Missing In The Teaching Of Islam

Missing In The Teaching Of Islam

Many misconceptions have spread about Islam. Western media perpetuate the myth that Islam is violent and Muslim women are oppress. Films like American Sniper, which depict Iraq as a dusty, war-zone devoid of culture and history, are popular. Anxiety and fear manifest in Islamophobic acts like burning mosques and attacking people.

Ignorance is at the root of this fear. According to a December 2015 poll, 52 percent of Americans don’t know Islam. 36% of those polled also stated that they would like to learn more about Islam. It was interesting to note that those younger than 30 were 46 percent more likely have a positive view of Islam.

These statistics show an opportunity for educators. As an academic in Islamic art and architecture, I know that educators have worked hard over the past two decades to improve Islam teaching, both in high school history classes and college courses. However, the problem is that Islam’s teachings have restrict to its religious practice. Its effects on culture and the arts, especially in the United States, are rarely discuss.

What Islam Teachings Are Missing?

High school history books do not mention the intertwined histories between Europe, Asia, and Africa during the Renaissance and middle ages. Even less said about the time when art, literature, and architecture flourish.

The 10th chapter of a New York Public High School World History textbook includes the Muslim World section. It condenses a thousand years worth of history, from the seventh century to the 17th centuries. The focus is on the Arab armies, and the rise of early modern Muslim kingdoms.

This narrow focus overlooks the cultural exchanges that took place during this time. The Troubadour poets of medieval Spain borrowed their poetic beauty from Arabic, for example. From the 15th century, Arabic was the southern Spain’s court language. The 12th century Palatine Chapel in Sicily was similarly paint and gild according to the imperial style used by the Fatimids (the rulers of Egypt from the 10th through the 12th centuries). These exchanges are common because of the mobility of ideas and people.

It is important to understand the cultural history of Islam. The Byzantine empire, Roman empire and Sassanian empire (pre-Islamic Persian empire), all provide models for the story of Islam. These overlaps have continued through the centuries, creating heterodox and cosmopolitan communities.

The 19th-century term Middle East, which was use to describe the complex social, cultural and religious mosaics or religions that existed in the region most closely linked to Islam, is not accurate. The importance of the arts in explaining important connections.

What Can Educators Do To Increase Literacy?

My view is that a more complete picture of identity could be paint if it wasn’t limit to religion. Teachers could instead focus on cross-cultural exchanges across borders through the work of poets, artists, musicians, and architects. The important connections between Islam, other world histories, and the arts, both visual, musical, and literary, could illustrate in high school as well as university.

A class on Renaissance could help explain how Gentile Bellini, an Italian painter from the 15th century, was able to gain fame at the court Mehmet II, the conqueror in Istanbul. Mehmet II ask Bellini to create an imperial portrait, which sent to European rulers. His art is a beautiful example of the artistic exchanges between early modern cities like Delhi, Istanbul and Venice.

Students might find it helpful to learn that Rembrandt, a Dutch painter, collected miniature paintings from the Mughal Empire. The Safavid empire silks (the Iranian dynasty that ruled from 16th to 18th centuries) were so popular, Polish kings had their coats of arms made in Isfahan.

Age Of Enlightenment Islam

The exchange of art continued well into the Age of Enlightenment. This was a time when Europe was rapidly reorienting its ideas in science, politics, and communications. An Enlightenment class may show that Montesquieu and other writers turned to the Middle East in order to critique their own religious institutions.

An example of a poetry class that could show connections between Wolfgang von Goethe’s writings, Islam, and his poems is West-Eastern Diwaan, a collection of poems. This masterpiece of world literature was inspired by Sufism, a mystical tradition in Islam, and was modeled on classical Persian poetry.

These connections are easily seen by most students, even though it may require them to overcome their preconceptions about Islam. Students are often surprised when I tell them that Cairo and Fez are the oldest continually run universities in the world. It is difficult to separate historical fact from contemporary politics, and to better understand the culture, diversity, and history of a religion almost 2,000 years old.

A recent Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition titled Jerusalem 1,000-1400. Every People Under Heaven could be a lesson for educators. It shows how Abrahamic religions, namely Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, borrowed freely from one another in the areas of art, literature, and music. Jerusalem was home of many people and the arts played a significant role in its religious and political life.

