Teaching of Pre-Islamic History in the Islamic Middle East

Judith Ballan's picture

I am looking for information and sources to answer the question: How is the pre-Islamic past taught in Islamic countries of the Middle East? I am particularly interested in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon.

This is part of a larger World History project on the role of nationalism in defining culture and identity. 

Judith Ballan



Judith, we work in our area for last 15 years with the MMF, multicultural mosaic foundation, a Turkish Muslim group associated with Gulen movement. We have visited schools in Turkey including K-12 and colleges run by the foundation associated with Gulen and his followers. Whatever is thought of the movement for presenting a peaceful and cross-religious outreach (there are those who find it positive and those who think it part of a movement to take control in Turkey), the education is topnotch both in Turkey, across the middle east and central Asia, and in the charter schools they run in the U.S. It is our understanding as fellow educators that acknowledgement of a pre-Islamic world takes place (such as moon goddess worship in the Arabic Peninsula) but as world historians have noted there is limited coverage of topics outside the Koran and Hadith.

You might simply email the MMF in the Denver area and perhaps they would be happy to discuss with you further.