On the 1st and 2nd November 2016, Imams Online was invited to present some of its work at the ISESCO headquarters in Rabat, Morocco. The workshop was organised by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) to discuss the role of religious education in fostering peace and countering violence.
The workshop brought together experts from different parts of the world and sought to address whether contemporary approaches to religious education are compatible with broader trends in curriculum, pedagogy, methodologies, evaluation of teacher and student performance, and outcomes of religious education. Some of the most prominent Islamic personalities in attendance include Shaykh Yasir Qadhi and Shaykh Muhammad bin Yahya al-Ninowy.
The participants in the workshop explored various ways in which religious schools, madrassahs and religious education in mainstream schools can promote the culture of moderation, build resilience, reflection and honest engagement with contemporary issues, while simultaneously countering extremism.
The workshop was aimed at considering the congruence between contemporary religious educational methodology and the wider trend of educational methodology, as well as teaching methods, assessment of teachers and students’ performances and the outcomes of religious education.
In addition, the workshop discussed the ways we could benefit from the social media and electronic sites in improving religious education. Senior Editor of Imams Online, Imam Qari Asim MBE, presented the work of the platform and outlined its aim to ‘Engage, Educate and Empower’ Islamic faith leadership by promoting excellence and developing innovation.
The participants stressed that a lot of work has already been done over the last few decades in the field of delivering religious education effectively and improving standards, which should be leveraged.
A number of recommendations were made by the participants including upgrading the use of curricula, promoting critical engagement and understanding of religious texts, improving digital literacy and setting model of standards. The recommendations will be finalised and relevant actions will be undertaken by the GCTF, IESCO, OIC and their members.