MCWS–Crescent Academy

By Adil James, MMNS

File:  A 2007 fundraiser for the Crescent Academy.


Farmington–September 24–Another school in suburban Detroit is the Muslim Community of the Western Suburbs School on Palmer Road in Canton.

According to its website, the Crescent Academy International is “a private, college preparatory, Islamic school  enrolling students in Montessori preschool up to 8th grade.”

It was founded in 1991 by the Michigan Education Council (which is an organization which exists in cooperation with the MCWS).  The facility it occupies is a substantial Muslim institution, which cost approximately $7 million dollars to build.

A member of the Board of Trustees (which offers strategic policy guidance to the school while the Board of Directors controls day to day operations), Masood Rab, explained that there is a philosophy behind the school of “tarbiyah,” which consists of “developing the overall personality of the Muslim children in Qur`an and all subjects, but with a Divine perspective,” or a perspective on the Divine.

As the other local Islamic schools, the purpose is to maintain a level of Islamic knowledge and character while educating the community’s children in religious, secular sciences, and arts.  While developing a core curriculum (which covers a broad array of academic and religious subjects including Islamic Studies, Arabic language, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, health, art, and physical education), the school also offers an “enrichment” curriculum consisting of subject areas intended to tap into the inner interests of each child–this curriculum involves field trips to take students to places “of educational interest and value,” in the words of the school’s website.

The school’s high level of organization, and its will toward inclusion in the wider society’s extracurricular activities is reflected in a tradition of intramural sports, and plans to convene a Crescent Academy student council and chapter of the National Honor Society.

The school principal is Ms. Sumayyah Flowers.  The Director of MCWS, the person behind the concept of tarbiyah, which is a unique and pioneering school concept, is Mr. Dawud Tauhidi.

Crescent Academy claimed approximately 350 students in an interview with The Muslim Observer in May of 2007.  The cost of attending the school is comparable to the other local Islamic schools–it is not publicized in their brochure or on their website.

The school has 32 brand new classrooms and a brand new facility (just completed about one year ago).  The teachers, according to the Crescent brochure, are state certified.  Crescent Academy is “fully approved by the Dept. of Education in the State of Michigan.”

The school is located at 40440 Palmer Road, Canton, MI;  734-729-1000;  (misspelling is the way the web address is spelled).


2 replies
  1. Iftikhar Ahmad
    Iftikhar Ahmad says:

    Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist because they have been mis-educated and de-educated by the British schooling. Muslim children are confused because they are being educated in a wrong place at a wrong time in state schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers. They face lots of problems of growing up in two distinctive cultural traditions and value systems, which may come into conflict over issues such as the role of women in the society, and adherence to religious and cultural traditions. The conflicting demands made by home and schools on behaviour, loyalties and obligations can be a source of psychological conflict and tension in Muslim youngsters. There are also the issues of racial prejudice and discrimination to deal with, in education and employment. They have been victim of racism and bullying in all walks of life. According to DCSF, 56% of Pakistanis and 54% of Bangladeshi children has been victims of bullies. The first wave of Muslim migrants were happy to send their children to state schools, thinking their children would get a much better education. Than little by little, the overt and covert discrimination in the system turned them off. There are fifteen areas where Muslim parents find themselves offended by state schools.

    The right to education in one’s own comfort zone is a fundamental and inalienable human right that should be available to all people irrespective of their ethnicity or religious background. Schools do not belong to state, they belong to parents. It is the parents’ choice to have faith schools for their children. Bilingual Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. There is no place for a non-Muslim teacher or a child in a Muslim school. There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools. An ICM Poll of British Muslims showed that nearly half wanted their children to attend Muslim schools. There are only 143 Muslim schools. A state funded Muslim school in Birmingham has 220 pupils and more than 1000 applicants chasing just 60.

    Majority of anti-Muslim stories are not about terrorism but about Muslim
    culture–the hijab, Muslim schools, family life and religiosity. Muslims in the west ought to be recognised as a western community, not as an alien culture.
    Iftikhar Ahmad

  2. TMO
    TMO says:

    Your story about Crescent Academy is informative but incorrectly mixes up the two independent sister organizations operating from the facility. As I explained to you in our telephone conversation, the two organizations that share the facility are Michigan Education Council (MEC) and Muslim Community of Western Suburbs (MCWS). Whereas MEC operates Crescent Academy, MCWS takes care of the Masjid and community functions. Your description of the school as MCWS’s school, contradicts the statement, “It was founded by MEC.” Also, Mr. Dawud Tauhidi is not the Director of MCWS, but Director of Crescent Academy International.
    A correction to the story will be greatly appreciated.
    Jazak-Allah Khairan.
    Masood Rab