December 30, 2002
Muslim homeschooling

Michael Peach, a strong supporter of home education, links to a report that there has been an increase in the number of Muslims in the USA who are choosing to homeschool their children. (Daryl Cobranchi also alludes to a similar story.) Sets alarm bells ringing, doesn't it? Says Mike:

Now just as I don't agree with the state being involved in education I don't agree with religion being involved in it either. Sure, educate about the various religions of the world if you choose to but to base your whole education system on religious principle. .... Sorry, I find it all kind of scary.

I believe in home education and I think parents are responsible for their children's education so should I be for this or against it? I just don't know.

I'm not certain either, but my inclination is to say: let it happen, and worry about any damage it does when it does it and not before. (Incidentally, does Mike also worry about all those homeschooling Christians in the USA?)

I suppose there are two fears about Muslim homeschooling. First, it will result in an irrevocably divided community, divided along religious lines, similar to the divided community we Brits already have in Northern Ireland. Second, it will (maybe) breed (just a tiny few) terrorists.

But look at it this way. If Muslims don't get - or are somehow not allowed to exercise the right to – home education, then they are more than ever likely to insist on having Muslim schools. And what is more likely to be taken over by Wahahbi maniacs? Muslim families or Muslim schools? I'd say Muslim schools. And I'd especially say publicly funded Muslim schools, in which consumers (i.e. parents) can be kept at arm's length and lorded over by the externally-funded producers, the people running the place.

Also, if the only way to get a Muslim education is to send your kids to a Muslim school, that might reinforce the tendency of Muslims to live in separate communities, in order to get into the right school catchment area. But if they are the masters of their own houses, no need for them to move house to get the sort of lives they want for themselves and their children.

None of which is certain. But if you are uncertain, go with freedom.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 01:03 PM
Category: Home education
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