About George G. Coe

Two TED Talks that Try to Break Down Muslim Stereotypes

Here are two excellent TED Talks that attempt to break down misconceptions and stereotypes about Muslims.In the first talk, Shafique Virani, a Harvard professor of Islamic Studies, urges us to confront ignorance with knowledge. Quoting a medieval Muslim scientist, he notes that he "who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool." But "he who knows not and knows that he knows not, is a seeker."In the second TED Talk Dalia Mogahed reminds us that we are all rather similar when she … [Read more...]

Critics Want us to Change What We Teach & Write about Hinduism

Some Hindu advocates, including the Hindu American Foundation, are challenging what we teach about Hinduism in K-12 schools and the way some scholars write about it.The debate is so intense that one prominent scholar, Jeffrey Kripal, whose books include Kali's Child, walked away from Hindu scholarship. And in 2014,  after a lawsuit, publishers withdrew from circulation in India Wendy Doniger's book, The Hindus: An Alternative History.In California, the debate over what to teach about H … [Read more...]

The Ascent of Woman

How did the role of women change over time?That's the question that historian Amanda Forman tries to answer in this terrific documentary series from BBC. It's available now for streaming on Netflix.Forman's tries to answer three questions throughout the series: why did civilization become almost exclusively male, why have almost all civilizations put limits on women's sexuality, movement and liberty, and what makes the status of women so susceptible to the dictates of politics and … [Read more...]

A Cultural Approach to Understanding Religion

Teaching World Religions? Harvard Divinity School's new edX course, Religious Literacy: Traditions and Scripture, offers a new approach to studying about religion that all teachers should consider. I am taking the course now and love it.  I can adapt many of the methods to my own high school religion class.Culture provides the framework of the course and is based on the premise that politics, economics, and history provide the best lens for studying religion.Professor Diane Moore teaches … [Read more...]

Chronicling Islamophobia at Georgetown

The Bridge initiative at Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding chronicles public instances of Islamopohobia. It's website defines Islamophobia and publishes infographics about it. For example, you can see one here that maps attacks on Muslims.But the accounts of Islmamophobia in the 2016 presidential campaign are the most interesting part of Bridge's website. The authors compile public statements that exhibit some form of anti-Muslim rh … [Read more...]

“Shockingly Common Misconceptions about Islam”

This short clip from Business Insider addresses some of the common misconceptions many of us have about Muslims.For example, Muslim women are not required to cover up. And in France, only 367 women wore burqas before they were banned!Did you know most of these misconceptions? … [Read more...]

What should we teach about Islam?

What should we teach about Islam?  by Waqar Ahmedi Waqar Ahmedi is head of Religious Education at one of the leading comprehensive schools in Birmingham, UK.He is a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, and has served his community in a number of capacities including regional youth leader and chair of education in the Midlands.In the essay below,  Ahmedi explains what we should teach about Islam in the politically charged climate today. What a roller coaster of … [Read more...]