This study explores some major challenges involved in teaching about controversial groups in U.S. public schools, discussing as an example education about Muslims since September 11, 2001 (9/11), and the need for students to develop accurate and balanced perceptions of others in a democratic society. In the first chapter, the two prominent educational orientations toward social difference, assimilationism and pluralism, are critically reviewed, as well as a third approach, critical multiculturalism, which is recommended here. The second chapter considers the influence of the media on young people, and argues that because predominantly negative stereotypical representations of Muslims have proliferated in the mass media and popular culture since 9/11, that associate the subjects with terrorism, critical media literacy is a crucial component of a critical multicultural approach to difference in the classroom. In the third chapter, contemporary representations of Muslims in public schools are examined (primarily in standards and textbooks), and it is argued that while many framings of the subjects are more balanced than they have been in the past, additional orientations beyond those commonly given are needed to provide students with understandings in line with the critical multicultural approach advocated for here. In the fourth chapter, model practices for teaching about the subjects using a critical multicultural orientation are discussed, along with the implications for teacher education. The fifth chapter discuses limitations of the study, including areas where additional research is needed, and the study's potential value to future research and policy work.