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KS3/4 RE - Teaching RE to Muslim Students: Studying Buddhism

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Summary

Find out how an RE teacher approaches the study of Buddhism with a Year 8 class of mainly Muslim pupils.

Azam Ali is head of RE at Challenge College in Bradford where most of the students are Muslim. The majority of his students don't have an issue with learning about other faiths but occasionally students ask why they can't just learn about Islam.

As a Muslim himself, Azam reminds his Islamic students that their religion is about racial harmony, social harmony, learning about other ideas and cultures and learning about other faiths.

However, Azam knows how important it is to ensure no student is excluded because of his or her faith and so, when teaching his class about Buddhism, is aware of the sensitivities some Muslims could have.

Amongst other things, Azam realises some students could have issues with drawing images of the Buddha, particularly when in Islam idol worship is considered to be a very grave sin. He knows that some students might feel that they may be doing something that's wrong.

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