I need to write an essay on a controversial topic. I am interested in religion, especially Islam, as this is a major topic in the news today. I am interested in learning about all religion, so...

I need to write an essay on a controversial topic. I am interested in religion, especially Islam, as this is a major topic in the news today.

I am interested in learning about all religion, so all suggestions would be helpful. Something that I will be able to get a lot of information about and will be easy to research on the internet.

Expert Answers
shakespeareguru eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since your essay needs to be controversial, why not decide upon a thesis that argues one religious point of view (Islamic) is the best for solving today's problems?  You could list some of the ills of our modern world -- poverty, crime, war, etc. --- and then, from your research about the Muslim faith, create an argument that suggests that the followers of Mohammad have the answers that our society needs for improvement.

A few important steps to remember when writing your essay.

  1. Come up with a clear and supportable thesis statement.
  2. Gather your information on the practices of the Islamic faith, so that you know enough specifics about the beliefs of the religion.
  3. If you were to choose to write about solving the ills of the world, make sure to have a list of specific circumstances that this religion would address.  For example, rather than simply stating that the faith addresses poverty, pick an exact situation of poverty, like the plight of the inner city child in America.  You will probably need to do research for this part of your essay as well.

Often, in the conclusion of a persuasive essay, it is a good idea to  moderate your position by taking a look at the other point of view.  This would be a good place to mention, briefly, how other religions might also provide some of the solutions that you have found in the practices of the Muslim faith, while maintaining that the Islamic path would be the best solution to the problems you have defined.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In a recent Time magazine piece, the question was asked if America was Islamophobic?  I think that this might be a good place to start for your essay.  The recent and harsh opposition to the community center in New York that will contain a prayer room, as well as the Florida pastor who sought to burn copies of the Qu'ran on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks helps to reveal a great deal of many Americans' perception of Islam.  I think that this might be a good starting point in discussing religion and how political forces have done a good job of demonizing Islam, striving to take away from its essence.  In the end, the discussion of Islam has taken center stage in American conception of religion and this might prove to be an excellent starting point that honestly examines the religion and what it says, as opposed to what others want it to say.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If Islam is the subject you wish to write about, one controversial issue is that the nation of France recently banned religious head coverings in the public schools.  You could write a research paper arguing whether or not such a policy should be pursued elsewhere in the world or in the United States.  You could argue for or against the French policy specifically.

You could also explore both sides of the controversy about the Muslim community center proposed near Ground Zero in New York City in terms of the arguments for and against its construction and which side you think holds the most merit, and especially what the current law says regarding the construction of buildings by churches.  You could look into the funding behind the project too, and follow the money trail.