Katherine Stewart has reservations about Muslim teaching methods, and the damage they may be doing to vulnerable young minds:
Much of fundamentalist home schooling is driven by deeply sexist and patriarchal ideology. The Koranic movement teaches that women need to submit to their husbands and have as many babies as they possibly can. The effects of these ideas on children are devastating, as a glance at HA’s blogs show.
“The story of being home schooled was a story of being told to sit down and shut up. ‘An ideal woman is quiet and submissive,’ I was told time and time again,” writes Shabnam. “The silence and submission I was pushed into was ultimately a place of loneliness, bitterness and almost crippling insecurity.”
The fundamentalist home schooling world also advocates an extraordinarily authoritarian view of the parental role. Corporal punishment is frequently encouraged. The effects are, again, often quite devastating. “People who experienced authoritarian parents tend to turn into adults with poor boundaries,” writes one pseudonymous HA blogger. “It’s an extremely unsatisfying and unsustainable way to live.”
My mistake. She’s actually talking about fundamentalist Christian homeschooling. Whoops!
Clearly, that’s a much more serious proposition. We don’t need to worry about the other sort, after all. Even if it’s virtually identical to that claimed for this homeschooling…
In America, we often take for granted that parents have an absolute right to decide how their children will be educated, but this leads us to overlook the fact that children have rights, too, and that we as a modern society are obligated to make sure that they get an education. Families should be allowed to pursue sensible homeschooling options, but current arrangements have allowed some families to replace education with fundamentalist indoctrination.
And that can never be tolerated. Well, for some folks, anyway.