Asian Islam and Arab Islam by Iftikhar Ahmad, Long Island U. School of Education (2006)

Grade Level: 6-12

Islam is a universal religion which teaches ethnic and racial equality. Muslims live in fifty-six countries worldwide, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, and Nigeria. A significant Muslim population can be found in India, China, and Central Asia. Contrary to popular assumption, the majority of Muslims are not Arab. In fact only 20 percent of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims originate from Arab countries. The largest Muslim communities are to be found in Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India.

The purpose of this lesson plan is to teach students how Islam emerged in Arabia and was accepted around the world by people of different ethnic, linguistic and cultural groups. This lesson plan focuses on two regions, Asia and the Middle East, where Muslims of diverse cultures practice their faith in their own local cultural contexts and according to their own traditions, and yet consider themselves a part of the Muslim ummah (worldwide community).