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Minute with a Muslim #275 – The Value of Truth

Tom Facchine

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Channel: Tom Facchine

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I was at econo mass convention this last weekend at for legacy international Online High School. And we did a panel discussion on Islamic education and the alternatives that people have. And I guess my part of the presentation had to do with basically the type of messages that kids get about religion, depending on the type of educational institution that they are studying in. So if you are in a public or private school in the United States, you're going to learn about religion, Islam included as part of the world religions, right under the conceptual category of world religions. And while that seems neutral, and it seems fair, and it seems balanced, and it seems tolerant, it actually

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that way of imagining faith has very particular metaphysical and religious and theological commitments. Okay, so by ascribing religion to the world, we're getting a sense that religion is mostly based, first of all, in human activity and human experience, such as religion is something that people produce, as opposed to something that is divinely communicated from the Creator. It also at the epistemic level, it kind of gives us the sense that what such and such religion is the real stuff that makes up that religion is what the adherence are doing. Right? So Islam stops becoming about what Allah said, and what the Prophet alayhi salatu salam said, and it starts being what are

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the Muslims doing? Well, the Muslims are or aren't doing this, or they are or aren't doing that they're practicing this part of their tradition, they're not practicing this other part that becomes kind of what Islam is. And the other thing it does is that it kind of draws an equivalence between all sorts of faith communities, right? So if we're learning about Islam, Okay, today's lesson about Islam tomorrow's about Hinduism, the next day is about Buddhism than about Christianity, there's no value of truth assigned to any of them. In fact, the value of truth is that they're all perhaps equally valid in a very small, private elected framework, right? In the framework of like a private

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choice, or something that you choose something that's similar to your culture. And we're not talking about other ways, we're not talking about truth and falsehood, like we're not evaluating claims, right? Because if religion is based in human experience, primarily, and obviously, human experience is important, but if religion is only human experience, and who am I to tell you that your religious experience is false, right, I can't say that mine is true, and yours is false. So this way of imagining religion or teaching religion, teaching your son, your daughter in the pelvic floor of the private school about world religions, that is something that is communicating these sorts of ideas,

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okay, the sad thing is, even in a lot of Islamic schools, the situation isn't a whole lot better to make up my presentation, I was going on Google and just pulling screenshots from different course schedules of Islamic schools, some big ones that are well known. And majority of classes are the math, the science, the reading of this, that and the other. Many of them had Qur'an slash Arabic, one of them had Islamic studies every other day switching off with Jim class. So there's two problems with that, first of all, Islamic Studies is kind of a catch all category, like what is Islamic Studies? Really, there's no like, really comprehensive plan. And it's kind of disorganized

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in someone's head, such that if you graduate from you know, 12th grade, and then you're out, it's like, Oh, what did I learn in Islamic Studies class, it kind of cardones off religion, or Islam into this little corner. And the real stuff is the math and the science and everything else. Whereas in fact, Islam has to be the backdrop right, that everything else is incorporated into. So the first problem is that it's this catch all category that doesn't really have a lot of sense to it. It's kind of just like random leftovers. And, and the other problem is that it's put off separate, right? We're as opposed to being the norm in the backdrop. It's this thing that's easily forgettable,

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because it's completely separate from the real stuff. So basically, what we're teaching our kids is that, okay, you're going to do maybe three times more math and science and you're going to do Islamic studies in a week, what do you think they're going to think is more important? You know, of course, they're gonna think that math and science is the real stuff, and I'll get to it later, you know, so we should be very grateful. Because in the United States of America, we have a really globally uncommon opportunity with the amount of freedom that we have to educate like homeschooling is a huge tradition. And it's a strong tradition, and it's got legal protections. Whereas if you go

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to some places in Europe, especially northern Europe, at the, you're not allowed to homeschool, and to try to homeschool your kids, you're gonna get thrown into jail, right? So we need to take advantage of this opportunity. And whether that has to do with individual homeschooling or homeschooling coops or whether it has to do with other alternative models like, like legacy international Online High School, which is like an online Islamic school. There's a lot of different ways, but the important thing, whatever is the right way forward for your family. The important thing is trying to reclaim ownership of education, first of all, so that we're the ones who are able

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to shape the message shape, what's normal. And then second of all, not to just repackage and sprinkle Islam on top of whatever a secular education is doing, but to actually reconstruct education situating everything when within Islam, right. Every piece of information that you get every skill that you obtain, it has to be situated within an Islamic worldview and Islamic purpose. You need to know what this thing is for because information is not neutral, right? Science is not neutral.

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Trump right math is not neutral you can you can invent something that saves millions of people's lives or you can invent the atomic bomb, right? We need to be putting a constructing a model of Islamic education where the the atomic bombs of the world become impossible, right in a sense, because it's so situated in Islamic ethics and Islamic worldview, that it would never occur to somebody to make such a destructive thing that they're so busy worshipping Allah through their study of science and math and and history and all these other things that their every concern and every objective of their education is geared towards Sharia objectives or geared towards Islamic

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objectives are geared towards the objectives that Allah subhanaw taala is pleased with. So that's the game and we have the freedom so it's really just up to us to take advantage of the opportunity