2 Aug 2005

ISLAMIC SCHOOL

What is an 'Islamic School'? Why do people really consider sending their kids there? What for? What is special about these schools in a suppositly Islamic country? Is there anything special about religion that this school offer? Does it have a specific syllabus where more islamic sciences are being taught? Or is it simply a seggregation of girls and boys, using the break to make them pray, protect them aganist mingling with Christians,.....and this is what they have in mind when talking about islamic schools? Or could be simply that Christians have their own schools (which most its students are muslims and thus it is not an isolation ideology), and thus why not we do it too? But wait a minute, Islamic schools for sure won't accept christian students?!

My two friends wanted to send their kids to an Islamic school. And we are talking about who is supposed to be open minded, American-educated people who are considered moderate intellects. These are my friends! Same class, same everything, but all of the sudden they now think Islamic. To them sending their kids to an Islamic school is Islamic. They have no particular reasons or idea what is Islamic about this school other than the ones I mentioned above. Segregation and taking time to pray.

Well, taking time to pray as a criteria to choosing a school is naiive. I have known students in a pure Christian school and they have small mosque where they just go pray there. So this is not an excuse. Even if not every school did that, they can use a classroom, the library, the music room to pray. If not, they can just pray the noon prayer at home, like most people do when are out running some errands and couldnt fetch a place to pray. In fact, this Islamic schools are not giving them an extra islamic curriculum of any sort. They follow what the government plan of religious education and they are strictly watched by the government. En bref, all this islamic teachings I can do to my kids at home. I personally had a sheikh at some point that taught me Coran and Arabic at home.

Segregation! Are they going to later submit their kids to Islamic universities too, Islamic Clubs and the like? Why segregation? These girls will probably be veiled and with the kind of religion awareness and protection their family will provide (real stuff not labels) they would know what is right and wrong and thus even in the middle of all the guys of the worlds, they would know how to abide by their morals and behaviour. Isolating and tight control don't mean by default protection, on the contrary, it creats fear of the outside world and fear of dealing with the other. More scary, is in the future how are they going to deal with their fellow Christian citizens they encounter anywhere? Is this a nucleus for sub-divided community.

Why are Muslims doing that? With That I mean isolation, living as if they are threatned minority. We always see that minorities are the ones who cluster and close themselves out from the outside world. They are weak, at least in numbers, and thus want to form their own community. Never heard that a Muslim community formed a little ghetto community for themselves, anywhere actually. They are not into ghettos, but surprisingly now they are. But for God's sake, muslims are majority in this country, why the 'minority' approach they are taking. If christians cluster, and now muslims cluster who will then be the majority? And if the majority is the ones sending their kids to islamic schools, isolating themselves from the community under any shiny name, then it is a weak majority.

23 Comments:

Blogger LouLou said...

Yeah I don't get it either. Islamic schools, Islamic universities, Islamic banks. Even saw one Islamic bakery in Algeria once. Will someone please explain to me what makes a bakery Islamic?Ok Islamic butchershop I can understand. They have 7alal meat even though ALL the meat in any Muslim country is supposed to be 7alal anyway. But Islamic bread?

It makes you wonder if one school is Islamic does it mean the other schools are kufar schools?Or Kufar banks?Or Kufar universities?What exactly is the point of such labelling in predominantly Muslim countries?

8/02/2005 09:55:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

Islamic Bakery? Maybe something to beat the Bagels, Jewish bread!

I never understood why muslims are into 'islamic X', clustering, isolating themselves. They never were throughout history...never thought of them and 'the other' that needed to protect themselves aganist. Strange!

And if you ask me, I see Hijab the same way. A way of 'recognizing' who is and who isn't. And this is when Al-Salam Shopping center does, 'Al-Ziy al-islameee'..what on earth is that!?

8/02/2005 12:10:00 pm  
Blogger MoonLightShadow said...

Well, I can talk about these schools out of experience. I’m a graduate of an Islamic school. I don’t know what was it that my parents had in mind when they sent me to it. But a major difference between my school and other schools was that we had a class for Qura’an. It was dedicated to Qura’an only, and it was a separate one from that class for religion.

All in all, I believe my school was one of the best available schools at that time. May be it’s not anymore.

Currently, I can’t have a clear opinion about Islamic schools. I’m neither against, nor with them.

May be coz in the past few years I had major changes in the way I think of that whole issue of religion. I still even don’t know if I’m on the right track or not.

I’ll try and give that issue a thorough thinking, and see if I can figure out a clear opinion about it.

8/02/2005 10:22:00 pm  
Blogger Eve said...

