Islamic schools are gaining strength in Michigan as growing numbers of Muslim parents decide that their children can benefit from the religious, cultural, and academic atmosphere. Parents say they are attracted by the discipline, the values-based instruction, and the stress on academic achievement that includes individual attention and smaller class sizes. The Muslim American Youth Academy in Dearborn has a waiting list of 20 and an enrollment of 211, up from 40 when the school opened in 1997. Plans are under way to build a high school to the preschool through eighth-grade school. In Wayne County's Canton Township, west of Detroit, the Crescent Academy plans to admit 350 in a new building next year, an increase from 300 this year and about 250 in 2000. Nationwide, in the last three years, the number of Islamic schools has grown from 194 to about 220, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.