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Experts: Kids know little of Islam

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  • Experts: Kids know little of Islam

    Posted on Mon, Apr. 26, 2004
    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    PHILADELPHIA - The Sept. 11 attacks by Islamic extremists sent educators scrambling for ways to include information about Muslims in their lesson plans.

    But more than two years later, with the nation involved in an increasingly violent struggle in Iraq, students' knowledge of the world's second-largest religion remains spotty at best.

    "My sense is that teachers never covered it much, and they still are not" doing so, said Susan Adler, an associate professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and former president of the National Council for the Social Studies. "It would vary from state to state, depending on the content standards."

    For years, the social studies council has recommended that all students learn about world religions.

    More than 1.2 billion people are Muslims, one-fifth of the world's population. Their religion is based on five rules or pillars: belief, worship, fasting, almsgiving and pilgrimage. Arabic scholars say the word "Islam" is rooted in peace, or "salaam."
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