A Veil of Ignorance: Public Perceptions of Islam in the United States and their Educational Implications

By Liz Jackson.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Many people in the United States gain most of their information about Islam, Muslims, and events in the Middle East from mainstream media sources. Since September 11, 2001, the need to know about Islam has increased in the schools while biased misrepresentations have dominated. This paper answers the question, how has the media shaped representations of Islam in US schools since September 11, 2001? First I discuss the general and educational need to know in light of media responses to 9/11 before exploring some of the major educational responses. I argue that representations of Islam today in US public schools reflect a divisive politics of representation going on in the United States today at large, around the nature of Islam and American interventions in the Middle East. I contrast two different educational accounts of Islam to explore the educational effects of the post-9/11 US political climate.

Keywords: Islam, Education, International Relations, Multiculturalism, Culture, Educational Theory

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.157-164. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 523.548KB).

Liz Jackson

Instructor, Department of Educational Policy Studies, College of Education, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, USA

Liz Jackson is a doctoral candidate in educational policy studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Jackson received her baccalaureate degree from Portland State University and her Master's degree at the University of Cambridge and has taught in cross-cultural settings in Turkey and Mexico. She teaches classes in social foundations of education, globalization and the curriculum, technology and educational reform, and community studies, and she is writing her dissertation entitled, "Rethinking Multicultural Education: Cultural Representation and Islam Since September 11."

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