Islamic Schools, The Lists.
I was over at Wa Salaam reading the post on Memorization vs. Actualization where I was once again reminded of the inadequacies of Islamic private schools. It was partially my frustration with Islamic schools that inspired my post titled Pilgrims, Settlers and Trailblazers.
I spend 3-4 hours a day in the car driving my children 43 miles one way to get to full-time Islamic school. That is what I have been doing for the last 3 years. For 3 years prior to that I was driving anywhere from 4-6 hours a day for 32 miles one way, but I was heading east into the city, into the traffic, so the drive was much longer. Now, please do not say Mashallah or Allahu Akbar or Alhamdullilah, as I am not one of those parents that love their child from their liver and everything that I do, I do for them. I want them to know who they are. I want them not only to practice Islam, but to live Islam. I want this for them because I love them and not because I love Allah. I’m not saying that I don’t love Allah, I’m just saying that that is not why I do this, so please, no praises.
What is it that my children get out of Islamic schools, you ask? (and if you didn’t, i’m a gonna tell ya anyway!)
- They get to pray during school hours – the whole school gets to pray.
- They get to learn Arabic, supposedly conversational, as a language since Kindergarten.
- They observe the month of Ramadan with the whole school.
- Eid breaks.
- They can read and write in Arabic.
- Broader knowledge of other Muslim cultures
- I have improved their chances of success by giving them a sense of security, a sense of belonging. (research does show this to be the case).
What I haven’t given my children:
- Comprehension of the Quran
- Integration within the country that they were born in. (except for Averroes Academy – hats off to you!)
- The right to choose if they will wear hijab or not (Again – except for Averroes Academy – yes, I do miss you).
- Broader understanding of other religions.
- An appreciation for sports and staying fit.
- With all of the time that we spend in the car, their childhood has suffured the most, less playtime.
- The confidence that they can be anything that they want to be – as they have seen their mother under constant ridicule for being asked to sit on the school board and then accepting – as some women believe that women shouldn’t hold positions of power.
- The true American experience, discrimination and all.
I’d like to change that. I’d like to give my children everything.