Can Sighting the Crescent Moon (Hilal) be projected into the Future: Open Letter to moonsighting.com
More and more school districts are considering making Eid-al-Fitr an official holiday on their school calendar, as well as accommodations for Ramadan. The conundrum with this for many districts is that they typically want their school calendars mapped out by the day for three to five years in advance. This presents a challenge because the changing of the months in the Islamic calendar is dependent on the sighting of the young waxing crescent that first follows the new moon, in Arabic it is called the hilal.
What can further be a problem is the impression that the visibility of the hilal can be mathematically projected into the future with perfection, therefore making it possible to predict and forecast onto a calendar. I have already spoken with one school district that took this approach and is now at risk of not actually having Eid set as a day off when they are intending to depending on how the days play out.
Abraham Education recently partnered with local Muslim community parents and leaders in the Columbus area to bring Engaging Muslim Students in Public Schools to that area in person. The training was conducted in Hilliard and attended by local educators including district leaders and teachers from eight different school districts. This program is very much one that has to be experienced to fully appreciate it, so the comments of attendees speak best to it. Below are the words of our respected attendees in Ohio of February 2023...
The following is an excerpt from the book ENGAGING MUSLIM STUDENTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS by Michael Abraham. Footnote numbers and citations are noted in the text but the actual notes and references are only accessible in the book which can be bought on Amazon.
It’s plainly obvious to most in education that religious diversity is neglected in preservice teacher training. It is standard that licensure programs offer at least one course that examine concepts of diversity, equity, inclusive practices, or multicultural education. However, courses that look specifically at religious diversity, or at a specific religious minority group, are exceedingly rare in teacher education. None exist that I have been able to locate (if you know of one please let me know about it ?).
A study done of preservice teachers at Ohio State University in 2006 that examined attitudes towards religious diversity of preservice teachers in Columbus, OH. Predictably, it found that it was a sensitive topic for the student-teachers to approach, and they were therefore hesitant to approach religious topics at all despite the fact that they actually had many questions about it they wanted to have answered. the study’s subjects to approach them, increased when religious issues intersected with race and gender topics (Subedi, 2006).
That study only illustrates what teachers who work with Muslim students already know. Many people have questions that they need answers to, but due to the general sensitivity in society around religion, as well as the stigma that exists for Muslims and Islam in particular, knowing how and where to get answers is simply difficult and therefor bypassed.
This is why Engaging Muslim Students in Public Schools has been so appreciated by those who have taken it. It bridges this gap for educators intentionally and effectively. There is a common metaphor in education that culture is like an iceberg. There is much that we see above the surface, but most of it exists below the surface. Engaging Muslim Students in Public Schools sets a new standard for giving teachers a view below the surface.
Don’t wait to register or to ask your school to sign you up.
I get asked this question from time to time, so my brief response to it is below:
The button below links to student questionnaires for comprehension questions to accompany the reading of the The Grand Mosque of Paris.
Below are links to student and instructional materials for a comprehensive cross-cultural study unit using three versions Cinderella. The Islamic Tale , The Orphan - A Cinderella Story from Greece, and an English one
Here are links to materials I have developed to teach about the topic discussed in the Historical Origins of the Ideology of ISIS blog series to high school students in the classroom. The materials have been developed with ESL in mind. They should be comprehensible to high school students of a WIDA level of 3 or higher.
Considerations for Teaching 20th Century Literature featuring Existentialist Themes to Muslim Students
So…how do you expect Muslim students to react when they read “God is dead”?