By Michael S. Merry (auth.)
In gentle of the transforming into phenomenon of Islamic colleges within the usa and Europe, this compelling examine outlines even if those colleges proportion related characteristics with different spiritual colleges, whereas posing new demanding situations to schooling coverage. Merry elaborates a great kind of islamic philosophy of schooling on the way to learn the categorical demanding situations that Islamic colleges face, evaluating the various academic realities dealing with Muslim Populations within the Netherlands, Belgium, and the United States.
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Extra info for Culture, Identity, and Islamic Schooling: A Philosophical Approach
Dutch Islamic Schools The ﬁrst initiatives were taken in 1980, but it was not until 1988 that the ﬁrst Islamic schools were founded in the cities of Rotterdam (which now has an Islamic university also)13 and Eindhoven. These initiatives took very long mainly because the Muslims who wished to found a new school were often inexperienced and did not speak the Dutch language well. Moreover, most were not familiar with the complexities of the legislation, the political balance in the city councils, the bureaucratic rules, and the power of the civil servants.
Equally relevant was the fact that the people who took the initiatives generally did not receive a great deal of cooperation from the central or local authorities; sometimes they even felt that the authorities had a policy of actively discouraging the founding of Islamic schools (Rath et al 1997; Teunissen 1990). As regards the latter, in the cities of Utrecht and Rotterdam, for instance, the process and success of founding an Islamic school varied considerably. According to Rath et al. (1996), this was because in Utrecht Muslims were judged from a religious perspective, while in Rotterdam they were judged with regard to their social and socioeconomic characteristics (Driessen & Merry 2006).
While church and state battles have played out in public schools for various reasons, Islamic schools have inconspicuously grown in number and inﬂuence and are mostly able to enjoy the freedom accorded to various religious groups. With this freedom comes no direct federal aid, and only minimal accountability to the state. The picture is quite different both in the Netherlands and in Belgium. While religious education is widely available in both countries, in the Netherlands classes in “spiritual currents” (geestelijke stromingen) are required only in primary school, while in Belgium either religious instruction in any recognized religion (including Islam) or nonconfessional ethics classes are compulsory for both primary and secondary levels.