#3 Teaching About Islam and Muslims in America

December 5, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Sohaib Sultan, M.A. and Yusra Syed, M.A., Office of Religious Life

In the U.S. and throughout the Muslim World, so many individuals and actors claim to speak in the name of Islam with, at times, competing interpretations of Islamic concepts like jihad and shari’ah as well as diverse understandings on the relationship between Islam and politics, secularism, modernity and so on. For teachers, making sense of the differences and accurately explaining the debates shaping Islam today can be quite challenging. This session with scholars of Islam will help explain some of these complexities, offer recommendations on good resources for teaching Islam, decode some of the anti-Islam/Muslim sentiments in the public discourse and answer some of your questions. 

Muslims are often spoken of as the new kids on the block. But, the history of Muslims in America is a long and storied one beginning at least with enslaved West African Muslims over 400 years ago.  Today, those newly immigrated and refugees coming from Muslim countries – and anyone who looks like them – are often treated with suspicion and sometimes even discrimination. In this session, teachers will get to hear from diverse undergraduate Muslim Princeton students about their stories of coming to America, going to high school as a religious minority, and their hopes and/or dreams for themselves and their community.