Sex Education for Muslim Students
Sexuality is taught in a moral vacuum

Parents have the right to remove their children from sex education classes without affecting the rest of the academic program. Parents have to remember to opt-out every school year, because sex education classes are taught every year in most places, from elementary school all the way through high school. If more Muslim parents knew what is in the sex-education curriculum being taught at their child’s school, they would insist that their child be exempted from the classes. Why should Muslim parents do this? Because public schools teach human sexuality in a moral vacuum without regard for the laws of Islam or any other religion. The classes go far beyond the basic biological facts and present the haram and the halal without distinction.

The classes present as ‘alternatives” sexual partners and acts that are not permissible in Islam. Not just in America, but in other Western countries as well, Muslim youth in these classes are given the message that this value-free perspective is accepted by their parents as a part of the children’s education. The result is evident when, in discussing Allah’s guidance for men and women, a Muslim teenager responds with “What’s the big deal? It’s just sex.”

An important book for Muslim parents and teachers was written by a young Jewish woman, Wendy Shalit. At the beginning of each school year, her parents removed her from the coed sex-education classes in her school. Her book, A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue discusses sex education and its effects on the behavior of male and female students at various grade levels within the larger context of a permissive society. She talks about her own experience as an “outsider” to the sex education classes and provides documentation from many sources to support her arguments.

Halal sex is a mercy and a protection

Sex Education: An Islamic Perspective by Dr. Shahid Athar, ed. also uses a lot of documentation to support his work. He stresses that it is important that Muslims, adult and children, know that the halal sex is a mercy and a protection from Allah. Dr. Shahid Athar presents an Islamic viewpoint on public school curriculum and provides instructive responses that Muslim parents and teachers are able to give to children in place of it.

Safe sex is not the same as halal sex.

Sex education classes may range from those giving a small amount of information to those with very explicit content. Some classes even teach the use of condoms with the help of a banana or cucumber. That is because one focus of sex education classes is on safe sex. But safe sex is not the same as halal sex. Safe sex is primarily an issue for those who go beyond the halal:

A new CDC study indicates that one in four (26%) female adolescents in the United States has at least one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

It is all too easy to forget the seriousness of sexual misconduct for Muslims living in a Western society. Yet the fact remains, that Allah takes our sexuality very seriously. Sexual misconduct is treated not just a personal sin, for which one may seek for forgiveness, but as a breach of social order, complete with criminal penalties. Some of the law concerning sexuality is in Surah an-Nur (Quran 24:2-9). A tafsir, or explanation of the verses is in ibn Kathir.

Muslim parents are doing their children a serious disservice by allowing them to become wrongly educated in their thinking about sex when Allah holds them accountable to such a high standard. Moreover, as parents, we are also accountable to Allah if we allow our children to be taught that sexual choices have no more substance than the choice of a favorite color or a favorite shirt.

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