Western countries should provide state funding for Islamic schools
The financiers(The WEST) will extensively control the curriculum and the set-up of these schools.And Thus will be capable of correcting, the tainted mindset of Muslim extremist students in the WEST.
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Governments should fully fund islamic schools that comply with three requirements: 1) to teach the national curriculum alongside religious education, 2) that the school must not teach ethnic or racial superiority (a similar stipulation to legislation in Britain and some parts of Canada), and 3) non-muslim students must be permitted to register at the school.
The state funded Islamic schools do not function the way the propositions definitions says, we have evidence from an Islamic school in America, that forces children to pray every day, and forces them to practice religious rituals, and the classes about the Islam are mandatory which means that even a non Muslim student would be visiting these classes and also non Muslim girl students would have to wear headscarves, which means there still will be some level of degradation, and this is why no other non Muslim student would won’t to go these kinds of schools. (link to evidence http://theframeproblem.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/american-tax-dollars-are-funding-an-islamic-school/)
Right to education
Proposition’s first point contends that only an Islamic education adequately accounts for the values of Muslim students enough to meaningfully satisfy their right to education. When Western nations recognise such a right, they are recognising a right to not just any education, but an education that squares with the values of the puil and their legal guardians. This is important because otherwise governments could claim to fulfil their obligation to provide education through schooling which is agenda-driven, erroneous, or contravening deeply held beliefs (beliefs which, as a matter of freedom of conscience, all individuals have a right to hold). Moreover, one’s ability to access their right to education is impaired if they have to endure education that fails to mesh with their values; one is coerced, intentionally or not, away from investing time, effort, commitment in an education. It is for precisely this reason that many nations provide a “right of exit” from the public school system through homeschooling; if a parent finds that the state-run education deeply offends the values of their family, they don’t have to suffer its continuation.
What does this mean for the motion at hand? If a particular state-run system does not give the individual an avenue to meaningfully access an education that respects their values, the government must provide such individuals with an alternative that does. In the case of Islam, this condition is clearly met. Islam is a religion that does have a significant influence on the lifestyle of its followers, one that makes its members both visibly and subtley distinct from other religions and secular society. These differences meaningfully affect the way in which an Islamic student will view social studies, the arts, and other topic areas covered in public schools; thus, the course content must be delivered in a way that reflect the worldview through which it will be received. This is particularly important for Islam because the West’s values and ethics, even their secular ones, have a strongly Judeo-Christian background, and thus are more likely to have foundation value conflicts with the beliefs of Muslims. In order to deliver an education to Muslims that actually accords with their beliefs, an important tenet of the right to education, the government must provide Islamic schools.
About the right of education, that we agree that every person should have the right to educate himself about his or hers religious beliefs, but he should do that on their own. This is because today we live in a secular society, which means that the state and the government are separated from any religion. That is why we should have any faith schools or whatsoever. As my team explained earlier, these faith schools won’t function the way the propositions definition says. These Islamic schools will have a lot of problems, first with non Muslim students and then they will still encourage alienation of the Muslims. What this means is that by opening Islamic schools, all the Muslims will send their children in these schools, and they won’t have any contact with the western world they live in, witch in term means that the Muslim community will become even more isolated than ever. The public schools that we have today are good, and they are working according to the program set by the government, and this program doesn’t teach the children ethnic, racial, gender or religious superiority and also doesn’t teach the children about religion. As my team mentioned before and also as your team said, every person has the right to go to a private school if they think that these state funded public schools aren’t good enough for their children.
State-sponsored Islamic education prevents the dissemination of extremist beliefs, particularly among moderate Muslims
The popularity of private Islamic schools, Islamic after-school programs, and homeschooling for Islamic children in the West attests to the importance that Muslim parents place on an Islamic education for their children. They seek a place for their children where the children's religious needs (eg. time for prayer during the school day) are accommodated and where they can learn about Islam and Islamic culture.
The current makeshift system of private Islamic instruction, however, lies outside of the government's purview, allowing extremist beliefs to be taught alongside the Islamic curriculum. With few available options, even moderate Muslim parents who want their children to grow up with full knowledge of their faith and culture are forced to choose an extremist education over no Islamic education at all. The result is that extremists have the opportunity to spread their beliefs to a generation of young Muslims in the West.
The state-sponsored Islamic schools outlined in Proposition's model avoid the problem of extremism associated with the current system of Islamic education. It provides Muslim parents, particularly moderates, who make up the majority of Muslims living in the West, with a better option for the religious education of their children that emphasizes integration in society rather than alienation from it.
