by Kathy Masterson
MARY Immaculate College this week held a one-day seminar entitled ‘Understanding Islam in Irish Education’ exploring the contribution Islam has made to Irish education and culture.
Attendees, which included Arabic and Muslim scholars in addition to current MIC B.Ed students, were given the opportunity to attend workshops dealing with various topics such as Islamic Challenges and Irish Education; Teaching about Islam and Arabic Music and Popular Culture.
Conference organiser Dr Tony Langlois said: “There has never been a more important time to understand Islamic culture. Without this understanding we are prey to negative media representations and unfounded bias.”
He continued: “If we are not well informed ourselves, then how are we to explain Islam to children, either as teachers or citizens? The seminar was organised with B Ed. students in mind, as there are currently limited resources available to teachers which prepare them to educate children about Islam.’
Feedback from the seminar will be collated in order to produce a report on the current understanding of Islam in Irish education, to make recommendations, provide the opportunity to create future collaborations to develop from the recommendations made.