Cultural Competence with Muslim Americans EDU 627 Heilis Ziino
Terminology• Tariqat -sects which have different beliefs and customs• Sunni and Shia- two major branches of Islam• Masjid-mosque, place of gathering for all Muslims, regardless of their racial or ethnic background• Shalwar khameez, saree, thawbs, jalabeyyas, guntiino, maccawiis- different traditional clothing• awrah-private part of the body which must be covered
Terminology continued• Hijab- religiously mandated headscarf for women• Halal guidelines-permissible, in accordance with Islamic laws• Zabiha meat – meat of animals which have been slaughtered upon the utterance of a brief prayer and according to humane and sanitary guidelines• Qur’an-sacred book in Islam• Allah- God• Madhabib- schools of thought• Hanafi, Hanbali, Jaafari (Shiite), Maliki and Shafi’i- well known schools of thought• Shari’ah-Islamic moral and legal system• Imam-faith• Mukkalaf-age when young boy or girl is considered adult with individual responsibility and accountability
Some important facts• Islam promotes a harmonious co-existence between the private and the public, the sacred and the secular, and the present life and the after life• Muslim Americans are a very diverse group, there is diversity along demographic, cultural and theological lines• Most American Muslims are not Arab, and most American Arabs are not Muslim• Islamic teachings encourage Muslim American women to be educated and to pursue careers• There is a widespread mistaken belief that there is a connection between Islam and terrorism
Demographics and Diversity of Muslim Americans• Muslim Americans represent the fastest growing religious community in the U.S.• The total number of Muslims in America ranges from 2.5 million to 6 million to 10 million• The Muslim American community includes recent immigrants, African, Caucasian, and Hispanic Americans who have converted to Islam
Demographics and Diversity of Muslim Americans continuedMuslim Americans have different national origins,languages, cultural backgrounds•First generation Muslim American Immigrants•Second and third generation Muslim Americans•Converted Muslim Americans•Muslim Americans: Africans, African Americans,Arabs, Asians, Europeans•Two major groups: Sunni (85%) and Shiite (15%)•Different schools of thought (madhahib)
Muslim American Beliefs• There is diversity in beliefs and schools of thought• Shared beliefs: belief in the the oneness of Allah and the status of Muhammad as the last and final prophet from Allah• The relationship between Allah and creation is central to Muslim worldview• There are profound differences between the two branches Sunni and Shia
Muslim American Beliefs continuedThe foundation of Islam is build upon the pillars of Islam andthe articles of faithFive Pillars of Islam:•Shahada – testifying that there is no god but God and Muhammad is hismessenger•Salat – five daily prayers at fixed times•Siyam – fasting, occurs during the month of Ramadan from dawn to dusk•Zakat- annual payment of 2.5% of accrued wealth•Hajj- obligation to perform a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his or herlifetimeArticles of Faith: 1. One God, 2. Angels of God, 3. Books of God, 4. Prophets of God, 5. Day ofJudgment, 6. Predestination
Islamic Values• Community• Consensus• Interdependence• Self-control• Complementary gender roles• Implicit communication that safeguards others’ opinions• Identity rooted in religion, culture and family
Historical Oppression• There are different root causes for oppression of Muslim Americans• One common cause is the mistaken belief that Islam and terrorism are connected• African American Muslims experienced racism and bigotry• Arab and South Asian Muslims experienced bigotry because of their perceived connection with countries with which the United States has been at war/has less than amicable relations
Some Quotes•“The First Amendments two religion clauses — the guaranteeof free exercise of religion and the prohibition on governmentestablishment of religion — have proved difficult for someschool officials to reconcile.”•"Muslims are an easy target," said Shahid Malik, a member ofParliament in the United Kingdom. Differences in religiousworship, dress and diet set them apart in obvious ways frommainstream society. - Mercedes White: Muslim students struggle to practice faith in U.S.schools, seek accommodation for religion
Quotes continues• “Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, there has been a spike in teachers’ interest about Islam. But one of the obstacles to dealing with religious bias for many teachers —including experienced ones—is that their knowledge about Islam is often limited” -Nirvi Shah: Combating Anti-Muslim Bias
Teaching Muslim Americans• Differences in belief and culture need to be recognized and respected• Muslim American students should be excused from participating in activities which might be offensive to their religious beliefs (the article gave and example of Muslim students having to sing Christmas songs with Christian content)• It might be helpful for teachers to imagine analogues situations involving students with a Christian background• Issues related to prayer and dress are delicate to Muslims and we need to be sensitive when addressing these issues• The five daily prayers are essential to the Muslim Faith and there are specific times when these prayers are said. Considering that each prayer only takes a few minutes to complete, one idea is to provide a clean room in the school where students can say their prayers
Teaching about Muslim Americans• a variety of sources can be useful to create more cultural awareness in the classroom, including Islamic literature, poetry, ‘passion plays,’ calligraphic art and the meaning of the Qur’an in support of certain Islamic beliefs
Discussion QuestionThe five daily prayers “Salat” are essential to theMuslim Faith and there are specific times when theseprayers are said. One article brought up the idea toprovide a clean room in schools so that Muslimstudents can say their prayers. How do you feel aboutthis suggestion? What are your thoughts andreactions? Why do you think you are reacting the wayyou do?
Works Cited White, M.( 2012).. Muslim students struggle to practice faithin U.S. schools, seek accommodation for religion. Deseret News.Retrieved November 7, 2012, fromhttp://www.deseretnews.com/article/765554027/Muslim-students-struggle-to-practice-faith-in-US-schools-seek-accommodation-for-religion.html?pg=all Shah, N.(2011). Combating Anti-Muslim Bias. RetrievedNovember 7, 2012, fromhttp://www.tolerance.org/magazine/number-39-spring-2011/combating-anti-muslim-bias Lum, Doman, Culturally Competent Practice: A Frameworkfor Understanding Diverse Groups and Justice Issues. FourthEdition, 2001.
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