Czech schools open children’s eyes to Islamby Annalisa Lista - 2014.04.15
‘Islam through the eyes of children’ – this is the name of the first school project run by the Czech government to encourage the inclusion of Muslims. Co-financed by various international organisations, Muslimové aims to eradicate stereotypes and prejudices surrounding Islam, which can take root at an early age. The initiative begins with detailed analysis of textbooks. Teachers use pictures, maps, pages of history and literature to explain to children how the world of Islam is depicted. The initiative uses three ways of getting pupils involved. Firstly, it discusses the key concepts behind Islamic culture: the religious symbology, Sharia, women’s clothing and the question of Islamophobia. After that, the classes are divided into three groups, each led by a tutor, to focus more deeply on various themes and enable debate: the history and meaning of the veil, media representation of Muslims and the perception of Islam in the Czech Republic. The initiative finally asks students to work on creating a short film or a photographic project about a typical day in the life of a Muslim.