islam based on historical research, chronology, and maps  from the set of lessons written to accompany the Unity Productions Foundation documentary film Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet in html format; cross-posted with in pdf format, including viewing guides, discussion questions, note-taking grids, and suggested activities and enrichment

Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University, K-12 Educational Outreach – Teaching Modules

Teaching modules in pdf format are available on Islam (see above, top), Trade and Travel, Arabic Language, Calligraphy, the Arabs, and Islamic contributions to Mathematics and Science

Documentary films on Islamic History

Cities of Light:  Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain, PBS 47 minute documentary film.
PBS Video clip…Spanish treatment of Jews and Muslims.
Documentary film (1 hr. 29 min.) “Islam in Europe” produced by BBC.
British historian Bettany Hughes hosts the full length documentary, “When the Moors Ruled Europe.”
3 pt. documentary, “Islam and Science,” by the BBC.
Islam and Science and Technology.  Note links and tab as to Chinese and technology at top of page amongst others.
Jews and Muslims documentary film, interviews….History.

Islam: Empire of Faith documentary film companion website

The site includes an outstanding timeline of Islamic history in four realms of history, as well as lesson plans and access to images from the arts and sciences.

Islamic Architecture at MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Libraries)  has a page devoted to Islamic Architecture, including Mosques in the United States, Islamic Collections, and the Aga Khan Visual Archive. it can be accessed at . The site also has links to various reports on Islam in the U.S., including the report The Mosque in America: A National Portrait and other articles on mosque architecture trends, and a list of many mosques by state. The images are only available as thumbnails, but the names of the mosques would help locate the community mosque websites which usually have photos and lots of other information.

Islamic History in Arabia and the Middle East

This is a grab-bag site with a wide variety of information on history and science assembled by an engineer with a strong interest and knowledge of Islamic science, linked at . More advanced information on a wide variety of topics is found at, where the articles are quite well documented for the most part, and written by academics in their fields of expertise.

Contemporary Issues (women, human rights, terrorism & jihad, women’s rights, geography of contemporary world, etc.

  • The Terrorism Equation, a 10-minute video on the issue of the relationship between Islam and terrorism, on the Islamic principles relevant to extremists’ claims about terrorism as jihad. The film for general audiences provides a clear argument about the definition of jihad and its application and other relevant issues related to Islamic law and practice, and the problem of terrorism and civil society. The video is posted on at

A set of lessons was developed as part of  The Islam Project to accompany the PBS documentary Frontline: Muslims, a set of vignettes on aspects of Muslim cultural and religious practices in several countries. The lessons include glossaries of terms, discussion guides, maps, note-taking worksheets for the activities, and a series of topical lessons on contemporary hot-button issues such as human rights, women and marriage in Islam, terrorism vs. jihad, and Islamic law, among other lessons on geography, terminology, and other topics.

The book Who Speaks for Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think is based on the massive Gallup polling project conducted in the United States, Muslim and other countries, –soon to be a film documentary from Unity Productions Foundation

PEW Forum Map: Distribution of Muslim Population by Country and Territory is based on a newly released study by the PEW Forum on Religion and Public Life. It is accompanied by a report Mapping the Global Muslim Population that can be read online, accessible from the same page as the map, or downloaded as a pdf file (click on title). The newest resource from PEW is the study The Future of the Global Muslim Population

The U.S. Department of State has developed a booklet on Islam in the United States that includes demographic information, cultural trends, prominent Muslim Americans in business, politics, education, the arts and human services, as well as statistics on the ethnic composition of the Muslim community in the US.  It can be downloaded in full color as a pdf file at Being Muslim in America.