Monday, 20 June 2011

Muslims to Break Away From Scottish Education System

MUSLIM leaders are planning to break away from the Scottish education system and create their own schools because the current curriculum does not include enough about Islam.

The Sunday Express has learned parents are angry their children are not being given schooling according to their religious beliefs and claim teachers are even promoting “unIslamic principles and behaviours”.

Some have even threatened legal action to force councils to open state-funded faith schools at taxpayers’ expense.

Others want the “relatively affluent” Muslim community to take matters into its own hands, starting with Scotland’s first Islamic high school.

Parents and supporters are being rallied on an Internet chat room called One father explains the plan is to “form a steering group of individuals who wish to contribute towards the creation of an Islamic Secondary School for Girls in Glasgow”.

The anonymous man – TariqM – adds: “I have spoken to a number of Imams representing the primary Masjids (mosques) in Glasgow and in principle everybody agrees the ideal solution to education for Muslims would be within an environment that has at its core an Islamic ethos.”

Another member proposes legal action over the city council’s refusal to fund an Islamic state school, stating: “There is a case to be made by the Muslim community against Glasgow Council claiming religious bigotry and discrimination.”

Sajid Quayum, president of the Glasgow branch of the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB), said he was aware of the group and its plans.

“Education is something close to the heart of all parents,” he said. “They are venting their frustration over not being able to ‘play the system’ as other religious groups have in the past.

“There is a lot of disagreement in the wider community whether having an Islamic state school is what we want. Some say it would be a good thing but others say there is enough separation from the main community as there is.”

Mr Quayum, a TV producer, also claimed children of all religions and backgrounds are not learning enough about Islam in school.

He said: “A lot of teachers are a little bit worried about trying to cover Islam because it has so many social and political issues.

“We have set up a teacher training programme called Islam Information Scotland. When we have approached RE teachers, they say they will often focus on a particular religion for a year, such as Hinduism, but it will rarely be Islam because they are worried about offending Muslims.

“There is a perception that we are consistently getting offended, but there are only a few groups out there who do that. Unfortunately, it is them who always appear in the news.

“This is not about pushing our religion into schools, just a feeling that there is not enough understanding of the issues.”

Scotland currently has one Islamic primary school, the private Qalam Academy in Glasgow. Two other private primaries, in Glasgow and Dundee, closed after damning inspection reports.

There are Catholic, Episcopalian and Jewish state schools and First Minister Alex Salmond has backed plans for an Islamic state primary in Glasgow.

However, councillors refused permission because of fears it would lead to isolation of young Scottish Muslims.



  1. Free Our Schools
    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 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 have moaned for years that too many employees cannot read or write properly. According to a survey, school-leavers and even graduates lack basic literacy and numeracy skills. More and more companies are having to provide remedial training to new staff, who can’t write clear instructions, do simple maths, or solve problems. Both graduates and school-leavers were also criticised for their sloppy time-keeping, ignorance of basic customer service and lack of self-discipline.

    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. More faith schools will be opened under sweeping reforms of the education system in England. There is a dire need for the growth of state funded Muslim schools to meet the growing needs and demands of the Muslim parents and children. Now the time has come that parents and community should take over the running of their local schools. Parent-run schools will give the diversity, the choice and the competition that the wealthy have in the private sector. Parents can perform a better job than the Local Authority because parents have a genuine vested interest. The Local Authority simply cannot be trusted.

    The British Government is planning to make it easier to schools to “opt out” from the Local Authorities. Muslim children in state schools feel isolated and confused about who they are. This can cause dissatisfaction and lead them into criminality, and the lack of a true understanding of Islam can ultimately make them more susceptible to the teachings of fundamentalists like Christians during the middle ages and Jews in recent times in Palestine. Fundamentalism is nothing to do with Islam and Muslim; you are either a Muslim or a non-Muslim.

    There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This mean the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam’s teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline, structure and boundaries. Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their needs and demands.

    None of the British Muslims convicted following the riots in Bradford and Oldham in 2001 or any of those linked to the London bombings had been to Islamic schools. An American Think Tank studied the educational back ground of 300 Jihadists; none of them were educated in Pakistani Madrasas. They were all Western educated by non-Muslim teachers. Bilingual Muslim children need bilingual Muslim teachers as role models. A Cambridge University study found that single-sex classes could make a big difference for boys. They perform better in single-sex classes. The research is promising because male students in the study saw noticeable gains in the grades. The study confirms the Islamic notion that academic achievement is better in single-sex classes.
    Iftikhar Ahmad

  2. "None of the British Muslims convicted following the riots in Bradford and Oldham in 2001 or any of those linked to the London bombings had been to Islamic schools"
    Why not just go the whole hog and form an Islamic state that way secular education wont keep turning out Muslims who commit terrorist acts while 'misunderstanding' Islam.
    "The study confirms the Islamic notion that academic achievement is better in single-sex classes."
    Just like the recent rape case where a man said he had been taught women were worthless at his Madrasa,should we expect more rapes but less riots and bombers ?
    Like many other Britons I'm sick of religion and the religious claiming special privileges and exceptionalism,regardless of what religion that may be.If Islam wants the same status as the other religions in Europe then it had better be able to take the same level of scrutiny and criticism.Which at the moment,it simply cannot,preferring to attempt to.via the OIC,to limit freedom of speech because it cannot handle modern scrutiny or criticism.Until it can,and whether it ever can or not is open to debate,Islamic attitudes will harden and Muslims self segregate.