Almost all children now believe they go to school to pass exams. The idea that they may be there for an education is irrelevant. State, independent and Faith schools have become exam factories, interested only in A to C Grades. They do not educate children. Exam results do not reflect a candidate’s innate ability. Employers and Universities both rely on the candidate’s grades. Employers have moaned for years that too many employees cannot read or write properly.
Bilingual Muslims children have a right, as much as any other faith group, to be taught their culture, languages and faith alongside a mainstream curriculum. Rejecting state funded Muslim schools as "anti-democratic" or "divisive" is simply the wrong approach to take.
Compulsory state education has promised to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental, physical and academic development of a child in preparation for adult life - has failed far too many children, particularly national minorities and especially Muslim children. Now the time has come that parents and community should take over the running of their local schools The Local Authority's role should be confined to simply ensuring schools operate within the prevailing legislative framework (admissions criteria, Special Educational Needs, Community Cohesion, Financial Audit, etc). Parents can perform a better job than the Local Authority because parents have a genuine vested interest. The Local Authority simply cannot be trusted.
There is no end to Forced marriages and honour killings as long as Bilingual Muslim children keep on attending state schools with monolingual non-Muslim teachers. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Bilingual Muslim teachers are role models who understand the needs and demands of their children.
No body has the right to tell a woman how to dress, or worse, how to undress? Let her wear what she likes, especially if it's part of her religion. I see the banning of headscarves or niqabs as an attack on both religious freedom and on the rights of women & girls. A veil ban targets very few women; it speaks to a fear of other who is Muslim. This is Islamophobia. In the United Kingdom, there is a social and economic pressure on Muslim women not to cover themselves with headscarf or a veil. The tiny minority of women are being blamed for all the failure of integration policies through out Europe. European Muslims are more worried about the economy, the cost of living, decent housing and racism than about a burqa ban.
Each and every Muslim child should be in a state funded Muslim school with bilingual Muslim teachers as role model during their developmental periods. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. Bilingual Muslim children need to learn and be well versed in Standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. At the same time they need to learn and be well versed in Arabic, Urdu and other community languages in order to keep in touch with their cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry.
There are hundreds of state and church schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools. Muslim children are in majority in schools because native parents remove their children as soon as the number of Muslim children is on the increase. They do not want their children to mix with Muslim or any other migrant children
Iftikhar Ahmad http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk