New School Opens for New Orleans Muslim Population

February 9, 2001

Source: The Times-Picayune

On February 9, 2001, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on the Islamic School of Greater New Orleans. "The school is a long-awaited dream of the Jefferson Muslim Association...First opened in the fall of 1999 with 17 students, the school has tripled its enrollment in the past year to 51 students. There are an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 Muslims in the New Orleans area...With a staff of both Muslim and non-Muslim teachers, students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade are taught all the subjects required of private schools by the state. They also take an hour of either Islamic or Arabic studies and an hour-long lesson on the Koran." Association board member Hasan Krad said that "in public and other private schools, Muslim students are not afforded the opportunity to explore their religion and sometimes can be shunned by other students for their cultural differences...At the Kenner school, students recite daily prayers, and many dress in traditional garb...'The parents notice the difference in their children. They respect each other, they respect their religion, and they respect their parents,' Krad said. The association also for years has operated a weekend school and summer program."