Islamic schools seek understanding amid rising hate crimes


Islamic schools seek understanding amid rising hate crimes

According to a 2011 report by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), there are 235 full-time Islamic schools in the United States.

Shariq Siddiqui and Sabith Khan, co-authors of “Islamic Education in the United States and the Evolution of Muslim Nonprofit Institutions,” said there is a misunderstanding around the schools. They examine this in their book, which maps the history of the Muslim-American nonprofit sector and its growth and impact on American society.

“Especially in America, I think there isn’t a clear picture in the public about Islamic schools and we wanted to speak to the general public,” Khan said.

Siddiqui said some of the benefits of sending children to Islamic schools include a focus on academics as well as integrating the cultural and religious aspect into their lives at an early age, including learning Arabic as well as the Quran. Recalling his own experiences, he added that parents also want to keep their children away from bullying, alcohol and drugs.

In their book, Siddiqui and Khan highlight specific historical events that affected the rise of enrollment in Muslim schools — one of them being the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

But despite enrollment growth, Islamic schools have also faced challenges. Habeeb Quadri, principal of MCC Academy, which has locations in Morton Grove and Skokie, Illinois, and was founded in 1989, said he noticed a divide between families at his school after 9/11, with some parents taking their children out of their school.

He said the school also suffered from harassment and attacks, including cinder blocks being thrown at their windows and shattering them a few times a year.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations reports that anti-Muslim bias and hate crimes are up 83 and 21 percent respectively, as compared to the first quarter of 2018. And according to a 2017 poll by ISPU, 42 percent of Muslims with children in grades K–12 reported the bullying of their children because of their faith, compared with 23 percent of Jews, 20 percent of Protestants, and 6 percent of Catholics.”

Continue reading at: NBC News

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