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Sabith Khan and Shariq Siddiqui

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Sabith Khan and Shariq Siddiqui

This chapter presents the results of a national survey of full-time Islamic schools in the US and their governance practices during times of crisis (9/11 and Great Recession). There have been two prior attempts to collect national data from Islamic schools. The first was conducted by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in 1989. The second data collection was by the Islamic Schools League of America (ISLA) in 2004. The survey results by the ISLA have been published in a number of academic venues.The survey examines whether competition within the school district, greater bonding due to Islamophobia and economic stress influenced Islamic school governance practice. In addition, this chapter provides demographic data regarding Islamic schools. We draw upon existing literature on competition, Islam in America, Muslim American philanthropy, nonprofit diversity and legitimacy to examine how Islamic schools continue to navigate the challenges of Islamophobia after 9/11/2001 followed by the economic challenges of the Great Recession of 2008. Our primary theoretical contribution is in re-examining the changing nature of philanthropy and its role in American Islamic schools. In particular, we examine how schools navigated identity, public policy and performance in search of legitimacy.

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Sabith Khan and Shariq Siddiqui

This chapter examines the history of Muslims in America with a specific focus on philanthropy and nonprofit institution building as a method of sustaining identity. This chapter reviews existing research on Muslim Americans, Islamophobia, Muslim American nonprofits and philanthropy and provides an examination of the growth and evolution of Islamic schools in America. This chapter looks at the documented presence of Muslim Americans from colonial times and asks the questions: “Why did Islam not survive beyond the first generation that it was introduced to America until this most recent migration?” and “What is the role of nonprofit institutions in sustaining Muslim American identity and religious values?”This chapter helps lay the foundations for the importance of nonprofit institutions and philanthropy in understanding Muslim American identity and the uniquely Muslim American religious identity.

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Sabith Khan and Shariq Siddiqui

This chapter seeks to offer a theoretical framework for contextualizing Islamic philanthropy during “crisis” in the US and argues that philanthropy in this context should be seen as a gradually evolving “discursive tradition.” Given the discourse of Islam in America being one framed in the rubric of crisis and the attempts by Muslim American organizations to garner philanthropic support using this framework, it is important to understand how certain crisis situations have impacted discourses of philanthropy towards this sector. This chapter attempts a Foucaldian analysis of how Muslims Americans negotiate this discursive tension in the realm of giving. We build on the work of various scholars and offer a framework that treats philanthropy towards Islamic schools and cultural and educational institutions as a “discursive tradition” to understand how the dynamics of philanthropy are changing in this sector. We propose that a genealogical approach could also offer us new insights into how philanthropy is being transformed under certain institutional constraints and relations of power.

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Sabith Khan and Shariq Siddiqui

This book is a novel and ambitious attempt to map the Muslim American nonprofit sector: its origins, growth and impact on American society. Using theories from the fields of philanthropy, public administration and data gathered from surveys and interviews, the authors make a compelling case for the Muslim American nonprofit sector’s key role in America. They argue that in a time when Islamic schools are grossly misunderstood, there is a need to examine them closely, for the landscape of these schools is far more complex than meets the eye.
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Sabith Khan and Shariq Siddiqui

Using data from 20 interviews with principals and board members of Islamic schools, this chapter builds a mid-range theory on how these schools have grown and the factors that have been responsible for their specific evolution in American society. While earlier studies of Islamic schools have focused on identity and curricula, we focus on organizational identity and community support for these schools, in an effort to understand and analytically frame the factors responsible for the rapid growth of such schools and what makes them unique. Using a Grounded Theory approach, we offer a theory of how these schools see themselves, their role in American societies and what strategies they have adopted to survive and thrive.

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Sabith Khan and Shariq Siddiqui

The question “Who is an ‘Muslim American’?” is a rather complicated one. It does not yield a straightforward answer, as one would expect. From a legal perspective, one can argue that yes, indeed, it is fairly simple: anyone with an American citizenship is an American and if they happen to be Muslim, they become Muslim American or American Muslim. But beyond this clarity lies much confusion, especially when one gets into the realm of one’s “identity” as an Muslim American. We argue in this chapter that this identity is an evolution that has gained salience in a post-9/11 world. Several categories such as race, religion and ethnicity have been subsumed in this creation, and a closer examination shows that this identity is crucial for understanding how philanthropy occurs in the US. We build on Stuart Hall’s notion of identity as a “process” to argue that the Muslim American identity is a work in progress. Finally, we offer a framework to understand the six forces that are shaping the formation of an “Muslim American” identity.

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Sabith Khan and Shariq Siddiqui

The conclusion chapter draws from the various chapters in the book and offers a comprehensive overview of what is going on in the world of Islamic schools in the US. While there is a move to retain the “Islamic” in the Islamic schools, we see that there is also an increasing focus on quality, accreditation and legitimacy. While the debate about funding public schools heats up in the Trump administration, the real issue facing Islamic schools is not public funding or even vouchers, but the tension surrounding their identity factors and legitimacy. Public support of Islamic schools could become a contentious issue in the years to come with the new administration; however, it is not likely to be the key source of conflict. Islamic school leaders seem to be prioritizing leadership development, skills enhancement and networking with other institutions, to gain acceptance in the broader community as well as within the Muslim community.

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Dennis R. Young

Chapter 3 made a general distinction between public and private benefits produced by social purpose organizations. This chapter further differentiates within and between these broad categories in order to account for the myriad combinations of SPO finance. In brief, it is argued that the better that an SPO understands the nature of the benefits it provides, the more successful it can be in generating the necessary economic resources to support its operations and achieve its mission. Traditional microeconomic theory focuses on markets and is concerned primarily with “private goods.” Public goods come into play in this theory to describe conditions of “market failure” where, without some form of modification through public policy or alternative mechanisms of resource allocation, markets will not by themselves allocate resources efficiently. A wide variety of mechanisms, including subsidies, regulation, taxes, direct government provision, or the engagement of alternative quasi-public organizations, may then be considered to correct market failures.

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Mixed income strategies

A Benefits Approach

Dennis R. Young

Previous chapters have explored, within the framework of benefits theory, why SPOs often pursue one of several different varieties of income as their primary source of sustenance. As such, organizations have been cited that depend on fee or earned income, contributed income, governmental support or investment returns for a large proportion if not most of their revenue. These primary source-reliant SPOs pursue essentially different logics in building their business models. Nonetheless, in most cases, such SPOs also supplement their support from other sources. Moreover, as this chapter emphasizes, many SPOs are even more diversified, relying primarily on no one source and dividing their dependence among alternative sources more evenly. There are several factors that may lead to this pattern of finance. As organizations grow, they become more capable of administering more than one type of income. For example, in the aggregate, smaller organizations are much more contributions-dependent while larger ones are more fee dependent (Boris and Roeger, 2010) suggesting that many SPOs that begin with a contributions base ultimately find markets for their services as well. Moreover, as SPOs inventory their assets and capabilities they may find some of them underutilized and potentially capable of generating income in one manner or another. For example, attractive physical assets of arts or cultural institutions allow them to generate rental income, or intellectual resources of educational institutions permit them to generate new income streams through public lectures, training programs or consultation services. A desire to manage risk through diversification may also motivate these strategies, a subject discussed in Chapter 11.