Values, Public Service, and Political Engagement: Muslim Americans and Their Institutions of Secondary Education




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Although the scholarship on Muslim American attitudes and Islamic institutions has grown in the last two decades, the existing research on Islamic schools in the United States is limited in relevance and scope. The purpose of this dissertation is to contribute new insights about the characteristics, nature of instruction, and ideals of Islamic high schools that currently operate in this country. Using data from the 2011 Pew Poll on Muslim Americans, the first part of the study examines the relationships between Muslim Americans’ perceptions of religiosity and involvement in the mosque against their voting record, their involvement in the community, and their perceptions of assimilation; results from the logistic regression analysis indicate people’s involvement in mosque activities beyond prayers is a statistically significant predictor of whether or not they vote, engage with their communities, and believe Muslims coming to the United States want to assimilate. The second part of the study utilizes data from the Civic and Political Education and Engagement Survey created for this investigation as well as information on schools found on the internet to examine if Islamic high schools, like mosques, encourage their students to become engaged members of their communities and society; the findings suggest the majority of these schools emphasize democratic values, social responsibility, and civic and political engagement through curricula and extracurricular programs.



Islamic education, Muslims ǂx Education, Muslims ǂz United States