The Hijab in Academia: Challenges and Opportunities for Muslim Scholars
If you are Muslim and you want to pursue your academic career in an institution that is not in the Islamic faith, there are many challenges you will face. In addition, there are many opportunities that will open up to you.
Among the largest gains in educational achievement over the past three generations have been made by Muslims. The largest increases have occurred in North America, Europe and Middle East-North Africa. Islam is the primary religion of most Muslim societies. These societies continue to regard transmission of knowledge through schooling as of central importance.
Research has shown that the academic achievement of Muslims is higher than that of non-Muslims. However, many Muslims complain that their contributions are not being represented in Western curricula. There are also challenges facing teachers working with Muslim students. This article highlights some of these issues, and offers data-driven recommendations.
Researchers have looked at the relationship between religion, learning engagement, and academic performance. They have found no relationship between religion and academic motivation, but have found some correlations between learning motivation and academic performance. Similarly, they have shown that religious beliefs are not associated with the academic achievement of men, but are associated with the academic achievements of women.
During the past three generations, the share of Muslims with post-secondary education has increased from 4% to 10%. In the study's oldest generation, fewer than half of adults had formal schooling. Compared with other groups, the proportion of Muslims with formal schooling has risen by 25 percentage points, with the greatest gains occurring in Europe and North America.
Muslim women have also made larger gains than men. Compared with other groups, they have accumulated an average of 1.7 more years of schooling than their male counterparts. Their average gain in years of schooling has increased by almost one year over the last three generations.
Despite the large increase in Muslim women's average years of schooling, the gender gap in higher education remains across generations. The gender gap in formal education is smaller among Muslims than it is for Christians, but has remained steady over the last decade. One of the factors driving this gap is the fact that Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa have the highest proportion of people without formal education. Many African nations have enacted education policies to boost the education of their populations.
A new research agenda, the Applied Education in the Muslim World (AEMS), seeks to build capacity for future education research in the Muslim world. It is designed to develop a strong research platform that will allow researchers to collaborate with local partners and engage decision makers. Moreover, it seeks to better organize future educational research in the Muslim world around both utilitarian and quality of life goals. By improving the quality of empirical studies, the research agenda will help make a unique contribution to the education systems of Muslim societies.
The AEMS research agenda was conceived after months of debates and literature reviews. The team will work with local researchers and partner organizations to determine their specific needs and interests. For example, the research team can work with academics, policymakers, and religious institutions to determine the best methods for improving the quality of curricular content.
Although Muslim scholars are statistically more likely to enroll in colleges and universities than their non-Muslim counterparts, there is still a lack of research into the academic performance and retention rates of this demographic. Given the size and diversity of the Muslim population, there's no surprise that there are a number of differences to be found. While Muslim students often experience an easier time with social and extracurricular activities, they may also be subjected to discrimination. Fortunately, there are several steps higher education administrators can take to ensure a safe and successful college experience for their students.
The first step is to educate higher education administrators about the unique needs of their particular Muslim population. This involves designing and implementing policies to enhance safety, inclusivity, and support. One way to accomplish this is to create a designated space or area on campus for the Muslim community. Another useful strategy is to offer halal dining options in on-campus dining halls.
Another trick is to identify what types of student groups might be a good fit for Muslim students. These groups could be student government organizations, ethnic or cultural clubs, or student religious organizations. A student-specific club would give Muslim students an opportunity to participate in a variety of activities and connect with their peers. For example, a student organization that focuses on helping Muslim students find halal restaurants would be a useful asset. Other ideas include organizing guest speakers to talk about the cultural contributions of Muslims and arranging seminars about tolerance.
In addition, student affairs professionals should encourage the creation of a private study area for Muslim students. Likewise, it's important to have a designated prayer space. Students need to pray five times a day and it's important that they have a place to do so. It's also a good idea to make sure that the area is quiet, clean, and is available during the daytime.
Finally, the best way to increase the retention rates of Muslim students is to offer a range of opportunities for involvement. This includes, but is not limited to, academic advisement, tutoring, mentorship, and extracurricular activities. However, it's essential that these services be provided without charge to ensure that all students have access to them. Furthermore, the best colleges and universities offer opportunities for their members to engage in the Islamic faith and culture.
Among the many things, a well-planned program can have a positive impact on Muslim scholars' enrollment, retention, and graduation rates. For example, Carolina University has a long list of initiatives to improve the outcomes of low-income students. By creating an inclusive environment for these students, universities can be more tolerant of their varying needs and interests.
As the Muslim population grows in the United States, the number of student scholars who identify with the religion will only increase. Higher education administrators must do all they can to ensure a safe and successful college experience.
Disadvantages of wearing a hijab in the workplace
One of the most significant challenges for Muslim women wearing a hijab is being accepted by organizations and institutions that are not used to such attire. This includes both religious and secular entities. Moreover, Muslim women wearing a hijab may encounter several forms of discrimination at the workplace. These include discrimination during the selection process, discrimination during the workday and discrimination against Muslims in the community. Hence, it is important for organizations to make the appropriate accommodations to address the needs of this social group.
In terms of employment, a recent meta-analysis of seven studies on the subject found that Muslim women with a hijab are 40% less likely to be employed than their non-Hijab counterparts. The study emphasized that this disparity may be due to the prejudicial responses of potential employers toward hijab. It also noted that this effect is a relative risk of 0.60. However, the relative risk was skewed by a sample-weighted pooled estimate, which showed that the probability of gainful employment was lower for non-Hijab wearers. Moreover, it uncovered that women with a post-compulsory education had higher employment prospects.
Nevertheless, the meta-analysis of seven studies did not examine all the relevant data in detail. Moreover, the analysis did not focus on the most efficient ways to deal with religious diversity in the work environment. Furthermore, the study did not take into account the role of various actors involved in the management of religious diversity. For instance, it was not clear what roles religious based organizations and training organizations play in managing the religious diversity in the work environment. Although these organizations can make a difference by educating and empowering members of the Muslim community, they can be difficult to reach. Therefore, future research should focus on the role of these players in improving the chances for employable Muslims with a hijab.
For example, the researchers discovered that some health centers do not allow the wearing of the hijab. They also mentioned the case of a veteran nurse who wore the hijab and was asked to remove it. Moreover, a lack of transparency concerning regulations and policies can lead to ambiguity. Ultimately, this could result in a lack of opportunities for Muslim women. Nonetheless, it is encouraging to note that the authors of this meta-analysis made a point to highlight the role of the hijab in the workplace.
The best part of this meta-analysis is that it is the first to identify the most important advocacies that need to be implemented in order to improve the odds for Muslim women with a hijab. This includes creating an inclusive workplace culture, addressing the needs of this social group and providing adequate support to its members. Additionally, it is necessary to find innovative ways to make the most of religious diversity in the work environment.