Opinion: Immigrant Families Reconsidering Sending Children to Home Countries, Fear of Extremism

August 2, 2005

Source: San Francisco Chronicle/PNS


On August 2, 2005 Pacific News Service ran an opinion piece by Hasan Zillur Rahim, a writer and a former editor of Iqra, a national Islamic magazine. Rahim writes, "A new challenge confronts Muslims living in the West: How can we ensure that our young and vulnerable children resist the lure of fanaticism and suicide martyrdom?... As an immigrant parent, I, like many of my peers, sometimes think nostalgically of sending my children to the old country for schooling and religious training. Now I weigh the risks. Three of the alleged London bombers had visited, or were sent to, the country of their parents -- Pakistan -- for religious and spiritual training. Immigrant parents are registering this news in a deeply personal way. I've sometimes been uneasy with the value system and quality of American public schools and have considered encouraging my children to study in the stricter, more rigorous high schools of the old country... But when the visit to the old country for 'religious training' is only for a few weeks or months and is shrouded in mystery, it ought to sound alarms."