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March 24, 2017
8pm

Muslim Immigrants, Education and U.S. Culture: If intellectual freedom is found in U.S. culture is it from being rooted in religion or is it from being seasoned by science and reason?
consistent with scientific research on faith-based schools
religious instruction provides a better standpoint for critical engagement with the dominating culture than does a public school immersed in that culture… From Muslims in the Melting Pot (First Things, April 2016, published by The Institute on Religion and Public Life) by Boston University Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Charles L. Glenn, PI of a study of Islamic high schools nationwide in a multi-sector study to explore “the relationship between schooling and the formation of moral sensibilities and habits among the young.” Glenn was director of urban education and equity efforts for the Massachusetts Department of Education, including administration of over $200 million in state funds for magnet schools and desegregation.
 
Serving the faculties of the Boston Islamic Seminary, Hebrew College, and Andover Newton School of Theology, Celene Ibrahim also holds an appointment as the Muslim Chaplain for Tufts University and is completing a PhD at Brandeis University’s Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies with a focus on women in the Qur’an. Previously: M.Div., Harvard Divinity School and B.A., Near Eastern Studies with highest honors from Princeton University.

The Cambridge Roundtable on Intellectual Freedom

and the U.S. Islamic-School Education Experience

 
consistent with scientific research on faith-based schools
religious instruction provides a better standpoint for critical engagement with the dominating culture
than does a public school immersed in that culture… *
 
“David Campbell, a sociologist of religion, has noted that in religious schools “an ethos of trust opens space for teachers to feel comfortable introducing contentious issues into their lessons and allowing debate and discussion of those issues among the students.” This contrasts with the climate of American public schooling as described by sociologist Anthony Bryk et al. in Catholic Schools and the Common Good (1993, 2009): “Mirroring the spiritual vacuum at the heart of contemporary American society, schools now enculturate this emptiness in our children. . . . The problems of contemporary schooling are broader than the ineffective use of instrumental authority. At base is an absence of moral authority.” The Islamic secondary schools that we visited unquestionably possess moral authority, which, paradoxically, is why they allow students more intellectual freedom.” *
 

Muslim Immigrants, Education

and U.S. Culture

The U.S. Islamic-school education experience:
subculture or counterculture?
 
The hijab (or headscarf):
feminist, antifeminist, or neither?
 
If intellectual freedom is found in U.S. culture
is it from being rooted in religion or
is it from being seasoned by science and reason?
 

 

Muslims are the fastest-growing religious group in the world. The growth and regional migration of Muslims…have brought Muslims and the Islamic faith to the forefront of the political debate in many countries. Yet many facts about Muslims are not well known in some of these places, and most Americans…say they know little or nothing about Islam. ~ Muslims and Islam: Key findings in the U.S. and around the world, by Michael Lipka, Pew Research Center, February 27, 2017