Seventh Grade Visits Bridgeport Mosque

For the first time, St. Luke’s students made a field trip to Masjid An-Noor, an Islamic Center in Bridgeport. This visit was the culmination of the seventh grade’s Islamic religion unit, which is taught by History teachers Ms. Pokorney and Mr. Phelps. In addition to studying the Islamic religion, the students explored a relatively unfamiliar aspect of the September 11th attacks: life as a Muslim in America. 9/11 is a sensitive subject for Americans, and as a result, it is often only lightly touched upon in middle school curriculum. When the attacks are discussed in detail, teachers often do not explore the Islamic religion in depth.

the official Nation of Islam Flag

Ms. Pokorney, in describing the curriculum, stated: “After much discussion about the values that unite us, something became very apparent to the students – as a class, we can study 9/11 as an event, but most of us lack knowledge about Islam and life as a Muslim in America.” After two weeks of study, the students visited the Islamic Center and spoke to the Imam, the worship leader of the mosque. Afterwards, the students were invited to observe a daily prayer.

To find out more about the seventh graders’ experience, we spoke to Colette Juran, a seventh grader who attended the trip.

Sentinel: What was this unit for and what was its purpose?

Colette: This trip was a part of the Islam unit. Its purpose was to connect our learning of Islam to an authentic real life experience and to learn the basics of Islam from a practicing Muslim. This unit was aiming to establish greater tolerance and awareness of the Islamic culture in the seventh grade and eventually to the entire school.

S: What was it like observing a prayer?

C: Muslims pray five times a day for eight minutes, which totals to be about 40 minutes of prayer each day. They use a prayer mat as a platform. During the prayer, they fulfill one of the five pillars of Islam, which is to testify their faith to Allah. The prayer consists of several rhythmic movements that occur during the eight-minute span. They are summoned to the prayer by a traditional prayer call. It was interesting to have had the opportunity to observe a prayer session during our stay at the Mosque.

S: What did you, personally, find most interesting from this experience?

C: I found the role of women inside the society to be interesting because it really established an image of how women that practice this faith act, dress, and carry themselves. It illuminated a whole society that I had previously overlooked. It also made me respect the dedication of the members of this religion to their faith.

Posted by on December 13, 2011. Filed under School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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