About your second argument, that state sponsored Islamic education will reduce the extremist beliefs among Muslims, we will say that these kind of state funded schools will actually backfire, because as mentioned before not only they will attribute to the alienation of the Muslim but also could actually radicalize the Muslim community, even if these schools have so called “safe” programs like they won’t teach the children about the extremist beliefs of the Islam, the parents that have radical Islamic beliefs will be unsatisfied with these Islamic schools and will still educate their children in their own way, which means there won’t be any reduction in the extremist beliefs among the Muslims, in fact it can even create some sort of hatred for those Muslims that send their children to these schools. The radical Muslims will probably say that in these schools they don’t teach the children the real values of the Islam and etc.
Islamic schools help improve education access and quality
Islamic schools provide an opportunity to target education access to vulnerable groups, like young muslim women. Providing a religious school means that parents will not be mistrustful of the environment in which their children are being educated. This brings several educational benefits for students: first, it improves the quality of learning in the classroom when your parent is not undermining your teacher. Second, and more importantly, if a parent is not concerned about the classroom environment their daughters are placed in, they are more likely to support their daughters while in school, thus improving access to education for this vulnerable group. Finally, by having control on other parts of the curriculum, states in this case can ensure that people who may often find themselves marginalized and isolated within their tight-knit communities are aware of all the legal protections the state can offer. For example, Britain has had a recent trial against an imam who misled young women into believing they could not legally pursue a divorce. Having a state-funded and regulated education would ensure that these individuals could realize protections state are attempting to provide.
About your third argument that these kinds of schools would provide an opportunity for education for more vulnerable groups, well as my team mentioned that these groups already have access to proper education, if they don’t feel comfortable with the conditions that the public schools offer they can go to a private school. Also it is very important for these vulnerable groups, especially the Muslim girls to learn about the western values and traditions because after all they live in a western country so they must know what is going on around them. Then there is the factor about the Muslim beliefs, some of the Muslims believe that the girls should be allowed only a small part of education, that the girls must not go to college and etc. This means that these vulnerable groups already have a easy access to education, and that there are some cases that won’t allow full education if there are these kinds of schools.
Response to model criticisms
We are not obligated to defend poor instantiations of faith schooling. That being said, part of this objection is just assertion. We do not think that the wearing of a hijab is necessarily degrading to women. Many women can and do choose to wear it, and it is considered in almost all states as legitimate and acceptable religious practice. Part of the benefit of a faith school over regular school is its accommodation of religious practice; structuring a school day to incorporate the mandated praying that many Muslims adhere to is a good thing in our minds. If religious practices are considered legal and permissible we think the government should not attempt to stifle them.
As for the rest of their case, we think their objections can be grouped into three areas: isolation, moderation, and integration.
Well wearing the hijab may be acceptable to the Muslim girls and their parents, but you stated that non Muslim students would have to be permitted to register in these schools, so if they go to these schools they will be forced to wear the hijab. This kind of thing happened in the UK (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-410312/Non-Muslim-students-Islamic-school-forced-wear-headscarves.html). And so the parents of these non Muslim students will be very angry because of this.
We are trying to expand the amount that Muslims are included in mainstream society through funding for these schools which demonstrates that a) the state respects the validity and importance of Muslim beliefs enough to provide this service and b) it's clear that even though Muslim beliefs are distinct, that the state would fund them indicates they are not 'antisocial', they are not inherently violent, they are not irreconcilable with our public morality, but rather part of the set of legitimate 'public reasons' that can be offered in the social and political spheres. With regards to learning about religion on their own time, this assertion downplays both the communitarian aspects of religion and the normative content of public education. Our argument talks not about being educated *about* your religion (which is more about having a specific time when you learn about your religion) but more being educated *in a manner consistent with* your religion. The latter is much nuanced and runs through all content that is presented in a classroom; they didn't respond to any of our analysis about how classes are framed.
The existence of the private school alternative, we think, supports our case. Currently, the dichotomy facing many parents is either an extreme, private faith school, or a public school system that often times cannot accommodate some of the particularities of their religions. This would include the previous point made about times of religious observance throughout the day. We think in terms of isolation, it is far worse when most people feel they have to choose the more extreme private sphere because of a lack of a good alternative in the public school system. If there is any difference in the publicly funded islam schools and the private ones, it is the degree of control we have over the curriculum which means that no longer are children forced to learn the tenets of the most extreme forms of Wahabism in order to be educated in accordance with their cultural and religious practices.
