Islam AND School Curriculum

There are instances when school curriculum may conflict with Islamic values. Teachers should be aware what may seem natural or normal by Western standards may be uncomfortable for Muslim students.

For example, some western art focuses on the human form, and nudes are a prominent component of paintings by renowned artists such as Gaugin, Renoir, and many others. The concept of modesty in Islam is at odds with such art work.

Being aware of such issues and treating them with sensitivity makes for a richer, more diverse classroom experience for all.

Of course adherence to religious teachings will vary among Muslims. The following are a few areas teachers may encounter objections by some Muslims.

After the age of puberty, some Muslim parents will object to the free and flirtatious mixing of genders. This will include their children participating in mixed dances. Some Muslims also disapprove of music.

Drama classes or exercises involving performance of scenes from the Nativity, or acting as deities, gods, or goddesses of mythology, are also inappropriate.


It would be beneficial to provide Muslim students with an alternative activities if they desire not to participate for religious reasons.
Regarding school outings, many Muslim parents are unlikely to allow co-ed outings over a weekend or a longer period, though they probably would permit all girls or all boys outings of similar nature. Day-long field-trips typically meet with no disapproval. Organizers of such events should keep in mind the needs of Muslim students, such as time for worship, halal (lawful) foods, privacy in showers and bathrooms, and appropriate forms of cross-gender interaction.