Muslims Seek Out Christian Resources to Aid in Home Schooling

November 4, 2003

Source: The Washington Post

On November 4, 2003 The Washington Post reported on Priscilla Martinez, a Muslim who is turning to Christian resources in order to home school her children. "Martinez, of Sterling, joined the Christian-based Homeschool Legal Defense Association, which helped her with the paperwork for a religious exemption allowing her to teach her youngsters, ages 4 and 5, at home rather than sending them to public school. She talked to Christian families for advice on home-schooling methods and lesson ideas. 'That's something that's drawn us together, as people of all faiths, to stand together and preserve our right to educate our children,' Martinez said. 'A lot of what you see in terms of the values -- charity, generosity and stewardship -- you can take what they've got and tailor it to your situation. The values that God has given us are all universal.' For the past two decades, home schooling has largely been a trend among evangelical Christians who have felt marginalized by the public schools and wanted to have a more active role in their children's education. But increasingly, the option has become attractive to Muslims, particularly with the scrutiny they have experienced since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Many Muslim families say they worry that their children, especially girls wearing hijabs, may be subjected to harassment or bad influences. Although Islamic schools offer an alternative, some parents find that the schools are too far away, have too few classes or emphasize a branch of Islam that the family doesn't subscribe to."