From experience I was in a catholic school and we had Koran classes too, not just religion classes, during the Christians were at the church of the school.

I think it has to do with the mentality most muslims have now "islam good, anything else bad" so people are trying to capitalize on that. Rez2 el hebl 3al maganin.

Come on, an islamic phone, islamic weddings, islamic everything...
It tickles the religious part in the Egyptians and make them think "Well if it's islamic, then it's better and God approves of it"

Simple non-sense for me, but people fall for it.

Oh like the name of the link haal, thnx.

8/02/2005 11:40:00 pm  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Islamic stuff = koshar life, no? And yes, they do have an Islamic Club now, I think related to Amr Khaled. Imagine two clubs, mirrors for each other, one for women and one for men, two tracks, two swimming pools, two everything. I think its mostly for guys who want to have a good excuse for staying away from their women, and hang around with their buddies, and end up going to heaven!

8/03/2005 05:04:00 pm  
Blogger ألِف said...

In my opinion, the day a religion ceases to be transparent and ubiquitous; the days its followers resort to living in it instead of it living in them is the day it starts declining.

But, who am I to speak about that!

8/05/2005 05:21:00 am  
Blogger Dalulla said...

You mentined: " Does it have a specific syllabus where more islamic sciences are being taught? "

yes, Islamic Schools are allowed "some" space to elaborate on Islamic teachings and the methods of the school are some what different from other schools.

There is no such thing as "protecting Muslim Students from mingling with Christians..be logical. Only the people who do not understand the true meaning of Being Moslem would do such a thing, but again i believe that would be on an individual level, not a school system... Kanet el denya amet ma2a3adetsh if something of the sort happened in a school, so i do not think anyone would be stupid enough to think in that manner.

But wait a minute, Islamic schools for sure won't accept christian students?!

Christians needn't apply for them in the first place, the country is abundant in Other schools and as you mentioned many Christian schools too.

Maybe not all schools allow time for prayers. Why are you generalizing?

"In fact, this Islamic schools are not giving them an extra islamic curriculum of any sort. They follow what the government plan of religious education"

Why In fact? I suggest you check your sources of information again.

"they would know what is right and wrong and thus even in the middle of all the guys of the worlds, they would know how to abide by their morals and behaviour"

Schools plus parental guidance teach right and wrong. The school should aid the parents and vise versa in building a character. Some parents want to build
Islamic based characters in their children.
Why would that bother anyone?

You mentioned in your last paragraph that moslems are creating ghetto communities? What makes you name it or see it that way. Maybe you are the one who is isolating yourself from the majority. Most people want Islam to flourish, to be properly applied in society, and they will keep increasing.
Earlier they were negative or maybe too afraid to come forward. But since the awareness of Islam has grown, and people r begining to really understand more about it, they r now taking action to do things towards applying what they truely understood and believe in.

The matter is not the segregation of boys and girls or anything of the sort, many Christian Schools have this segregation, there is more to it than that.

The idea is the space they are given to elablorate (even if it is not on a large scale, but it did, does and will count).

Besides, why do you think that when a person abides to Islamic teachings or goes to Islamic schools will be unable to deal with Christians in society.. As a matter if fact, if and when people do properly understand what Islam is, they will deal with not only the Christians in a Proper manner, but will even learn to deal with all people of different cultures and backgrounds.. Islam Teaches and stresses on tolerence of other religions and even people with no religion at all.

There are conditions to a moslem standing up to someone of another religion, and that is known to all; when islam or the moslems r being directly harmed in any sense, a moslem then has all the right for self defence, which should be fair enough for evey one.

Haal, the problem is the people with religion on paper, but not in their heart or actions.

:-)

8/06/2005 07:34:00 am  
Blogger Dalulla said...

Eve,
Come on, an islamic phone, islamic weddings, islamic everything...

I really do not understand, what is bothering you or anyone about this? Has anyone come up to you and actually forced you to be part of it?
I guess not. so, live and let others live..right? Freedom of choice, noting is obligatory. Whoever wants an islamic wedding, are having one.. whoever wants to go to an Islamic bank go.. At least people are given choice..
Or are religious people not allowed to have the same freedom as any one else?

That doesn't mean you have to do the same, does it?

It tickles the religious part in the Egyptians and make them think "Well if it's islamic, then it's better and God approves of it"

Why is it that u think people don't have common sense and why this tone of mockery and sarcasm?

8/06/2005 07:48:00 am  
Blogger LouLou said...

Dallula,

"Or are religious people not allowed to have the same freedom as any one else?"

Sure they are. But anyone else has the freedom to criticize anything they want - including people who choose to call themselves 'religious'.

