Challenging Perception: Understanding the Religious Complexities and Religious Identity of Islam

Keshia Horn, Social Studies, Butler High

Curriculum Unit (PDF)


Students of World History will learn about the complexities of a lived religion through study of the world religions with an emphasis on understanding the 3Bs (beliefs, behavior, and belonging). In particular, the focus for this unit is on the complexities of Islam and the religious identity Muslims. Throughout this unit lessons are integrated into the AP World History and World History curriculum giving educators the ability to explain what religious complexities are while dispelling common misconceptions westerners have about the world’s religions with emphasis on Islam and Muslims. Divided into three crucial parts, students explore what religion is before moving onto the basic beliefs, behaviors, and community characteristics of Islam. Over the course of the semester/year, students will cover topics that discuss impacts of the world religions on society both regionally and globally, with special emphasis on the changes and continuities over time with the spread of Islam, the Islamic Caliphates, and the intersection of modernity and Islam in the 20th and 21st centuries.