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About Religious Life

   About Religious Life

Reflective discussion questions

1. How do the basic beliefs of Islam affect the way the Yemeni American students treat others?

Possible answer: Islam teaches the youths to respect their parents and others.

2. In what ways are the descriptions of Islam by the Yemeni American youths different from the public’s perception of Islam?

Possible answers: The Yemeni American youths understand Islam to be peaceful and tolerant. Much of the public believes that Islam is violent and intolerant.

3. What are some of the religious obligations the Yemeni American youths have that might affect their work and school life?

Possible answers: They are expected to pray five times a day, attend mosque services on Friday, fast during the month of Ramadan, and refrain from eating certain types of food.

4. According to Hadram, why is it difficult to be a Muslim in America?

Possible answer: He says that America holds many temptations that undermine Islam and that Yemen doesn't have these temptations.

5. Do you think the Yemeni American youths feel comfortable being Muslims in America?

6. Are there any Muslim students in your school, or followers of Islam in your community? Are they immigrants (from where) or native-born?   

Comparative discussion questions and activities

1. Make a Venn Diagram that compares the religion you follow (e.g. Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Native American spirituality) with Islam. Use what the Yemeni American youths say in the interviews and additional outside information. The circle on the left should list beliefs and rituals that Islam has that your religion does not. The circle on the right should list beliefs and rituals that your religion has that Islam does not. The spot where the circles overlap should list the things Islam and your religion have in common. Whether you follow a particular faith or not, write an essay about how the various religions in America are similar or different from Islam.

2. Write a descriptive essay that compares the way the Yemeni American youths learn about their religion and culture to the way you learn about your own religion and culture.

Methodology question

What do you think the interviewer asked the Yemeni American youths to get them to talk about their religious life? Write two questions that could have been asked that led to the responses in the video. One of the questions should be open-ended (a question with no specific answer.) What would you ask them in order to get information not presented in the video?

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