7 Tips for Muslim Students:
How to Deal with Misinformation in the Classroom
As a Muslim student, you should try to set the best example that you can.
Always be friendly, generous, helpful and open-minded, yet firm about your
When misinformation about Islam or misrepresentation of Muslims
occurs in the classroom, there are several things you can do. By working to
correct the coverage of Islam and Muslim history, you can help ensure
accuracy, balance, and sensitivity.
TIP #1: DO NOT BLAME THE TEACHER
First of all, remember that in most cases, blaming the teacher is a big
mistake. Teachers are overburdened as it is just trying to teach their
students, and they do not determine the contents of textbooks.
Take the approach of a helper or contributor, rather than "challenging" the teacher,
and you will be far more successful in making changes.
TIP #2: RAISE YOUR HAND
Here are a few suggestions for contributing to better coverage of Islam in
your classroom: Raise your hand
First of all, evaluate your world history, world cultures, geography, or
comparative religions textbooks' coverage of Islam carefully. If you find
an error or inaccuracy in the textbook, or if during discussion someone
makes an incorrect statement, do not hesitate to raise your hand and offer
the proper perspective or correct information.
TIP #3: RELATE YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
Whenever you discuss different topics and issues in class, always try to
Incorporate your own personal experiences into the conversation.
Using a personal approach allows others to see Muslims as human beings, rather than
just characters in the media and textbooks.
Share what it is like living as a Muslim in the United States, and include both triumphs and difficulties.
For example, you might talk about the importance of daily worship (Salah) or fasting during Ramadan (Sawm) and the difficulties which often arise when Muslims try to perform their religious duties in the course of the day.
TIP #4: DO AN ORAL OR WRITTEN REPORT ON ISLAM
When Islam is discussed in the classroom, ask your teacher if you can write
or orally present a report on a specialized topic related to Islam and
present it in class.
In the report, try to incorporate an Islamic perspective on issues pertinent to your age group, for example gender relations, peer pressure, education, etc.
Other important topics might be the importance of fasting in Ramadan, the importance of family in Islam, among others.
Offer a presentation on Ramadan, and bring special foods and sweets to class to celebrate and share the Eid holidays.
Make it a point to use Islamic sources for your report. Collect information from the Quran, books of Hadith, and other books dealing with your topic. Try to make researching the topic an exciting part of the report.
Interview your parents, friends, and other relatives about the chosen topic as well. If possible, contact the Imam or other knowledgeable person from your local Islamic center or Masjid and obtain their insights and information. Also obtain help from Muslim professors and educators.
TIP #5: INVITE A MUSLIM SPEAKER TO YOUR CLASS
Invite your parents, older brothers or sisters, or knowledgeable persons from the community to come to your class and conduct a presentation on Islam.
You might also try to establish a local speakers bureau comprised of community members, to provide speakers on a regular basis to classrooms in your area.
TIP #6: SHARE A VIDEO
Many videos on Islam and Muslim history have been produced by Muslim organizations, some of which may be suitable for middle and high school audiences. Select an appropriate video and request your teacher to show it in your class as part of the course.
Offer the teacher an opportunity to review the video beforehand. Make sure that the contents do not contain material which might give offense to people of other faiths or traditions.
Some good topics for videos include the Hajj, Islam in America, the
genocide in Bosnia-Hercegovina, and Islamic contributions to science, among
others. Contact the Council on Islamic Education for a list of videos recommended for public school use.
(Please check out Sound Vision storefront selection of videos on some of the above-mentioned topics and more.)
TIP #7: BE CREATIVE
Come up with additional ideas for sharing information about Islam.
For more information, contact the Council on Islamic Education at:
Office: 9300 Gardenia St. #B-3, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Mail: P.O. Box 20186, Fountain Valley, CA 92728-0186
tel: 714-839-2929 fax: 714-839-2714 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
More on Public Schools & Muslims:
6 Step Guide to Get Religious Accomodation in the Public School System
Getting Involved in the Public School System is a Religious Obligation!
4 Tips for Parents on Dealing with Misinformation in Public School
Raising Muslim Children in the Public Schools : What Parents Need to Know
7 Tips for Muslim Students: How to Deal With Misinformation in the Classroom
Recent Experience with Urban School Choice Plans
Council on Islamic Education: A Profile
Religious Freedom in Public Schools : Laws You Need to Know About
A Sample Letter to the Teacher of your child for religious accomodation
A sample Thank You Letter to teacher on Religious Accomodation
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Dawa in Public School: Some Guidelines
Getting the Most Out of Public School Education
Monitoring Public School Education
A 5th Grad Girl's Dawa Experience in School
Muslim School Vs Public School
Do you have any experience or an idea regarding this matter? Share it with others:
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