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January 10, 2023
Lesson Plan: Exploring Perspectives on Imagery of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad
Designed for educators is a new ING lesson plan to help guide classroom reflection and discussion on Muslim and academic perspectives on artistic depictions of the Prophet Muhammad and related issues such as Islamophobia and freedom of speech that usually arise from the discussion.
The lesson plan begins with a reading about an image of the Prophet Muhammad that was recently shown in a global art class at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. The adjunct professor, Dr. Erika López Prater, gave advance notice that the painting was going to be displayed and offered to excuse students who did not wish to view the image. Following the class session, a Muslim student in the class and other Muslim students on campus issued a complaint. University administrators characterized the incident as Islamophobic and did not renew López Prater’s teaching contract. This controversial incident has led to a number of responses from art historians and Muslim Americans, who do not have a single view on artistic depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. The reading is followed by a series of questions for classroom discussion on Muslim perspectives on the issue, perspectives in other faiths, Islamophobia, and freedom of speech, as well as additional readings and resources.
Please share this lesson plan with educators and refer to it for your own use. You can read and download the lesson plan here.
U.S. Department of Education Preventing and Addressing Bullying Webinar
The U.S. Department of Education’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships is hosting a webinar on Preventing and Addressing Bullying as part of a series of programs on religious literacy. The event, designed for pre-K to 12 educators, will specifically focus on strategies for preventing and addressing bullying that students experience because of their religious affiliation. The webinar will be hosted at 4:00-5:00pm EST on Thursday, January 19th. You can read more about the event and register here.