The state can respect the Islamic faith even though it doesn’t fund any Islamic school. The state can respect the Islam by allowing Islamic private schools, just like the Christians. If the state didn’t recognize the Islam as a valid religion, or didn’t respect it as such it wouldn’t allow the Muslim to build mosques etc. So as my team states the possibility for educating yourself in the manner consistent with your religion exists in the form of private faith schools (and in these faith schools there is still proper curriculum that teaches you about math, science, history etc, and you are also in a environment that is acceptable with your religion).
The existence of private schools doesn’t support your case because, as we mentioned in our counter arguments, private schools do not damage the secularity of the state, and as we explained secularity means that the government or the state is separated from any religion. This means that the state must not fund any church or religious organization. But the state allows the existence of private schools that are funded by any religious organization, and here in this debate we are talking about that we should have GOVERNMENT FUNDED Islamic schools, private schools are the alternative to the public faith schools, so our team states that we should not risk damaging the secularity of our government in order to have faith schools because as we said there is the alternative of private faith schools.
We recognise that there will always be extremist parents trying to push their views on children, but at least here we create an alternative that's visible and easy to access. We can win over the majority, if not the extremes. It is not our stated goal, nor the measuring mark of our proposal to see if we can eliminate the existence of extremism; rather it is to provide a viable and attractive alternative to the (read: majority) of moderates.
That being said, we think this goes a very long way towards trying to reduce the amount of extremism being passed on through education. Moreover, extremism relies on moderates believing that the only avenue they have for their desired ends are through the means of the extremists. When the state is now funding schools that provide for what most moderates desire, the extremist position is weakened. This includes a critical question being addressed in these children's schooling; how to reconcile islam with western democracies. The answer provided in the private sphere is often unpleasant; at least incidents in Britain would suggest as much. A public school system solution fundamentally (and also implicitly) argues for a moderate position that is consistent with "the West".
Well you can’t fully integrate Islam in the Western culture, the Islamic beliefs are much different and stronger, and thus they won’t be accepted in the Western World. The policy that you suggest that we can reduce the extremist beliefs of the Islam through state funded schools, it won’t work because as my team mentioned those extremists would start to revolt against this idea that the government would control what their children would learn about their religion, and what the proposition states is that they would control the curriculum in these schools, so this may even legitimize the position of the radical Muslims and it may even encourage some of the moderate Muslims to become radical themselves.
It seems that in the end, the opposition is committed to a standard of integration. That is, they believe that we ought attempt to integrate Muslims (and other religious folks affected by their case but not represented in this debate) into the 'mainstream'. However, they simultaneously claim that we ought to ensure the Muslim girls are educated about western values, and that the preferable alternative is to let all these students go to private religious schools instead of state funded ones. How can they reconcile the former with the latter? If there is a concern about the content being taught and if opposition believe that we ought ensure that certain values are developed and taught in a school system, that cannot happen in a system outside government regulation. Moreover, any regulations that could be possible in a private setting would never guarantee the standard laid out by opposition; the recognition and adoption of western values of acceptance and moderation.
If this is opposition's worry, then between the options of no moderate state-funded schools and one where they exist, it is clear that the latter would go much further towards achieving that goal than the opposition's proposal ever would. We have demonstrated problems (distrust, poor access to information) that do exist under the status quo for some Muslims when they are sent to either secular public schools or Muslim private schools; the government can ameliorate these problems by funding Islamic schools of its own.
Ultimately, opp says this won't work because Muslims will be further isolated, may radicalize the community, radical parents won't stop teaching extremist beliefs, may create hatred among Muslims for who choose to send their children. These objections are largely inconsistent between themselves. Will Muslims communities become divided with part conforming to mainstream 'public morality' and part becoming extremist, or will they be unitary and isolated? Ghettoization as a claim doesn't work if people can and are opting into the majority. With regards to the idea that parents will still teach their children extremist views, a) that doesn't increase just because state funded Muslim schools exist, so worse case scenario the problem is unchanged but not increased and b) under this plan, the children will have an alternative Muslim narrative that is more open and in line with human rights. It shows them that it's not a dichotomy between secularism and faith, but that different theological and philosophical strands exist within their religion as analogies to some mainstream Western norms. Removing this dichotomy, we would argue, is a necessary step in developing a functional and successful model of integration.
The proposition says that if we want to integrate the Muslims in to the Western society we should do that by public schools because they are under government control. Well we say that the government has laws that also to some level control the curriculum in the private schools as well. Also everybody knows that the private schools are much better and offer far more opportunities, we have the examples of Harvard and etc. So our team thinks that to some extend better values are taught in the private schools rather that the public schools, so not only that the Muslim will have better schooling if they to a private schools they will even be educated about their religion in an environment that is more friendly for them. About the points that these kinds of schools would radicalize the Muslim community, that parents will teach extremist beliefs to their children in their home and all those things. Well we mentioned in our counter argument about the moderation, we explained how will these mainstream schools affect the Muslims, and how they can start to revolt if they see that the western governments are controlling what they should teach their children in school and all of those things.
