Homeschooling by conservative Protestant parents is not the only type of religious homeschooling that some writers object to. Homechooling by traditional Muslim parents is also under fire.
Teach Your Children, 8 May 2008, World Defense Review
Reporting from Lodi, California, MacFarquar states, “Some 80 percent of the city’s 2,500 Muslims are Pakistani, and many are interrelated villagers who try to recreate the conservative social atmosphere back home. A decade ago many girls were simply shipped back to their villages once they reached adolescence.”
Slipped gracefully into a report on Islamic home schooling is an indication of horrifying abuse likely taking place in many of these homes. Why has no one noticed? Why has no one paid attention, and why, now that the Times has let this item out, is nothing being done?
Forced marriage. Abbreviated educations. Notes the Times, “The girls follow the regular high school curriculum, squeezing in study time among housework, cooking, praying and reading the Koran. The teachers at the weekly tutorials occasionally crack jokes of the ‘what, are your brothers’ arms broken?’ variety, but in general they tread lightly, sensing that their students obey family and tradition because they have no alternative.”
Is anyone listening to this?
I briefly noted two articles about the Muslim homeschooling in Lodi:
I look at the traditional arranged marriages and don’t know what to think. Should young girls be married off in what apparently is this group’s traditional fashion, or are the parents to give up their ways because they live in a new country? Should ‘we’ (the dominant culture) insist that the immigrants immediately abandon their old ways (how?), or should we allow the usual assimilation process to work itself out? Still, the author of “Teach Your Children” has a point concerning the lack of assimilation of Muslims in Europe.
Living in Europe for the past 20-something years, I have seen this show before. It is precisely why Europe – the Netherlands, where I now live, perhaps most of all – struggles against growing radicalization within its Muslim population and a gaping canyon between its Muslim and non-Muslim communities. It is why honor killings occur at rates we found unimaginable until Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born former Dutch parliamentarian, forced the phenomenon into the national spotlight – aided, tragically, by the murder of a young woman named Zarife by her father in the fall of 2003. (In the Hague alone, authorities counted 119 honor-related violent crimes between October, 2004 and March, 2005.)
I remember that even though the children and grandchildren of Turkish guest workers in Germany considered Germany their home, but “As late as 2004, 36 per cent of Turkish citizens living in Germany did not have German nationality despite being born there.” My oldest (non-homeschooled, fwiw) son confided to me, decades after the fact, that he and his friends fought with Turkish boys in downtown Munich (no reason given other than they were teenaged boys, and beer was freely available). I also remember being stuck in a stau on an Autobahn because a group of Kurds set fire to a stack of tires farther down the road to protest … something — Saddam Hussein? It’s terrible, but the protests run together after a while.
So, concerning conservative Muslim homeschooling in the U.S., do we just allow the assimilation to run at its own pace because the U.S. is a ‘free country’ and we accept the teeming masses yearning to be free, or maybe … do we approve of ‘something else?’
Texas AG to prosecute raid-related FLDS cases, 6 May 2008, The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah
Forced marriage is forced marriage. Isn’t it?
Oh, by the way, the writer of the above article is also of the opinion that,
The truth is that ideally, I’d see an end to all home schooling. If that’s not possible, then home school programs must be monitored, requiring a core curriculum that includes not just math, but biology and American history and the history of Europe, and study of the literary masters, the great human achievements of civilization. And they must offer children options, not indoctrination; insight, not propaganda.
So much for the free country.