Proselytization vs Education

Teaching about Islam in American Public Schools

  • Sarya Baladi


This paper argues for the importance of religious literacy in the American public education system in relation to Islam, a religion that is not only growing in relevance that is also subject to various misconceptions in American society. The author outlines what an appropriate lesson plan about Islam would look like in the context of a secular classroom while pointing out limitations and shortfalls in current lesson plans. Additionally, the multiple controversies raised by teaching about Islam in public schools, particularly on behalf of conservative media outlets, are highlighted to emphasize the difference between proselytization - which is unconstitutional - and religious literacy - which is key to providing a well-rounded education to American students.

Author Biography

Sarya Baladi

Sarya Baladi is a Presidential Scholar at Boston College set to graduate in 2019. She is majoring in Islamic Civiliza- tion & Societies with a double minor in International Conflict & Cooperation Studies and Theology. At Boston College, she works in the Political Science Department as an Undergraduate Research Fellow focusing on issues of religion and public life, immigration, and cultural pluralism. She has a particular interest in questions concern- ing immigration, and hopes to pursue a career advocating on behalf of refugees and asylees in the United States.

How to Cite
Baladi, S. (2021). Proselytization vs Education. Elements, 15(1), 25-32.