Canadian Islamic Schools: Unravelling the Politics of Faith, Gender, Knowledge, and Identity

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University of Toronto Press, Nov 29, 2008 - Social Science - 352 pages

Religious schooling in Canada has been a controversial subject since the secularization of the public school system, but there has been little scholarship on Islamic education. In this ethnographic study of four full-time Islamic schools, Jasmin Zine explores the social, pedagogical, and ideological functions of these alternative, and religiously-based educational institutions. Based on eighteen months of fieldwork and interviews with forty-nine participants, Canadian Islamic Schools provides significant insight into the role and function that Islamic schools have in Diasporic, Canadian, educational, and gender-related contexts.

Discussing issues of cultural preservation, multiculturalism, secularization, and assimiliation, Zine considers pertinent topics such as the Eurocentricism of Canada's public schools and the social reproduction of Islamic identity. She further examines the politics of piety, veiling, and gender segregation paying particular attention to the ways in which gendered identities are constructed within the practices of Islamic schools and how these narratives shape and inform the negotiation of gender roles among both boys and girls.

A fascinating and informative study of religious-based education, Canadian Islamic Schools is essential reading for educators, sociologists, as well as those interested in Immigration and Diaspora Studies.


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A Critical Introduction to Islamic Schooling
An Examination of the Discursive Frameworks
A Crucial Ethnographic Approach
4 The Role and Function of Islamic Schools in the Canadian Muslim Diaspora
Schooling and the Politics of Veiling
6 Islamic Schooling and the Construction of Gendered Identities and Gender Relations
7 The Islamization of Knowledge and Social and Political Praxis in Islamic Schools
8 The Politics of Teaching and Learning in Islamic Schools
Mapping Future Directions for Islamic Schools

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About the author (2008)

Jasmin Zine is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Wilfrid Laurier University.

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