Pilgrimage to Mecca in 21st Century: NY Times Clip

Here's an excellent clip, along with a terrific story from the New York Times about the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca during umrah, a minor pilgrimage that can be made anytime during the year.A New York Times photographer got permission from the Saudi government to film the pilgrimage and write about it.  The clip shows how consumerism and religion exist side by side in the 21st century.The story  reviews the transformation of the pilgrimage since the 1970's  and includes a great slideshow w … [Read more...]

Combatting Extremism with DNA

Momondo allows you to discover your genetic past through DNA and learn how connected you might be to others around the world.The project is part of an effort to diminish extremism by showing people from different cultures and religious beliefs how much they have in common.   One Russian woman discovered that she had some Native American  and Japanese blood.  A Muslim woman discovered that she had Jewish blood.Monondo believes that people will want to visit the countries that are part of t … [Read more...]

Prothero’s Crash Courses in World Religions

Stephen Prothero, author of God is not One,  and a a professor in the Department of Religion at Boston University, offers a twelve minute audio introduction to each of the world's major religions.The series is called World Religions 101 and was produced in 2014 with Interfaith Voices and host, Maureen Fiedler.Prothero outlines the the central problem each religion defines and the solution it offers.  For example, he notes that exile is the problem in Judaism and argues that the solution i … [Read more...]

Three Amazing Sacred Texts: Video Summaries

Here are engaging video summaries of three of the world's great sacred texts from Annenberg Learner's Invitation to World Literature.  They include the Mayan and Sumerian creation stories, the Popol Vu, and the Epic of Gilgamesh, as well as the Hindu sacred classic, The Bhagavad Gita.In each video, which lasts about thirty minutes,  professors and scholars relate the basic story of each myth along with important history and make connections to other sacred stories around the worl … [Read more...]

Developing Global Citizens with Film

Engage your students with other cultures and religions through terrific films and curriculum resources developed by Journeys in Film.In collaboration with USC Rossier School of Education, Journeys in Film selects movies and documentaries from the global film market. They look for relevant and inspirational films with universal themes.Some of the films include The Story God with Morgan Freeman, He Named Me Malala, Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, The Dhamma Brothers, or Children of Heaven f … [Read more...]

Halal in the Family: Confronting Bigotry with Slapstick

Move over Archie Bunker! There's a new family on the block confronting stereotypes just as strong and in a manner just as funny!Aasif Mandvi's new web series, Halal in the Family, takes aim at every Muslim stereotype you can imagine. In one of the first episodes, Spies Like Us, Aasif confronts his son's white math teacher who says that he's a Muslim. Aasif is convinced that he's working for the FBI, reminding us that many people see Muslims as foreigners who should always be under … [Read more...]

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...]