The Equilibrium of Islamic Education: Has Muslim Women's Education Preserved the Religion?
Journal of Religion and Education, Vol. 25, No. 1 and 2, pp. 5-19, Winter 1998
33 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2011
Date Written: 1998
I focus on issues of equilibrium in Muslim women's education to understand the tension between the ideals and practice and its ramifications for Islamic and Muslims' education in the United States. I argue that one maintainer of Muslim women's low effectiveness, perpetuated across new generations of Muslims, is the general perception that women are the preservers of culture and religion by proxy. The issue before us: How is it possible for a morally dependent individual to instill the character of autonomous spiritual and intellectual Muslim who can integrate effectively in a, "pluralistic," society? In addition to the various degrees of perceptions and misconceptions about Islam, religious tolerance and Multiculturalism, the problem is mainly of perceiving women, particularly Muslim women as morally dependent and, hence, socially and politically irrelevant or non-central to issues of Islamic education. With the exception of few, the majority of Muslim women are neither involved in the educational decsion-making of the Muslim community nor of this nation. Often perceived as preservers of customary practices instead of agents of cultural change and contributors to inter-cultural understanding, Muslim women and their Islamic higher learning has been marginalized.
Keywords: Equilibrium in Islamic education, Ideals and parctice, Moral autonomy
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