Monday, February 22, 2010

Muslims Turn to Homeschooling

Because of our family's proximity to Dearborn, Michigan one of the largest Arab populations outside of the Middle East and my daughter's study of the Arabic language and culture, I did not find it surprising that Muslims are turning to homeschooling.

Muslim parents consider homeschooling for many of the same reasons other parents do - strong academics built on a foundation of religious convictions and values. Muslim homeschooling mom, Priscilla Martinez, put it this way,

"We definitely do learn from a different worldview," she said. "Everything has God as its center. We don't just study the bee, but we study what the Koran says about the bee and the many blessings and the honey. . . . We get religious studies out of it, we get biology out of it and chemistry."

The article also highlighted the story of Maqsood and Zakia Khan who decided to homeschool their kindergarten child after he was told by his teacher that "he could not refuse school food in favor of the Islamic-sanctioned food he had brought from home. "

Welcome to America, where the state is god and determined to disciple your children in the way they should eat, work, and live.

I do wonder, however, if the Muslim trend toward homeschooling continues to grow, if school districts will begin to accomodate their religious beliefs in order to maintain enrollment.

I already see the beginnings of this in Dearborn. The schools now serve Halal food at lunch time and long-time high school wrestling coach was dismissed because one of his wrestlers converted to Christianity. By contrast at a neighboring high school, students who created a sweatshirt mocking the events of 9/11 did not receive any disciplinary action.

Do you remember the second-grader in another sent who was sent for a psychiatric evaluation for daring to draw a "violent" picture of Jesus on the cross at Christmas?

Which religions are separated from the public schools and which ones are accommodated could become very interesting in the coming years.

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