Challenge Islamophobia Project

Memorial to a 2017 hate crime in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca.

Most teaching resources and teacher workshops about Islam and Muslims focus on increasing knowledge of religious texts, beliefs, and rituals rather than addressing the root causes of Islamophobia. This project addresses that gap by placing Islamophobia firmly within an American context and shared cultural history. The lessons are designed to avoid the need for a facilitator with specialized knowledge in Islamic studies, because the lessons do not intend to teach non-Muslims about the details of Islamic faith and practice. Rather, the lessons teach all of us to rethink what we know about the history of Muslims in the U.S., including the fact that Islamophobia is rooted in a history of racism and empire.

Islamophobia: A People’s History
Teaching Guide

Below are lessons currently available for download. We are also creating a new website to feature lessons and additional resources to challenge Islamophobia. It will be completed by the end of April 2019.

What is Islamophobia? Interpersonal vs. Structural Discrimination

This lesson asks participants to construct a definition of Islamophobia using a variety of evidence, including poetry, media images, news clips, and research data.

Black Muslims in the United States: An Introductory Activity

This interactive lesson introduces participants to Black Muslims in U.S. history through a meet-and-greet activity.

American Hate: Lessons from Survivors

This lesson raises awareness of hate crimes and their impact through survivor testimonials included in American Hate: Survivors Speak Out, edited by Arjun Singh Sethi.

Black Athlete Protest: The Case of Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

This lesson, drawing on the story of NBA basketball player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf who refused to stand for the U.S. national anthem in 1996, gives participants the opportunity to hear diverse Muslim perspectives within a U.S. context.


These lessons are being piloted in classrooms to collect teacher and student feedback.

  • Who Benefits from Islamophobia? A Role Play
  • Latinx Muslims: Stereotypes and Surveillance
  • Imagining Justice: Anti-Islamophobia Activism


Muslims | Arab and Arab American | Palestine | Malcolm X


We need your support in order to meet the requests for teacher professional development workshops in cities across the country this year. Our goal is to raise $75,000 in order to double our impact in 2019. Please give today.


Donate by check:

Teaching for Change, PO Box 73038, Washington, D.C. 20056
Please put Islamophobia Project in the memo line

Contact the project director:

Alison Kysia


Posted Wednesday, December 20, 2017 |

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