Muslim-American Philanthropist says girls’ education must to unshackle poverty trap


WASHINGTON, July 16 (APP): Presenting a strong case for education
for Muslim girls, a renowned Muslim-American philanthropist said their participation along the entire educational continuum was pivotal for the future of these girls and to break the shackles of poverty many Muslim families were trapped in.
Frank Islam made these remarks at a Benefit Dinner for the Al-Qalam Academy, the only girls-exclusive school in Northern Virginia, which
serves the Muslim families from Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Middle Eastern countries.
“For the Muslim family, education prepares the Muslim girl to become
a change agent,” said Frank Islam, who has earned fame for his commitment
to the cause of education and for his generous donations to several universities in the United States and around the world. “I want to make
sure that their voices are heard and they are not ignored.”
For Frank Islam, educated Muslim girls could help ease financial burden
on their families, which are trapped in poverty because of lack of education. “With her own education, the Muslim girl who becomes a woman and a mother can educate and equip her children to escape that trap.”
Emphasizing the need for higher education and development of
specialized capabilities, he strongly advocated the need for Muslim girls
to be fully proficient in the STEM disciplines, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
“I am not suggesting that we should try to make all Muslim girls
into rocket scientists. But, I am saying that we need to ensure that
they receive the breadth and depth of education that will enable them to succeed and to help others in their family and in their homeland to
succeed as well.”
An alumni of Aligarh Muslim University, founded by Sir Syed Ahmed
Khan, Frank Islam moved to the United States several decades ago, and have made generous donations to several American universities. He recently contributed $2 million to the Aligarh Muslim University.
He assured his full support to Al-Qalam Academy which, he said, had a robust curriculum and, being the all-girls school, was adding to the potential for girls’ empowerment.
Referring to anti-Islam sentiments that have gained currency in recent months, and more especially during the US presidential campaign when President Trump made some strong remarks against Muslims, he called for redoubling efforts to reject hate and bigotry in all forms. “We need to
step up, and speak out if our core values are threatened.”
Chairman of the Fairfax County of the commonwealth of Virginia, Sharon Bulova had sent a special message for the Benefit Dinner. She said that
the Al-Qalam Academy was providing Pakistani-American community with high quality educational opportunities paired with valuable Islamic cultural programmes.
She said the graduates of the academy continue on to world-class
higher education institutions, a testament to the well-rounded quality of learning they received from Al-Qalam. She congratulated the Academy on achieving a ‘remarkable milestone’ and for its continued success.