That is exactly the problem. When you start labelling everything you do or like as Islamic you're implying that those who may not agree with you are not Islamic somehow. It's as if you're monopolizing the word Islamic, claiming that your school is Islamic, your bank is Islamic, your wedding is Islamic may not be a problem in a country where other people are not Muslims & don't feel touched by that. But in a country where everyone wants to be Islamic it creates polarization.

Personally I have no problem with an Islamic school if it is in a non-Muslim country where Muslim children have no access to their culture & religion in mainstream education.

But why does a child who lives in a country with more than 80% of the population Muslim, Islam being taught in mainstream education, mosques everywhere, religious programs on TV, Muslim parents, grandparents, speaking Arabic fluently. Why does such a child need to feel that Islam exists in one particular schools that not all children his or her age go to?Why when Islam is all around them?

And what is the meaning of having Islamic food stores when everything in the country is halal anyway?Isn't that just taking the same thing, putting an 'Islamic' label on it & giving it to people to make them feel better like Eve was saying?

8/06/2005 04:13:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

Loul,
Totally agree with you.

I never heard of any system be it political, religious,...that flourished through isolating itself....even worse when it is the majority!!!! Not sure why the insistence on acting as a minority...conspiracy theory, maybe!

8/06/2005 09:20:00 pm  
Blogger haal said...

Loul,
Totally agree with you.

I never heard of any system be it political, religious,...that flourished through isolating itself....even worse when it is the majority!!!! Not sure why the insistence on acting as a minority...conspiracy theory, maybe! I guess, some people are just cheer-leaders. Too naive to think outside the box, to even think.

Alif, loved this phrase: '..living in it instead of it living in them.' I may add, creating instances of it to just assure themselves they are doing the right thing.

Moon, maybe you want to tell us how being in an islamic school shaped who you are?. Would you send your kids to one?

Some people can only see things through their 'cheer leader' eyes. Give me an 'I' Give me an 'S' give me 'L' give me 'A' ...... Islamic Schooooollllll!

8/07/2005 08:46:00 am  
Blogger MoonLightShadow said...

"how being in an islamic school shaped who you are?. Would you send your kids to one?"

I don't think I'd send my children to one, and I have my reasons for that. Will be soon telling you how it shaped the person I am.

8/08/2005 12:14:00 am  
Blogger Dalulla said...

I understand Criticism should be constructive or positive, don’t you agree? What good would criticism do if it will not have any positive impact on the receiver? Criticism should be a means to better things not attempt to destroy or break.

What do you mean by labelling everything you like as Islamic? There have been Islamic labels to every single aspect of this life long time ago, to be specific, since the creation of this world, everything is Islamic, but maybe many people just haven’t noticed or properly comprehended what this life is all about.
Every thing is Islamic regardless of its current label, at least to God and those who understand what submission to Him mean.
Why is it that “Islam” is always a problem? There is nothing bad about the teachings or morals of Islamic conducts. Why would a religion that calls for every thing that is good be a problem? The problem is the comprehension of Islamic beliefs. If people really understand
what Islam is really about then there wouldn’t have be no problem in the first place. Misinterpretations and misunderstanding, and the lack of ability for even Moslems themselves to apply religion makes people criticise it. Too much criticism which doesn’t add positivity is a weakness. Just a way to escape from abiding to certain things.
“Personally I have no problem with an Islamic school if it is in a non-Muslim country where Muslim children have no access to their culture & religion in mainstream education.

But why does a child who lives in a country with more than 80% of the population Muslim, Islam being taught in mainstream education, mosques everywhere, religious programs on TV, Muslim parents, grandparents, speaking Arabic fluently. Why does such a child need to feel that Islam exists in one particular schools that not all children his or her age go to? Why when Islam is all around them?

Because Islam in schools is very important after home, it is the second most important source of religious teachings a child receives as they grow, and sometimes at home it is not well introduced or applied. That is why the schools role is vital and should not be taken lightly.
Loulou, if Islam was properly taught and embedded within Moslem children whether in Moslem Countries or not, there would have been a major difference in most Moslem societies. There would have been no terrorists killing innocent people thinking or actually have convictions that they are in a process of Jihad and are serving God, and that they will be considered martyrs and will be accepted by God and welcomed in the heavens above, that is the least example I can give you.

And what is the meaning of having Islamic food stores when everything in the country is halal anyway? Isn't that just taking the same thing, putting an 'Islamic' label on it & giving it to people to make them feel better like Eve was saying?

In a country like Egypt for instance, which is supposedly supposed to be an Islamic country, there are stores which serve, pork and Alcohol. There are many Food stores that sell alcohol and pork, many restaurants serve them and serve or allow other stuff as well. So why not have some stores which are Islamic ones?
Again, freedom of choice. Even God gave it, now humans want to take it away? Please...

