What it's all about
I am in my classroom helping a group of pupils when I hear Andrew mutter contemptuously, "Bloody Muslims!", writes Jonny Griffiths.
I haul him out of the room. "I just want to check how much you know about Islamic culture," I say. "Can you tell me how the Arab world kept maths alive in the time between the Greeks and the Renaissance?"
He looks at me uncomprehendingly; I take this as a no. I press on. "Andrew, do you call your Islamic friends 'bloody Muslims'?"
I like Norfolk, where I teach, enormously. But ethnic minorities make up only about 1 per cent of the county, which can mean that our pupils find other cultures a challenge.
Some people say that a world without religion would be a better one. I say that bad religion is indeed a grave problem, but that good religion is the bee's knees. Speak to a true Muslim, or a true Christian for that matter, and one cannot fail to be drawn to their faith.
But then I remember reading six years ago about Mohammed Halim, a teacher in Afghanistan. In an article titled "Disembowelled, then torn apart: the price of daring to teach girls", The Independent described how "his life was over ... his remains put on display as a warning to others against defying Taliban orders". Would Andrew find fuel for his prejudices here?
Show your pupils how maths and Islam connect using mrsblacknell 's pop-up three-dimensional nets and Islamic patterns lesson, bit.ly3dPopUpNets. Or work through tp_1986 's lesson on Islamic art and symmetrical patterns, bit.lyIslamicArtMaths.