Foundation, NJ U. S. A
the Message Continues ... 8/141
Newsletter for May 2013
Article 1 - Article 2 - Article 3 - Article 4 - Article 5 - Article 6 - Article 7 - Article 8 -Article 9 - Article 10 - Article 11 - Article 12
Dr. Safdar Chadda
We are well aware of the situation around us: the school system
in the United States is in deep crisis; in addition to poor
academic performance, there is a total collapse of discipline in
schools, and violent offences coupled with sub-stance abuse have
reached epidemic proportions.
According to a study by the department of education, one in ten
schools in America has been a scene of serious violence.
Violence alone has claimed thousands of lives and annually costs
hundreds of millions of dollars in medical care, lost wages and
immeasurable psychological trauma to both victims, families, and
their communities; children growing up with violence are at a
much greater risk for sociopathic devel “
... those spiritual concepts on which this nation was built are
being superseded now by philosophies and judgements rooted in
atheism. The name of God has been removed from every vestige of
public life, as though He were a cancerous growth that
threat-ended the life of the organism.”
development. When children’s
energies are drained because they are defending themselves
against outside dangers or warding off their own fears, they
learning in schools. Children traumatized by violence can have
distorted memories and their cognitive functions can be
Most of our children are becoming victims to popular culture.
They listen to contemporary hard rock, rap, and pop which are
inundated with socially and spiritually subversive ideology.
This is reflected
in their choice of reading material, pop-culture magazines, in
their viewing habits, sex-laden television dramas and
gratuitously violent movies. Popular culture exerts a powerful
on the youth which is
undermining our Islamic values and beliefs. Social acceptance,
within a group of peers, often takes precedence over the desires
and wishes of the family. According to Dr. Dobson, an American
writer and radio commentator,
spiritual concepts on which this nation was built are being
superseded now by philosophies and judgments rooted in atheism.
The name of God has been removed from every vestige of public
life, as though He were a cancerous growth that threatened the
life of the organism.”
This situation is critical and must be addressed because the
future of the Muslim community is in jeopardy. While I do not
condemn all aspects of popular culture, I do understand its
inherent dangers, particularly to the Muslim youth. Although
young Muslims are expected to live moral and ethical lives,
there are limited cultural alternatives to counteract the
omnipresent negative influence.
It is naive to think that if we smash the television and ban
Western music that we will be in a better position to avoid the
perils of Western culture. However, these measures, if taken at
an early enough age in the child’s
life, may be of benefit.
What else can we do? One answer is Islamic education for all
Muslim children in a safe and moral environment. Full-time
Islamic schools are one of the clear options we have available.
There is the inevitable competition with well-funded public
schools and their often
lavish parochial counterparts. We need
well designed facilities, good teachers, and well
prepared education materials and curriculum, and above all
participation. It requires a vision of our role as Muslims in a
non-Muslim society that will empower both us and society at
large. It requires that we identify various approaches that can
be used to reach all of our children and youth to get them the
best Islamic education possible.
We have to overcome the polarized systems of education, secular
vs. traditional Islamic, which has yielded two distinct bodies
committed to their own system of thinking, and unable to
understand each other.
Muslim presence in the West offers us a unique opportunity to understand each other and to enter into a meaningful dialogue to produce a model community for the rest of humanity.
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