We on side proposition believe in two main points:
1) That this will help expand education (as defined as preparation for the workforce) in the countries instituted.
2) That this will help curb extremism in general among the Muslim population.
Obviously the expansion of education is a good, as it allows those who benefit to become more productive members of society. We believe that in addition to this, if we provide education in a entho/cultural context that is familiar to the recipients, they will be more susceptible to such education. In this instance we attract more students to our system and inform them better. They have no philosophical objection to this conclusion other than the concept of private schools. However they ignore the fact that private schools are not accessible to everyone, especially not those with low income (which immigrants probably are). In addition to this, Muslim investors with the capital to create their own private schools may hesitate to do so in face of the post 9-11 publicity backlash that would likely portray such institutions as "Terror Schools," at least under the Right Wing media. This is beside the point that most private schools in the Western world are both ancient and have massive endowments. This, rather than the fact that they are private, is the reason for their relative success. Harvard has far more money and prestige than a state school. It has existed for longer and gathered more money than any state school. Thus it is perceived as better. Even if schools such as Harvard are, in fact, superior to state schools, we on proposition would posit that the "private option" that opposition suggests is not viable. Such newborn Muslim private schools would not glean all the benefits of Harvard (huge endowment, long lineage and prestige) simply from being private. On the other hand, the fact that the school is public extends a show of support from the government to the Muslim community. This helps with both our points of Moderation (in that all groups other than extremists will opt into our system, if faithful) and Integration (in that such opting in will help ensure that the next generation of Muslims are free of extremist or bigoted thought).
We would like to make clear that such "opting in" to Muslim public schools is a free choice. Parents who take serious offense to the use of religious iconography in the schooling system need not apply for their children to enter such schools. Even in such cases, our model does not suggest that religious iconography is mandatory at such schools. Our model does suggest that students at the institution are educated in the teachings of the Qu'ran. Opposition seems to posit that if you do not dress as an orthodox "x", you cannot be considered a member of religion "X". This is, of course, inaccurate. We on side proposition can claim our model completely in line with a school system which does not demand a religiously orthodox dress code. Our model merely demands religious education. Thus parents, having the choice not to apply to the school, and not having to dress their children in an orthodox manner, have no reason to object to the practices of said Islamic school.
The objections to our proposal can be construed as such:
1) The objection to religiously funded schools, in general
2) The objection to islamic public schools specifically.
In regards to the first objection, they assert that secularism is a superior state of society to a form of religious pluralism. Note that the model we posit is in fact religiously pluralist. Despite the fact that these schools are publicly funded, one is not obligated to attend them. Additionally, our model is not mutually exclusive to the public funding of Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. schools. The opposition objected to none of these possibilities. They DID object to the "damaging of the secular state." In response we say, if one finds the religion or the practical impacts of its tenants to be objectionable, one need not opt into this system. The opposition has granted no reason why secularism is preferable to pluralism. We on side proposition have granted many reasons to you, such as, moderation, integration and expansion of education, to justify this expenditure. They have granted no reason beyond assertion that secularism is superior to this model. Under our model you remain secular if you wish, but gain benefits if you are a religious (Muslim) non-extremist, and the state gains benefits as well. Under their (lack) of model, the status quo remains in which Muslims are a marginalized and demonized group. Such treatment breeds resentment which in turn breeds radicalism and extremism, which we aim to prevent. Clearly our model more completely explains and better deals with the reality of the situation.
In regards to the second objection, they have simply stated that the state cannot or will not accept an Islamic plurality. We on side proposition find it much more plausible that the majority of the population will favor pluralism over dogma, diversity over dullness, and friendship over xenophobia. They have given no reason beyond assertion to believe the contrary. We would point to the last 50 years of extension of civil rights and extension of pluralism as proof of our point. Those educated without hatred against our culture will be more friendly towards it. This is what history suggests, and this is what we suggest. We suggest no manipulation of the Qu'ran, only that we do not allow extremists or bigots to teach Islam to children. In this way Muslim children will be able to learn the faith without being indoctrinated into extremist ideology at an early age. Perhaps extremists may object to this, but the fact that (under our model) we do not control religious thought, bbut merely restrict hate speech, leaves us to believe that the vast majority of Muslims would accept and opt into this system. If anything, the irrational claims of "mind control" by the extremists will only serve to prove how out of touch with reality their claims really are. This is a net good for the west.
What do you think?