Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Educator's guide to Islam a step in the right direction - NonDoc

Educator's guide to Islam a step in the right direction - NonDoc:

Educator’s guide to Islam a step in the right direction

educator's guide
Headquarters of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City is seen Monday, Feb. 20 in OKC. (Ashiq R. Zaman)
All you need is love, or at least information.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations chapter of Oklahoma (CAIR-OK) released its Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices earlier this month in an effort to increase understanding of Islam and Muslim students in Oklahoma schools.
The document’s release comes at a time when tensions surrounding Islam in the Sooner State seem to be at their highest.

Recent history of Islamophobia in Oklahoma

In June, Oklahoma Rep. Pat Ownbey (R-Ardmore) stated he was uncertain if Islam, the world’s second-largest religion, deserved protection under the First Amendment.
Months later in October, Oklahoma Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw) brought even more overt anti-Islamic sentiments to the Oklahoma State Capitol. He held a hearing during which he labeled local Muslim leaders as terrorists and demanded that they not be hugged.
But perhaps the most striking recent example of open Islamophobia in Oklahoma came from Dan Close, a Dewey High School teacher, who encouraged his Facebook followers last summer to vote for Donald Trump if “you want (Muslims) butchered.”
One wonders if Close’s blunder inspired CAIR-OK leaders to publish its educator’s guide, or at least contributed to the decision to do so.

The educator’s guide

CAIR-OK’s educator’s guide contains 14 pages of practical information and explanations of religious requirements and customs that many Muslim students in Oklahoma public schools follow.
The guide covers topics such as dietary restrictions, gender relations, holidays, daily prayers and fasting during the month of Ramadan.

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