ING and High School Presentations in Spring 2007

While typically high schools make up 30% of ING’s school presentations, in the Spring, this percentage increases as more high schools request presentations for their world history and other classes that often introduce Islam & Muslim cultures as part of the study of the modern world. So far, this semester, ING has held presentations at Independence High School in San Jose; Holden High School in Orinda; and Stuart & Urban High Schools in San Francisco. ING also has upcoming presentations scheduled for four other high schools, including multiple presentations during Diversity Day at Castro Valley High in March.

Students at a recent private high school presentation commented on the value of our work after discussing for two hours Islam and the Muslim world with an ING speaker. Students’ comments included the following:

– “I really benefited from having a live person as opposed to merely learning from a textbook or reading material, which was something I could not remember or put it all together in a meaningful way until you came in. I now understand it a whole lot better.”

– “Having done a lot of reading on Islam and the Muslim world in this class, I felt that your presentation really brought the subject to life and transformed it from the abstract to the real. It’s always easy to get one’s person’s experiences than to get it from reading about an entire faith or community.”

– “I really appreciated hearing about Islamic teachings from an actual follower of the faith rather than an outsider, which provided me with a first person view of the faith. We’re always exposed to third person’s views.”

– “I have to admit that I bought into the hype about Islam from the media. So, it was good to be exposed to an alternative view and understanding of terms and ideas such as your view of jihad vs. Osama Bin Laden’s view which is the only one we hear about.”

– “I am just glad that you answered all my questions.”

We invite both teachers and parents to peruse ING’s website for resources and tools for teaching about the topic of Islam and Muslim Cultures in the context of history or social studies.

Preventing Harassment of Students in Schools

With ongoing global conflicts, and continuing issues of prejudice at home, ING’s work in educating students and others about Islam and Muslims continues to be critical in combating stereotypes, and preventing hate, particularly in schools, where students often suffer silently rather than report harassment to a teacher or parent.

ING Speaker Participates in Forum at Monterey Bay Aquarium, 2/20/07

Longtime speaker Nashwan Hamza represented ING at an environmental interfaith event on Tuesday, February 20th at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The all day event was the brainchild of a local religious leader Deborah Streeter, who formed the ministry of environmental stewardship program, made up of religious individuals, environmental activist groups and science and education organizations. This group organized the event which was called the Living Ocean Project with the goal of “waking up our local communities’ spiritual connection to the natural world, reminding us of our interconnectedness, and to unite different faith communities to ocean stewardship.”

It is vital that Muslim Americans as well as all of us join in this increasingly critical mission of preserving our environment and embracing the stewardship and appreciation for nature that is conveyed in hundreds of Quranic & other Scriptural verses. To learn about Islamic perspectives on the environment, attend the next AMILA meeting scheduled for March 10th where ING speaker, Ameena Jandali will be presenting ING’s newest presentation on “Islam and the Environment”

Other Upcoming Events of Note:

“Islam and Contemporary Issues Concerning Muslims”, Notre Dame De Namur University, February 27th , 6:00 – 7:00 pm , 1500 Ralston Ave., Belmont.

“Islam and Muslims in the Contemporary World”, Santa Clara University, March 2nd, from 9:15-1:00 pm, Santa Clara University, Bannon Rm 331

ING’s second Peninsula Series Interfaith event will be held on Thursday, March 15th, also from 7:00-9:30, at Yaseen Foundation, 621 Masonic Way in Belmont. The topic of discussion will be “Have Women’s Leadership Roles Changed in Religion?”, and will feature a panel of women religious leaders. We invite you to mark your calendars and join us as we share in another evening of interfaith discussion.