Home schooling among American Muslims is growing partly over a concern with extremism in Islamic schools, according to a report in the Christian Science Monitor (Jan. 14).
Islamic homeschooling has existed for several years, but it has involved only a small minority of American Muslims. After September 11, however, new interest has been shown in homeschooling among Muslims, according to Fatima Saleem, who runs an Islamic homeschooling Website. Along with parents’ interest in an alternative education to help their children maintain their religious identity, there is now the concern that they may be exposed to extremist views in private Islamic schools.
“I’m scared for my children,” Saleem says. “Any of our children can get caught in someone’s rhetoric.” There is the fear that Muslim teachers may impart views that are not in sync with parents’ own Islamic views.
After Sept. 11, fears of renewed anti-Muslim prejudice has also fueled an interest in homeschooling, according to others interviewed. Saleem adds that Muslim homeschoolers, representing a few thousand students, are just starting to create their own curriculum and network with each other, such as in the Muslim Homeschool Network (http://www.muslimhomeschool.com) and the Palmetto Muslim Homeschool Resource Network.