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Original Message
Forum Muslim Schools 
Topic Muslim Schools 
Author Ray Glasson 
Date Created 29/08/2008 14:56:56 
I refer to ‘His Say’ in the Herald Newspaper from Iftikhar Ahmad from the London School of Islamics on 21 Aug 08.
I feel sure that the readers of the Herald will not wish to read the line by line commentary I am tempted to submit regarding such a lightly veneered diatribe.
I however hope I will be allowed to make a number of observations.
1) No child is ‘born’ a Muslim or a Christian etc. Such ‘belief’ labels are only ‘true’ to a person once they have reached a sufficient level of maturity to be able to decide for them selves. Surely there are not those of you who believe a child can be born a Conservative or Communist etc.?
2) No child is ‘born’ with a ‘culture’ or a ‘history’ these are things that belong to parents and relatives. All that a child is born with is DNA links. Its culture should be mainly that of the country into which it is born as it is a ‘child of that country’ and its history will be that which it lives through. To totally impose or transpose ones own ‘culture’ on to a child is not education but indoctrination.
3) Any ‘belief based’ establishment [school] that claims to ‘educate’ cannot truly be fully committed to education when it demands as one of its prerequisites a belief in ‘a supreme supernatural being’ of unproven validity. I would suggest that ‘education’ is being confused with ‘instruction’.
4) A community was initially a micro-version of the society in which it existed. The creation of ‘a community’ that is separate to and unrepresentative of the whole of national society is a backward step and socially destructive. [see community segregations in USA and SA past]

I am compelled to paraphrase and old piece of wisdom:-

“A guest in another’s house lives by the rules of their host.
Should a guest disagree with their host then after thanks for hospitality
the guest should without malice leave the house”

I feel we all need to take a large step back from the continuous round of historic; emotional; self serving responses we often see/hear in the news media.
Genetically we are all mongrels; Culturally we are all ‘mix and match’;
Educationally we are all sorely lacking.

Topic Re: Muslim Schools 
Author Open Thinker 
Date Created 05/09/2008 18:45:30 
Message If only more would think this way what a different world we would create for our children. 
Topic Re: Muslim Schools 
Author Iftikhae 
Date Created 06/09/2008 12:27:54 
Message Salaam

London School of Islamics is an educational Trust. Its aim is to make British public, institutions and media aware of the needs and demands of the Muslim community in the field of education and possible solutions.

The demand for state funded Muslim schools is in accordance with the law of the land.

I do not blame the parents, Imams and Masajid for the plight of the Muslim youths. All Muslim youths suffer from identity crises because they find themselves cut off from their cultural roots, literature and poetry. All of them lack self-confidence and self-esteem. British education has made them stupid. They have become economic slaves of the British society. They do not know where they belong. They are unable to enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. A man is a product of his culture, language and faith. They go hand in hand.

The solution of all the problems is state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models right from nursery classes. The Charter of Islam teaches true tolerance and equality and indeed is more acceptable to all people of the world than the United Nation Human Rights Charter. Islam does not just mean a beard, a cap and a bunch of self-interpreted fatwas.

Accoding to a research by Goldsmiths, university of London, bilingual learning can provide substantial benefits for second and third generation children whose families speak a language other than English. Even when children have grown up in the UK with English as their stronger language,using both languages aids cognitive development and strengthens their identity as learners. It is crucial that schools support c hildren's mother tongue through bilingual learning activities connected with the mainstream curriculum. Now Primary National Strategy recognises the value of bilingualism and promotes early language learning. Policy makers need to encourage good practice in schools, otherwise, the potential benefits of bilingual leaning will be lost to future generations.

The research also discovered that many second and third generation children are in danger of losing these skills if they do not have opportunities to develop their mother tongue through academic work at school. Bilingual children who learn in their family's language as well as English do better at school. It is very important that parents continue to talk to their children in their first language.

It is absurd to say that Muslim schools threaten the social cohesion of the nation. Diversity is a blessing and we should feel proud of diversity. The real threat to social cohesiondoes nt come from Muslim parents but from government that seeks to force these parents to conform with the state's ideas about how and what their children should be taught. There is no evidence that Muslim schools are undermining social cohesion.

Topic Re: Muslim Schools 
Author Ray Glasson 
Date Created 06/09/2008 16:32:22 
Message Saalam Haji

My salutation is formed out of respect for your age and as a person so immersed in certain aspects of Islam I am sure will have been to Mecca.
I initially responded to your piece in my local paper because I wished to try to lessen the damage your words could well impart to local perceptions of Muslims.
I have to a slight degree familiarised myself with your long running campaign and have noted your repetitive use of certain ‘emotive’ words and phrases. I can see that you have a wide vocabulary so I am sure your use of such words is a considered action. I would advise you that it does nothing to further your case.
I do not claim to fully know all aspect of Islam although I spent a number of years in the Middle East working, eating, and living with Muslims from a number of countries spread across the world. However this is not a matter of personal knowledge or faith this is a matter of basic child care.
I trust that in all honesty you would not challenge the fundamental fact that a child is born ‘a blank canvas’?
One of the seemingly endless [I am a parent and grandparent] responsibilities of a parent is to equip our child with the skills required to thrive in the world into which it is born, even if it is a world we would like to change. Handicapping our children with alien views that cause it distress and confusion does it no favours. This is where ‘true parenting’ comes in and we are forced, for the good of the child and perhaps our own personal honesty, to be able to separate our personal belief standards from true facts of life in the world around them.
A child can be given moral standards without it having to adopt a religion before it is even able to truly think.
I am sorry to have to say this: children naturally see differences in those they meet; it is adults who tell them whether such differences are ‘good or bad’. Adults, when children, suffered the same fate; so it is age long narrowness of minds is helped to survive.
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