This is the second report this week telling us how Islamic schools in the West are keeping Muslims from assimilating. Although those that do not want to assimilate never will. The first report was from the UK and this one is from Australia. Another disturbing similarity between the two countries are the higher than usual unemployment rates in the Muslim communities. The result of this is that Islamic ghettos are forming across the West.
Islamic Education Not Helping Muslim Australians Get Jobs
By Neville D'Cruz MELBOURNE, Feb 25 (Bernama) -- Islamic schools in Australia may be compounding the difficulties Muslim Australianface in getting jobs, the Sydney Daily Telegraph said, quoting Professor Riaz Hassan, from the Flinders University in Adelaide.
When families send their children to Islamic schools they may be excluding them from the usual job networks found between public school and other private school communities, the newspaper said.
Several Islamic schools in Australia have students from Malaysia.
As unemployment is twice the rate for 19 to 24-year-old Muslim Australians compared with non-Muslim Australians, this makes it less likely they will find a job, according to Professor Hassan.
And the more marginalised young Muslim Australians become, the professor argues, the more likely they are to be vulnerable to radical religious views or otherwise reject mainstream Australian aspirations.
Professor Hassan raised his concerns when the Daily Telegraph education writer Maralyn Parker recently interviewed him about a paper he presented at last year's National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies Australia conference on the 2006 census data.
When he crunched the numbers from the census he came up with some unexpected figures, Parker said.
Muslim Australians are more likely to be university educated than non-Muslim Australians. Twenty one per cent of Muslim Australians have degrees compared with 15 per cent of non-Muslim Australians -- a statistic that challenges the stereotypical view of Muslim Australians.
But the bad news is that higher achievement in education does not translate into jobs, Parker said.
In the 19 to 24-year-old bracket the unemployment rate of Muslim Australians is 18 per cent, compared with 9 per cent of non-Muslims.
And it just gets worse from there. The older Muslim Australians become the more likely they are to be unemployed than non-Muslims. By age 65 it is four times more likely.
In all other socio-economic comparisons, Muslim Australians fare badly. They are less likely to own their own homes and more likely to live in rented premises.
The most shocking statistic is that 40 per cent of Muslim Australian children live in poverty -- about twice the rate for non-Muslim Australian children, Parker said.
"This is a huge problem. When poverty and unemployment become endemic within a community it can lead to complete alienation from a society. We have seen the results of such alienation in riots in France and in Britain," the report says.
In the 2006 census there were 340,391 Muslims in Australia. About 38 per cent were born in Australia, followed by Lebanon (9 per cent), Turkey (7 per cent) and Afghanistan (5 per cent). Only 1.7 per cent of the overall Australian population is Muslim, but a staggering 40 per cent of Muslim Australians are under the age of 20, compared with about 27 per cent of the non-Muslim population.
Parker said the first two Islamic schools in Australia were established in 1983. Today there are 30 Islamic schools across the nation, 13 in NSW, with controversial plans to build more. Islamic schools had proliferated along with other faith-based schools under the Howard government's generous funding arrangements.
So far the Rudd Government has not tightened regulations about establishing new schools and has not indicated it has plans to do so.
However, Professor Hassan's concerns make it even more imperative for Muslim parents to consider carefully their choice of school, and for governments to examine future plans for new schools. -- BERNAMA
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