NPR

This Islamic School Teaches How To Be Muslim, And American

The Al Fatih Academy in Virginia is one of about 270 Islamic schools in the U.S. The staff aim to give their students a well-rounded education and promote civic awareness.
A third-grader reads from the Quran. Source: Neha Rashid

Like any good fifth-grade teacher, Mike Matthews wants to make his social studies unit on the American West as exciting as possible. So he's planning a special "Wild West" evening at the school with his students.

"We're going to have good ol' cowboy-fashion hot dogs and beans, Texas Toast and beef jerky," he says. Matthews will tell stories around a mock campfire, and for added authenticity, the fifth-graders will set up a saloon.

Of course, the saloon scene will be free of any references to alcohol, since the school — Al Fatih Academy in Reston, Va. — is an Islamic institution.

"We had the discussion already about what is appropriate, according to our mission," Matthews says. "The students are going

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min read
Britain's Boris Johnson Hails New Brexit Deal With EU As Deadline Looms
The prime minister said that he'd forged a new agreement that would allow the European Union to keep collecting value-added tax from Northern Ireland and allow special treatment for some Irish goods.
NPR4 min read
Suburban Satire 'Greener Grass' Offers Surreal, Pastel-Hued Truths
The smiles are all forced and the outfits color-coded in this tale of female one-up-manship. "It's gloriously nonsensical," says our critic, "and yet it reverberates with eerie truth."
NPR3 min read
'Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil' Clips Angelina Jolie's Wings
This "extremely weird" sequel to the 2014 film that riffed on Disney's Sleeping Beauty shunts its main character off-screen for most of its running time, in favor of CGI spectacle.