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
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.
- Link to download An Introduction to Islam and other teaching modules from the CCAS K-14 Educational Outreach website. Download the CCAS IntrotoIslam as a pdf file.
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.
- Teaching about Islam in the Public School Classroom sample pages and purchasing info
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 www.islamicity.com/QuranSearch/
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
- Hartford Seminary has an excellent lecture as a podcast from one of the leading experts on Shi’i Islam, Dr. Sayyid Hossein Nasr entitled “Sunnism and Shiism Yesterday Today and Tomorrow” at http://hartsem.podbean.com/2012/12/07/sunnism-and-shi%E2%80%99ism-yesterday-today-and-tomorrow-with-dr-seyyed-hossein-nasr/
- 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 www.theIslamProject.org in html format; cross-posted with www.cie.org in pdf format, including viewing guides, discussion questions, note-taking grids, and suggested activities and enrichment
- Lesson and Readings on Historical Background of the Abrahamic Faiths is part of the complete set of lessons for comprehension and enrichment written to accompany the Unity Productions Foundation documentary film Cities of Light, in addition to interactive online features, articles, slide shows, timelines and maps is found at www.islamicspain.tv. The Lesson Plan Set is available for download in pdf format (individual lesson titles and the complete set on the site).
- Era 5 pf the World History For Us All online curriculum features Islamic history, especially in the Panorama lesson in brief form, in Landscape 5.2 Islam and Afroeurasia and 5.3 Consolidation of the Trans-Hemispheric Network, and later eras, such as Landscape 6.7 The Long Reach of the Major Religions include lessons as relevant to pre-modern and modern history.
- Horace Mann Middle School site on Medieval Islamic Cultures has 15 departments with text and image on the whole gamut of history and society, the arts, sciences and mathematics. Very worthwhile to visit.
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
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.
- Visit the site at http://www.pbs.org/empires/islam/
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 http://libguides.mit.edu/content.php?pid=60949&sid=448086 . 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 http://www.islamicity.com/Mosque/ihame/Ref6.htm . More advanced information on a wide variety of topics is found at www.muslimheritage.com, 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 Vimeo.com at http://vimeo.com/11385557
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.
- Link to downloadable pdf files for individual lessons from Frontline: Muslims set
- Link to Lessons at The Islam Project (scroll down for individual lessons by film: http://www.islamproject.org/education/Lessonplans.htm
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
- Who Speaks for Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think homepage with its Teaching Guide for the book.
- A related site is the Gallup Muslim-West Facts Project.
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.