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Muslim Schools

Reader comment on item: Other Taxpayer-Funded American Madrassas
in response to reader comment: Separation of Church and State

Submitted by Iftikhar Ahmad (United Kingdom), Apr 11, 2008 at 07:23

End of Local Education Authorities

Parents' groups, charities, faith bodies, and mutual organizations will have greater role in delivering educational services under plans being drawn up by both Labour and Tory parties. Swedish system of independent state schools, financed by vouchers, is now inspiring the Tory Party to set British schools free from LEAs. The proposal will end 60 years of local government control of education,

Since 1944, all schools have been under a statutory obligation to provide for the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils at the schools. All state schools have failed to help children to achieve such goals. This is the main reason why silent majority of Muslim parents would prefer to send their children to Muslim schools. Even OFSTED is unable to assess the spiritual and moral development of the children. There is ample evidence that state schools foster intolerance, hate and bullying. There is no evidence that Muslim schools indoctrinate children with values and endanger shared society. Primary Review reports on diversity presents a powerful attack on current educational discourse in relation to diversity and to bilingual pupils in particular. The schools and teachers see children's use of languages other than English as a ‘barrier to learning' instead of recognizing and respecting them.

It is crucial that Muslim children should be surrounded with the languages, culture and faith. Faith is powerful element of both personal and community identity. They need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models. There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim pupils are in majority, in my opinion and in the opinion of the silent majority of Muslim parents, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools. Muslim schools are not only faith schools, they are more or less bilingual schools. Bilingual Muslim children need to learn and well versed in Standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. They need to learn and well versed in Arabic to recite and understand the Holy Quran. They need to learn and well versed in Urdu and other community languages to keep in touch with their cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. Bilingualism is brilliant for the development of intellectual ability and cultural understanding. The great diversity of cultures and languages should be the key to the development of Britain as a world leader in multilingual, multi-cultural integration and partnership, an example to every other nation of how people of all faiths and cultures can live, learn and work together in harmony for a more just and fair world for everybody.

Iftikhar Ahmad

www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

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