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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19154

Title: From Protest to Praxis: A History of Islamic Schools in North America
Authors: Memon, Nadeem Ahmed
Advisor: Sandwell, Ruth W.
Department: Theory and Policy Studies in Education
Keywords: Faith-based schools
Religious schooling
Issue Date: 25-Feb-2010
Abstract: This work attempts to achieve two overarching objectives: firstly to trace the historical growth of Islamic schools in North America and secondly, to explore the ideological and philosophical values that have shaped the vision of these schools. The historical growth of Islamic schools in North America has been led by two distinct communities among Sunni Muslims: the indigenous and the immigrant. Specific to the North American Muslim diaspora “indigenous” represents the African American Muslim community of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed (1933-2008), and “immigrant” refers to the generation of Sunni Muslims who settled in North America in the 1960s and 1970s. Through oral history, this study attempts to capture the voices, sentiments, and aspirations of those that struggled to establish the earliest full-time Islamic schools. The study examines these voices for the ways Islamic education is defined differently based on generational, contextual, and ideological perspectives. Recognizing the diverse lived experiences of Muslim communities in North America, the findings are organized in four distinct, yet often overlapping historical phases that map the growth and development of Islamic schooling. The four phases of Protest, Preservation, Pedagogy, and Praxis also represent how the aims of Islamic education have evolved over time. From the Nation of Islam and their inherent vision of equality through resistance, the earliest attempt at establishing schools for Muslim children began in the 1930s. The transition of the Nation of Islam into a community redefined by the teachings of mainstream Islam coupled with the settlement of substantial immigrant Muslim communities altered the discourse from protest to identity preservation in the 1980s. Collaboration between the “indigenous” and “immigrant” communities defined a concerted effort to improve the quality of Islamic schools in the 1990s. And post 9/11, the discourse of inward-looking school improvement shifted once again to outward praxis. The historical mapping of the vision of Islamic schooling between communities also allows for the exploration of how interpretations of the Islamic tradition inform the pedagogy of schools. Through separate histories and religious perspectives, this study seeks to explore the complexities of the aims of Islamic schools, both between communities and within them.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19154
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Theory and Policy Studies in Education - Doctoral theses

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