Muslims In America

It is not a matter of the past. These connections are evident today, in America where Islam is an integral part of the culture. It has been for centuries. The contributions of Muslims can be seen from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago’s skyline. Its complex rhythms and vocalizations included the rituals of Islamic devotion that many of them had to abandon. Architecture is no exception. The Sears Tower in Chicago is a classic example of American modern architecture, designed by Fazlur Rahman Khan, a Bangladeshi-American structural engineer.

Contributions of Muslims to architecture and art reflect not only the diversity of America but also the diversity in Islam. The rich diversity of American Muslims is reflected in their diverse ethnicities, languages, and cultures. This knowledge is especially important for young Muslim Americans who are often made to feel outsiders in a country.

This religious literacy is a vital role for educators, particularly in the arts and humanities. It helps students see the unity in diversity. The 13th-century Muslim mystic Rumi, who is America’s most famous poet, wrote these words. All religions sing the same song. These differences are illusions and vanity.

Teachers Make Us Read Old Stories

Teachers Make Us Read Old Stories

There are many reasons to read old stories, just as there are teachers. Sometimes, old stories can be quite bizarre. These stories can be a strange reflection of beliefs, values, and ways of living that may not be obvious to the reader. I am an English professor and believe stories from centuries or decades ago are valuable.

To help students understand the past and learn more about the present, teachers encourage them to read old stories with their students. Old stories are also a great way to build empathy, strengthen the brains of students, and provide fun, true, funny, or delightful stories.

The Old Past And The Present Are Connected

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is an example of teenagers speaking a language almost unintelligible to modern readers. They engage in duels. They are married. This might be a very different scenario from today. Yet, Romeo and Juliet fall for each other and cause their parents to be mad, much like so many teenagers today. They end up committing suicide, which is something far too many teenagers do. Shakespeare’s play might be more relevant than you think.

Many modern stories are also based on older stories. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, a story by Charlotte Bronte, has been featured in many novels since 1848. There are even entire chapters and articles about its importance and influence. I was able to find references to Jane Eyre in The Princess Diaries, Twilight, and many other novels. Reading the old story can enhance the experience of the novel.

Empathy And Brain Old Building

Maryanne Wolf, a reading specialist, writes about the special vocabulary found in books that does not appear in spoken language in Proust and the Squid. This vocabulary is an important part of what helps to build brains. Older books may also have a difficult sentence structure. Take the opening to almost every fairy tale. Once upon an time, in very far-off countries, there lived.

Although we all would never speak in that way, older stories have different words, which can make the brain work harder. This type of exercise increases brain capacity. Stories make us feel. Stories teach empathy. They are scared to see Harry Potter in danger. They get excited when Harry learns to fly. And they feel happy and relieved when Harry defeats Voldemort. By exposing the reader to a wide range of experiences, older stories can offer rich depth of feeling. Similar effects can be achieved by stories featuring characters from diverse backgrounds and set in unfamiliar locations.

Reading Can Be Fun

Sometimes old stories can be so bizarre that you just have to enjoy them. Or, I don’t know why. Charles Dickens Great Expectations has a character named Pumblechook. Can this be said without smiling? Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland depicts a cat that disappears slowly, leaving behind only its smile. New stories can be fun as well, but older stories might still have some fun.

One example is that the cat appears in many stories that aren’t related to Alice in Wonderland. Knowing more about the cat’s past can make it easier to read that story. While I don’t deny the fact that there are stories that contain offensive language and reflect attitudes we might not wish to embrace, it is true that there are some stories that have been passed down through generations. Even those stories can help readers think critically.

Every story is not good. But if your teacher asks you for one to read, think about the possibilities that you could grow your brain, your emotions, or just have some fun. It’s worth at least a chance.

Graphic Novel Got Its Misleading Moniker Story

Graphic Novel Got Its Misleading Moniker Story

From January 26 to 29, thousands will gather in Angouleme story, France to celebrate a specific type of storytelling. It’s call bandes dessinees in France, or drawn strips. In America, it’s harder to know what it should be call. It was once called comic books, cartoons, or the funnies, which are silly names for childish entertainments. We now call it graphic novels with some people scowling at the pomposity of the name.

