Teaching ‘feel-good’ Islam: Toxic Positivity & Silencing the Oppressed

by Mysara Aljaru _ An ‘Islamic’ Toxic Positivity “You just need faith in Allah, you are where He wants you to be.” These were words I frequently heard growing up, especially from religious teachers in weekend madrasahs I used to attend as a child. It seemed reassuring at that time. Why wouldn’t it be, right?…

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Knowing What We Know: The Education Of Young Girls

by Zubaida Ali _ Now that I am in my mid-fifties and expecting the birth of my first grand-daughter, I ponder at the thought of how she will receive her education in life. Not the academic education that will surely be given to her but the passing on of cultural knowledge such as beliefs and…

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I Wanted to Teach Islam in a Madrasah

by Amber _ Part one was about an experience Thauria went through in a full-time religious institution (Madrasah). I am immensely grateful to have shared such important experiences with Thauria in our Madrasah for the past 12 years and I am so honoured that she invited me to write about my experiences as well. What…

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I Couldn’t find God in a Madrasah

by Thauria __ Growing up, many Muslims around me strongly believe that Madrasahs are institutional representatives of the Muslim community, which is not a baseless sentiment. Madrasahs have been institutionalised as the representatives of the community through legislation such as AMLA (Administration of Muslim Law Act). However, in many ways, this representation has been internalised…

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The Unbearable Heaviness of Education

by Sha S. __ I am a beneficiary. I am a spurned sceptic. I am a perpetrator. I am an advocate. In the context of Singapore, where meritocracy and individual hard work are lauded as the twin rudders of social mobility, my parents are the textbook case of good parenting, having raised all of their…

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A Malay schoolgirl’s chronology of class and race

by Sya Taha _ In Secondary Two, after sports training, a friend said she could give me a lift in her father’s car. When I got in, I looked at the driver – it was not her father but a middle-aged Malay man. * In Primary One, I was called to see the English teacher.…

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Education as a weapon for narcissistic abuse

by Sya Taha _ “I don’t know what I did wrong, but perhaps, you are too educated!” My father said to me to end a big quarrel we had. It worked. I was so dumbfounded at this accusation that I shrank away. He had always been, as I perceived, my biggest fan and supporter in…

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Of Passion and Privilege

by Shaf Ghani _ I remember one of the Raya gatherings when a distant cousin, whose opinion I did not need (but had to listen to anyway because I was obligated to kuehs and protocols), casually commented that I read too much. It was pre-contact lenses days, and he said that the next time he…

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Editor’s Letter: Education

The theme of education, to my surprise, elicited the most responses so far. Submissions range from women who have studied in Madrasahs, to mainstream schools, to those who have been through the Gifted Education Programme. The theme of education was also interpreted outside the parameters of school to include meditations on the informal education we…

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