Muslims Joining Others in Support of Home Schooling

August 2, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On August 2, 2000, The Boston Globe published an article entitled "Trying Not to Fit in: Muslims Among Those Educating Children at Home." The article reported that "Muslims, one of the United States' fastest-growing populations, are following the lead of other groups, including evangelical Christians, in opting out of American public schools." The increase in home schooling is part of a larger trend in American schooling that is driven by both moral and educational concerns. Many parents choose religious, charter, or pilot schools to combat these concerns, but for others, home schooling is the best option. "'They're growing up as Americans, and they have to integrate, but we want them to keep their Islamic identity intact and not have it washed away or assaulted,' said Beverly Beresford, 36, a Muslim mother of three from Billerica who is teaching her children at home." Arthur Levine, president of Teachers College at Columbia University, commented that "The nature of socialization has...changed. Once the hope of people entering was that they would become Americanized and indistinct from the pack. Now we're having a battle over how much we want in common and how much we want to be different."

"Muslims are a new, emerging community, and a number of them are not happy with the public schooling system, either because they feel that the schools are not really teaching their kids right or they object that they are not paying attention to moral issues," said Aly Abuzaakouk, director of the American Muslim Council, who said education is the top concern of Muslims in America. "There is a secular turn in public schooling that Muslim families are not happy with, and some of those who are not able to join Muslim schools do home schooling."

See also: Islam, Schools