8/08/2005 03:30:00 am  
Blogger LouLou said...

Dallula,

"Criticism should be a means to better things not attempt to destroy or break."

"Again, freedom of choice. Even God gave it, now humans want to take it away?"

I don't understand why you are in such a panic. No one is destroying you or taking freedom away from you.

We all noticed a certain phenomenon & we are questioning it. Am sure that occasionally you notice things & question them too.

Do you always feel so threatened whenever you don't get 100% approval for everything you do?

"In a country like Egypt for instance, which is supposedly supposed to be an Islamic country, there are stores which serve, pork and Alcohol."

At the height of Islamic rule, in the days of the Abu Bakir & 3omar, Jews & Christians in Islamic countries had not only their food stores but also their own court systems. Now you can't even bear for them to have their food served in the same place as your food?When you go to non-Muslim countries do they prevent you from having halal food stores when you want?

I personally lived in America for 4 years & I used to buy halal meat from Stop & Shop & Walmart. And all you have to do if you want to avoid alcohol in your food is read the ingredients.

I don't see what difference it makes to you if other people are buying pork or alcohol. The point is you can get your halal food whenever you want it.In any Muslim country the vast majority of slaughter that takes place is halal. It is certain that if you buy beef or chicken it will be halal. So my question stands what does it mean to take the same halal food, put it in another store, stick an Islamic sign on the shop?You are still eating the same thing as everyone else.

Why worry about pork or alcohol when you're not going to be buying those anyway?

"Loulou, if Islam was properly taught and embedded within Moslem children whether in Moslem Countries or not, there would have been a major difference in most Moslem societies."

Then Islam should be taught properly to all children - not just a select few.

Am sorry but I feel that when people are brought up to think they are the only ones who are Islamic & everyone else is kuffar this creates polarization & extremism. We are all Muslims. We are all equals. If you believe you are holy & above criticism because you went to this school or that then you will think you have a monopoly on the truth & you will not be open to debate or criticism by others you don't consider as 'Islamic' as yourself - let alone to non-Muslims.

THAT is the root of extremism. Extremists are people who think they are mursaleen - that their version of Islam is more 'pure' than everyone else's. They think they have a monopoly on God & the truth & to them the views of anyone who disagrees are kufr.

Well guess what?God does not reside in anyone's backpocket. He guides whomever he wills so don't assume he guided you & forgot everyone else. Islam is a religion of fiqh, ijtihad & most of all consensus of the Umma. We can't have debate & consensus if you are Islamic & am not.

8/08/2005 05:59:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

So what makes anyone so sure that these islamic schools dont breed extremist and closed minded children. Are you sure that during these islamic classes a teacher wont be passing some hidden, extreme thoughts in the midst of his/her teachings! How would you gurantee something like that wont happen!

Simply seeing that living in a shop where everything around us is put in a label 'islamic' will make the muslim society better is an absolute case of naivity. And anyone who questions what happens behind doors, gets the whining style: Why attack islam, why wanting to take our freedom away..... Over simplifying phenomenas!

Ah, and I see this pork and wine argument brought up by D., adding to the fake whining tone! Pork eih and wine eih. It is not that you have to ask if your meat is pork or beef everytime you eat! Or if your coke is alchol free!

PLEASE!!!

8/08/2005 08:16:00 am  
Blogger MoonLightShadow said...

Triggered by that post, I wrote that post on my blog.

I don't know whether it answers your question or not Haal.

8/08/2005 04:15:00 pm  
Blogger TARFAH said...

There is no assurance that Islamic schools can provide moderate, tolerant teachings. And as Haal said, the level of risk of implementing extreme ideas and behaviour are high. Plus, isnt it useful to check who the teachers at this schools are? What are their qualifications? Where did they graduate from? Or we are just interested in the Coran Class that is taught by the arabic teacher?

THere are lots of investigations to be done re/ this islamic school other than the name and the 'label'. Not because it is islamic school it means GOOOD STUFF! Not at all. I personally am extra careful with whoever call itself Islamic, and whoever calls himself 'religious'.

I dont agree with Dalula's that school is an important source of religious teaching. Schools are meant to be a place that teaches, in addition to 'morals and good conduct of behaving', methodologies and approaches to understand whatever is presented and not to take things at face values. Build analytical and free thinking skills. Religion sciences have their places and it should be the role of the parents and the mosques. And I personally think that the doze of religion at my school was more than enough for me.

8/08/2005 10:51:00 pm  
Blogger Dalulla said...

