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This CNNfyi.com lesson plan is supplemented with material from Holt, Rinehart and Winston


Will Ramadan influence U.S. strikes in Afghanistan?

Lesson Plans by subject 

October 22, 2001
Web posted at: 4:10 PM EDT (2010 GMT)

Overview: What is Ramadan? Will the Muslim holy month influence U.S. strikes on Afghanistan? Have students learn more about the central beliefs and identify the Five Pillars of Islam. Challenge students to explore the renewal of the Islamic tradition since the 1980's in Islamic countries and determine how this affects Muslims' viewpoints about U.S. strikes during Ramadan in Afghanistan.

Curriculum connections: International Relations, Religion, Current Issues

Objectives
Students will be able to:

  • Identify and explain the Five Pillars of Islam.
  • Explain the renewal of Islamic tradition in Islamic countries since the 1980s.

Standards
IX Global Connections, grades nine -12
High school students are able to think systematically about personal, national, and global decisions, interactions, and consequences, including addressing critical issues such as peace, human rights, trade, and global ecology.

Materials
CNNfyi.com article, "Ramadan looms large in Afghan strikes"
Internet access

Suggested time
Article and questions only: 30 minutes
Full lesson plan: Two to three classroom periods

Procedure 1. Have students read the CNNfyi.com article CNNfyi.com article, "Ramadan looms large in Afghan strikes", and ask the following:

  • Why will U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell determine whether or not to continue the military campaign during Ramadan? What is Ramadan? When is the holy month expected to begin? What determines its starting date? How many people worldwide follow the Islamic religion?

2. What are some examples given in the article of battles being waged during Ramadan? In the article Rahul Bedi, a military analyst states, "If the U.S. was to wage war during Ramadan, it could be seen as being completely insensitive to Arabs worldwide." Do you think the U.S. should be sensitive to the Muslim holy month? Why or why not?
3. Refer students to the Web sites below and their textbooks to identify the central beliefs of Islam. Then ask: What is the Koran? What are the Five Pillars of Islam? Why do Muslims consider Mecca to be a holy city? Why are only Muslims allowed to enter Mecca?

Assessment
Have students use their textbooks to define "Islamic renewal." Instruct each student to write a brief essay explaining the meaning of this term by giving examples of actions that took place in Islamic countries since the 1980's. Then ask: How do you think Islamic renewal affects Muslims' viewpoints about U.S. strikes during Ramadan in Afghanistan?

Challenge
Have students identify similarities and differences between Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Direct students to create graphic organizers that compare the three religions, using current social studies texts, reference materials and the links below.

Extension
Search the Internet through the Holt, Rinehart and Winston Web site to gather information of Islamic calligraphy. Explain the special religious and artistic significance of calligraphy to Islamic culture. Make a chart showing several designs that are important to Islamic culture, and learn what thy mean. Share these designs with the class.



RELATED STORY:
RELATED SITES:
• Ramadan
• Islamic Studies, Islam, Arabic, Religion

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