Al-Huda

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

 

 

Education

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 those spiritual concepts on which this nation was built are being superseded now by philosophies and judgements rooted in atheism.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 childrens energies are drained because they are defending themselves against outside dangers or warding off their own fears, they have difficulty learning in schools. Children traumatized by violence can have distorted memories and their cognitive functions can be compromised.

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 influence 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Dobson, an American writer and radio commentator, ...those spiritual concepts on which this nation was built are being superseded now by philosophies and judgments rooted in atheism.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 childs 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 parents 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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