I have seen the incredible growth of graphic novels as both a creator and an academic. They are now exhibit in museums and stacked on bedsides tables. There are some odd dances of nomenclature that we still have to do just to talk about them

A Story Told With A Picture

It is very common to tell a story using a photograph. People will instinctively think of adding another picture to the one that doesn’t tell enough.

This is evident in Neolithic cave paintings and Egyptian murals, Greek pottery, Renaissance altarpieces, and Greek pottery. It can also found in folk traditions. On a trip to Peru I was able to see lintel beams with courtship stories painted on them. There are academic forms like the Japanese scrolls emaki and there are acts that are unique to each other, such as Charlotte Salomon’s painting of her autobiography Life or Theatre?

This storytelling approach is most famously use in the late 19th-century when James Gordon Bennett, a newspaper publisher, want to showcase his new colour lithography presses. A number of artists given free reign to create a New York Herald children’s supplement. After some quick experimentation, they came up with a set of conventions that allowed them to tell a cohesive visual story on a newspaper paper. Before, word balloons, motion lines and visual onomatopoeia were all used. They were all used before, but they were now standardize into a familiar format: the comic strip.

Comic strips have been associate with low-brow, preliterate content since their origins as children’s comics. Sometimes artists had higher artistic or literary pretensions, and would try to find a better name for their work. People began to use terms such as picto fiction, sequential arts and graphic novels in the 1930s.

Why not? Great works can be create from both the written word as well as the representational image. Combining the two should result in great works. It was natural to search for a better name for comic book, since it had too many associations with childhood and cheap newsprint.

What Name Can Signal Respectability?

Graphic novel is a term that describes a long-form comic with literary ambitions and quality production. It was popularized in 1980s after Art Spiegelman’s Maus success. Spiegelman wanted to use the term commix to refer to his work, which would have paid tribute to the 1960s underground comix while emphasizing the mixed parts of this mongrel medium, such as high and low culture, word, picture, art, and commerce.

The graphic novel, much like the horseless carriage, made it easier to grasp a new concept by comparing it with something you already knew. Publishers and booksellers quickly adopted it. It sounded decent.

After Maus, there was briefly a surge in mainstream publishers interest in graphic novels as literature. But it failed to last. It was impossible to produce enough material to replicate the success of Maus. There are millions of unfinished manuscripts scattered around the globe. It is not enough to give a cartoonist more pages. This requires the conscious development of a complex set of skills. Another generation was needed to reach the critical mass of creators required to maintain a vibrant graphic novel market.

The 2000s saw a second wave in graphic novels. This was led by Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan, the smartest boy on Earth. But Ware was joined by a wealthy cohort. Publishers began to look beyond comics and started looking for non-literary graphic novels. They also looked for autobiographies Satrapi’s Persepolis, adaptations of Paul Auster’s City of Glass, visual essays, journalism Sacco’s Safe Area Gorazde, and personal stories Karasik’s and Mazzucchelli’s Persepolis. This was the time that comics’ most beloved child, the superhero, reached the big screen.

Comics The Case For Comics Story

Comics have gained the popular and critical respectability that they sought, but many people have started to criticize the title graphic novel, finding it just as restrictive and prejudicial as the comic book.

The term graphic novel is no longer used to describe a particular format but can now be used to refer to all types of comics. It can be confusing. Graphic novels are, by and large, nonfiction. Popular are autobiographies. They aren’t novels, which is to say they don’t really count as novels. What do you call pages or pages that are only a few paragraphs? One magazine wanted to refer to its comics section as graphic shorts. This sounded like a pair cellophane hot pans.

I am less concerned about the jargon of the term as a creator than the expectation it can create namely that long-form comics are novelistic. The novel is one way to create an extended narrative. It does not take into account the strengths of text. This approach may not work for storytelling that is visually oriented. A comic creator might be better off structuring her story like a dance, a puzzle box, architecture, or song. Comics are able to draw on their own history and build their own models, rather than looking at others. This is what makes a comic a mature medium.

What do we call this medium? While there is no perfect medium, comics might be the best. This is how most creators refer to their work. Although it doesn’t possess the same polysyllabic splendor of graphic novels, there are so many exceptional works of literary and artistic merit that we might be able to let the work speak for themselves.