Latino Muslims: Growing!

Here's a fascinating clip form PBS Religion & Ethics Newsweekly about the conversion of Latinos to Islam. Did you know, for example, that Latinos are the fastest growing segment of Islam in the United States? They number about 250,000 and some say that they feel a cultural connection to Islamic Spain. In the 8th century, Muslims conquered Cordoba where they built a mulit-cultural society with Jews and Christians.Others says that they like the simplicity of Islam. … [Read more...]

Sharia Law in Indonesia Province

Banda Ache in Indonesia instituted Sharia law after the tsunami in 2004. The religious police who enforce the law gave reporter Kira Kay access to their daily routine. The clip above from the PBS NewsHour shows us what that law looks like in practice. … [Read more...]

The Poetry of Simin Behbahani

Introduce your students to the poetry of Simin Behbahani, Iran's national poet who died this week. Her poetry tells us a lot about Iran after the revolution.Although Behbahani wrote a lot about love, she also tackled political and social issues in Iran after the revolution of 1979. Some of her accolades include the the Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women's Freedom in 2009, and two nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature.Her poetry reveals both her love for Iran and her concern about … [Read more...]

World Muslim Population

Here's the distribution of the 1.6 billion Muslims from the Pew Research Center. That number makes Islam the 2nd largest religion in the world. And, contrary to popular perception, the vast majority, 62%, live in Asia/ Pacific! Here are some interesting facts about the distribution.Muslims make up the majority of the population in 49 countries Indonesia has the largest number of Muslims India has the second largest number of Muslims  … [Read more...]

ISIS & The Kurds Explained

Here are two very short and engaging summaries of events in the Middle East ideal for high school students. The first explains the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The second explains who the Kurds are and why they are important. Both clips come from the TestTube Newtork which has some other great clips that cover history, government and current events.  … [Read more...]

Wow! The Hijab Gets Fashionable

Young Muslim women are starting to add color and style to their headscarves, called hijabs.One reason for the new trend, reports the New York Times, is "the proliferation of glossy, fashionable images on social media sites."  That "could be making young women more confident about wearing the hijab."Another reason may have been the release last year of the music video "Mipsterz" mixed to Jay Z’s “Somewhere in America” that featured urban women dressed in head scarves skateboarding, jugglin … [Read more...]

Understanding the Rise of ISIS

Here's a brief but terrific visual guide and timeline explaining the rise of ISIS from the BBC. Thanks to F.C. Tymrak for tweeting the link. … [Read more...]