Hi Haal,
I wanted to place a couple of comments to reply to loulou, you and tarfah, but they were too long. I did not want to invade too much of your space, so i am placing them on my blog.

8/12/2005 04:46:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

'why the muslims are OK with the Catholic schools and are not OK with Islamic schools? I find it kind of hypocrisy for a Muslim family to put it's full trust in a Catholic school and not an Islamic one.'

Well, simply because Catholic schools in egypt accept Muslim students in their school; are not attempting to apply their interpretation of the bible (if there is soemthing called that) and force the Christian students to wear a cross around their neck; go to the church before classes. Yes, they are called catholic schools but they are normal schools with no religion inclination!

8/13/2005 08:49:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

'Why are you saying Islam is the one selecting? ....What also makes it difficult is the government system, which doesn’t abide completely to the Sharee3a or applies it. So people must make efforts and Islamic Schools are one of those efforts.'

So, Islamic schools are attempting to applying Shari'a and abiding to islamic teaching?! By doing what? What is in the extra syllabus that have 'some freedom' as u previously said' that makes it so different from other schools, and make a huge difference. A grad. from islamic school like Moonlight, mentioned about forcing them to wear the veil and then some took it off when leaving school... what is the message here? Force. Dual standards. Outside image.

'But at the same time we shall all be asked what we did with ourselves and children in this life.'
Sounded to me like God had asked us to go to islamic schools. Moreover, I am not aganist religion education, but anti the 'fake' islamic facade that is added to things.

'Parents shall be asked whether they gave them the proper guidance or not'
Sure. But how would these parents be sure that the islamic school is doing that more than other schools. Responsibility doesnt stop at 'being in the safe side' but having a proactive role. Something like islamic banking, put money in them to 'a3mel elly 3alaya' when most people know what is with Islamic banking. Again, 'safe side' attitude.

'Why are you underestimating children’s intelligence?'
Funny. Then why not just let them choose what school to go to.

'WE NEED SOME REFORM FOR OUR SOCIETIES TO CORRECT THE DOMINENCE OF NEGATIVE CULTURAL TRAITS WHICH HAVE BEEN PICKED UP AND PASSED TO OUR SOCIETIES.'
Isolation and we aganist the 'other' should be on top of this REFORM.
Reform?! Huh! Reform eih! Typical of the typical.

'People want something, are craving for it, are now finding it.'
Yaharam... Wee katmtmeen fee alboukoum kol dah! Islamic school is a real saviour then! Ok, you have it. Dont crave for it anymore! Sounds like Islamic schools are the solution.

8/13/2005 10:52:00 am  
Blogger haal said...

Tarfah,

Of course, Islamic school means GOOD stuff. What else can it be. Dont you see the 'islamic' sign, cresent, green flag. Girls go to school vieled, enter from a different gate than guys, take some extra Coranic classes... what else do you want, this is a step towards school reforms.

8/13/2005 11:03:00 am  
Blogger Dalulla said...

haal,
I don't really agree with you about Christian Schools being normal ones. Because in the italian school the students were obliged to go to church each and every morning. My husband was a Christian and he went to the italian school. And i feel it is fair enough that they did this. THey want their children to get into the habit of being religious or to always be aware of their God. Twosret already also mentioned that too and she is a Christian.

In all cases, again, this is only a matter of introducing choice for those who want to go to Islamic based schools all well and good and for those who feel like yourself and Loulou that it is not essential, then also so be it.

Finally, i don't see why it should not bother anyone. Freedom of choice is always good, provided there are choices is the point, and now there are.

8/13/2005 10:46:00 pm  
Blogger Halima said...

Islam is a way of life. Of course we live in a society in which we have to work and interact with pwoplw of various faiths. Sending your child to an Islmic school isn't only about a specific class, it's about teaching your children a way of life. Your child is usually at school for the majrity of their life as they grow if you think about it. The teachers and other students see your child for seven to eight hours a day, while the parent may get to influence them for three to four hours and the rest of the time is spent sleeping. To try to delude yourself into thinking that you can counteract the bad habits and things that they learn at a regular school is foolish. Not only does your child get to learn Qur'an, Sunnah, Fiqh, and make Salah at an Islamic school there are other things that they get. Something like making as-stinjah for a five year old would be impossible while attending a public school, but at an Islamic school is not. As a child I attended public, private, and ended up graduating from an Islamic school. The social aspect alone keeps me from sending my children out to this society. I want my children to go to school and not feel like an outsider. I'm not trying to segregate them, I'm just trying to help them to love Allah and this Deen. May Allah guide us all.

8/17/2005 08:51:00 am  

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