The flow of students from the Muslim world into American colleges and universities has grown sharply in recent years, and women, though still far outnumbered by men, account for a rising share.Read the whole thing.
No definitive figures are available, but interviews with students and administrators at several Catholic institutions indicate an even faster rate of growth there, with the Muslim student population generally doubling over the past decade, and the number of Muslim women tripling or more.
At those schools, Muslim students, from the United States or abroad, say they prefer a place where talk of religious beliefs and adherence to a religious code are accepted and even encouraged, socially and academically. Correctly or not, many of them say they believe that they are more accepted than they would be at secular schools.
Many Muslim students, particularly women, say they based their college choices partly on the idea that Catholic schools would be less permissive than others in the United States, though the behavior they say they witness later can call that into question.
They like the prevalence of single-sex floors in dorms, and even single-sex dorms at some schools. “I thought it would be a better fit for me, more traditional, a little more conservative,” said Shameela Idrees, a Pakistani undergraduate in business at Marymount University in Arlington, Va., who at first lived in an all-women dorm.
Questions: Are Catholic Universities attractive to Muslim students because of a lower perceived cost of maintaining their religious identities? Is this perspective correct? Would this also be true at Protestant universities in the US relative to secular schools? Why or why not?
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