Who Speaks for Islam Teaching Guide

Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think Teaching Guide
John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed,
Copyright © 2008 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Book

Are we on the verge of an all-out war between the West and 1.3 billion Muslims? When the media searches for an answer to that question, they usually overlook the actual views of the world’s Muslims. Who Speaks for Islam? is about this silenced majority. This book is the product of the Gallup World Poll’s massive, multiyear research study. As part of this groundbreaking project, Gallup conducted tens of thousands of interviews with residents of more than 35 nations that are predominantly Muslim or have significant Muslim populations. Gallup posed questions that are on the minds of millions: Is Islam to blame for terrorism? Why is there so much anti-Americanism in the Muslim world? Who are the extremists? Where are the moderates? What do Muslim women really want? Grounded in Gallup World Poll data, not in contentious rhetoric, Who Speaks for Islam? brings data-driven evidence — the voices of a billion Muslims, not those of individual “experts” or “extremists” — to one of the most heated and consequential debates of our time.

This teaching guide is meant to accompany the text, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, providing chapter summaries, important findings from the Gallup World Poll interviews, discussion questions, prompts to engage your students to think critically, and to how to engage in the topic beyond the book. For example, in the chapter, “Who are Muslims,” the guide asks the educator to think about the following inquiries: 1. How is it possible to understand Muslims if they are so ethnically diverse and spread out across the world?; 2. How does religion inform the lives and practices of Muslims? Does religion play the same role in your country?; and, 3. How is jihad commonly understood by Western audiences? How is this different from how jihad is understood by Muslims? The book and this resource helps readers dissect the nuances and diversity of Islam, its practices and its followers.

While the guide specifically references the text, the Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think Teaching Guide gives valuable guiding questions and ideas about the presence and practice of Islam across the world that can contribute to meaningful discussions without the book. At only 200 pages, the book itself is manageable but you may certainly choose to concentrate on a few core themes or pages, and can be found at libraries and various online vendors.

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