Taking it Home: Sufism, Refugees, Confronting Islamophobia

Taking it Home:
 
1. With the “Muslim Ban” in the news right now, your kids have probably heard about it either from the media, from adults, or from other kids. Have you taken time to talk to them about it? What are their questions, thoughts, possibly fears?
2. Find some good books to help your kids understand the experience of being a refugee, or an immigrant.
3. Light a chalice as a family this week, with words inspired by the poet Rumi. Or sing together hymn #188, “Come, Come, Whoever You Are“.
4. Show your support of refugees and religious freedom, through the UUSC, the ACLU, or other organizations of your choice.
Try a Faith Adventure:
 
Sufism is a mystical tradition of Islam, in which practitioners seek to have a direct personal of experience of Allah as divine love.
How do you directly experience the divine/wonder-filled/transcendent/awesome? As Unitarian Universalists, we do not inherit certain practices, but can instead craft our own personally meaningful UU practice, as described in the curriculum Spirit in Practice. There are many possible practices: silent meditation, sacred dance, creating artconnecting to nature, and more!
This week, as a family, explore one or more spiritual practices. And then talk about it: how did it feel?, did it change how you experienced your day?, what was challenging?, would you want to continue with a practice?
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Confronting Islamophobia

This month our children’s religious education classes are learning about Islam, and as part of that learning it is important that we discuss the rise of Islamophobia in our country. Here are some ideas and resources for beginning that work at home:

Taking it Home:
 
1. As a parent/guardian, consider how you respond to Islamophobia. This article from Teaching Tolerance may get you thinking about it.
3. When you notice depictions of Islam or Muslims that you disagree with (in popular media, the news, or political speech) speak up! The UUSC has gathered facts and tips for confronting hate speech.
Try a Faith Adventure:
 
Muslims pray five times a day, and we discussed prayer in class on Sunday. What is a Unitarian Universalist understanding of prayer? What is prayer? Who/what are we praying to? Why and how do we pray?
Explore prayer together this week!
A toolkit for your adventure:
Now, try praying as a family. Perhaps try a morning prayer as you all get ready to scatter and start your days, or an evening prayer at bedtime. Just try it out, for a week, and see how it feels. Talk about it: what was awkward, what was profound, how did you feel, what were the effects?

Preparing Your Children to Take Place in a March or Large Event

With the Women’s March approaching, there is a lot more discussion about how to include children in these large events, rallies, and marches. I encourage parents to take their children to engage in public witness and demonstration, but bring prepared will help!
Resources that already say it better than I can:
This article from Parent Map gives some helpful tips on preparing your kids for a large crowd event: https://www.parentmap.com/article/how-kids-political-marches-crowd
It also helps kids feel more prepared for an event if they have a sign to hold. Taking the time to discuss what the event is about and to create a sign that expresses the child’s own words will enrich their experience and the event.

 

Then – Have Fun and Be Safe!