Muslim Parents Experience Challenges Raising Children in America

September 10, 2005

Source: The Indianapolis Star

On September 10, 2005 The Indianapolis Star reported, "The tensions between American culture and the practice of Islam -- particularly with regard to dating, modesty and relationships between genders -- were the subject of several hours of discussion at the 42nd annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America last weekend near Chicago. Nearly 40,000 Muslims attended the gathering, which was hosted by the Plainfield-based Islamic Society. Shamim Sufi, a Muslim social worker who spoke on the challenges of raising Islamic children in America, said the faith's strict rules about modesty, interaction between the genders and sexual freedom pose special challenges to Muslims. But in many ways Muslim children deal with the same issues faced by the rest of American youth -- the temptations of sex, drugs and the need to fit in. The worry, as Sufi sees it, is that Muslim parents are not confronting that reality head-on... Mohamed R. Beshir, who with his wife Ekram has authored several books on Muslim family matters, said all parents typically suffer from a lack of parenting skills. Frequently, they fail to lay strong foundations in early childhood. And there is often an unwillingness to stray from what their parents did. But those Muslims who immigrated to America face an additional hurdle, he said: They may be far from relatives who could provide a support system."

See also: Islam, Youth