[UPDATE: here’s GetReligion’s take]
I should clarify my title. It’s perfectly fine for you to homeschool your kids if you’re LDS or mainstream Protestant or even agnostic or atheist. But if, Dear Reader, you happen to be a Muslim, then please don’t homeschool your kids.
Like some others, I was dismayed by the recent California ruling which purports to essentially end the practice of homeschooling in that state. Why, I said, that’s outrageous! I should have the right to make sure my child gets a good education in my home, safe from the drugs, sex and mayhem of the public schools. I felt indignant — safely indignant, of course, since I’m in Washington state, but still.
This morning I read through the NY Times, and came across this article regarding how many Muslims are preferring now to homeschool their children, in order to give them an upbringing more in accordance with relevant shari’a and away from the polluting influences of the West. It brought to mind a news article in the BCC sidebar about the efforts of the Oxford Central Mosque to establish muzzein loudspeakers in the town. I suddenly felt suspicious and hesitant to support homeschooling — for Muslims — as it could contribute to the social insularity and disconnect which plagues Muslims throughout the West. Partially these feelings stem from concern for Muslims getting branded as terrorists and harassed; partially I’m afraid I am xenophobic and fear that an Islamic homeschooling means a multiplicity of terror madrassas, sown amongst an unsuspecting Lodi, CA populace.
The notion occurs to me: some people probably feel the same about Mormon homeschoolings. I’m not sure if that’s really true, but it gives me pause nonetheless. And it makes me suspicious that what’s really going on in my mind is little more than a faux liberalism that pretends to say, you are free to do as you please but in reality adds the postscript, so long as it’s what I would do. Another layer of hypocrisy for our modern times.