Identity Development of the Two First Islamic Primary Schools in the Netherlands
Bahaeddin Budak [+]
Cok Bakker [+]
Ina ter Avest [+]
In 1988, the Turkish community in Rotterdam decided to found a confessional Islamic School – the ‘al-Ghazali’ School. In the same year, the Moroccan community in Eindhoven founded the ‘Tariq Ibnoe Ziyad’ School. In this article, we describe the sources the founders and principals used, in relation to their modes of reasoning, for the construction of the school identity of the two first Islamic schools in the Netherlands. For our research, we used qualitative research methods, such as document analysis and interviews. We also studied the first articles of association of both schools, and conducted four semi-structured retrospective interviews – with the two founders and two principals of the first two Islamic schools in the Netherlands. On the basis of our research, we distinguish four sources which play an important role in the construction of the school identity of these two schools: the Islamic tradition, the Dutch laws and regulations, the Dutch educational context and the cultural and religious backgrounds of the persons involved. The Islamic tradition appears to be an important starting point, which forms the basis for the construction of the school’s identity. For both schools the Islamic tradition, that is Qur’an and Sunna, is their starting point,. Each of the interviewed persons has its own interpretation, though, which can be seen in the way in which the identity of the school is shaped in practice. Next to that laws and regulations are a source; including the requirements and guidelines of the Dutch Inspectorate of Education. The cultural and religious background of those involved seems to be another point of departure used in the construction of the school’s identity. The school’s identity is also then created on the basis of considerations in the Dutch educational context, the applicable educational requirements and the usual (religious) educational and didactic considerations. Further research into the way in which various sources are interpreted and concretized in the construction of the identity of Islamic schools and their further development in the Netherlands is desired.