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Original Message
Forum Muslim Children 
Topic English Speaking Muslim children 
Author Iftikhar Ahmad 
Date Created 23/12/2016 17:36:14 
Message Muslim children must 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 must learn and be well versed in Arabic, Urdu and other community languages to keep in touch with their cultural heritage and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry, otherwise, they would be lost in western jungle.

Studies suggest that giving bilingual education to children can provide long-lasting benefits, like delaying dementia; teaching better self-regulation skills needed for focus and self-control; increasing children’s awareness of new sounds like the ones they hear in the second language; and boosting creativity.

English is not a peace building language for the Muslim children in British schooling. Majority of English speaking Muslim youths are extremists, find themselves cut off from their cultural heritage and are unable to enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. One can find English speaking Muslim youths in Syria and Iraq, in prison and in the mental hospital. Thanks to English language. English is the economic language of the Muslims while Arabic , Urdu and other community languages are the social and emotional languages of the Muslim community.

Bilingualism has positive effects on children’s linguistic and educational development. The level of development of children’s mother tongue is a strong predictor of their second language development. Mother tongue promotion in the school helps develop not only the mother tongue but also children abilities in the majority school language. Spending instructional time through minority language in the school does not hurt children’s academic development in the majority school language. When parent’s culture are recognized by the school, their interest and involvement in the curriculum often increase dramatically.

Children’s mother tongue is fragile and easily lost in the early years of school. Language lies at the heart of any culture. The different languages spoken provide clear links with the family and community traditions which enrich British culture. To reject a child’s language in the school is to reject a child. Children cultural and linguistic experience in the home is the foundation of their future learning and we must build on that foundation rather than undermine it. Increased cultural and language awareness could help to combat hooliganism.

Languages, by virtue of their direct contribution to economic competitiveness, intercultural tolerance and social cohesion, should have the status of a key skill alongside literacy, numeracy and ICT. The government should establish a national strategy for developing capability in languages and a system capable of supporting such a strategy. A language supremo should be attached to the cabinet office and have direct access to the Prime Minister. He should persuade the notoriously monolingual British to learn a language. New languages supremo must persuade reluctant Brits to speak something other than English. British society is already a multilingual society. The first wave of immigrants arrived with two or three languages from the sub-continent but its young generation is unable to feel pride in its mother tongue. The government should declare a firm commitment to early language learning for all children at age five. The key to success in business, the law and politics in the future will be the mastery of at least one foreign language. Knowledge of more than one language demonstrates that a candidate has the ability to think across cultural boundaries. Bilingualism enhances children’s development.

After the Second World War migrants from the Indian sub-continent started creating pockets by settling in all big cities of the United Kingdom with a spoken language known as Urdu by Muslims and Hindi by Hindus. It is impossible to find any Asian who cannot speak or understand this language. Majority of the movies, radios and TVs programs are in Urdu/Hindi. We can easily say that it has become a lingua francia of the Asian community.

Arabic, Urdu and other community languages are taught in all secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. But the curriculum is so basic that the pupils are unable to read a newspaper or write a letter. The tradition of British education is that it never took the teaching of foreign languages seriously, therefore, the standard and the quality is poor. It does not matter for the English pupils to take a foreign language with interest but it is a question of life and death for the Muslim and especially Pakistani pupils, otherwise they will be cut off from their roots. Majority of Muslims are from Pakistan, they also need to learn and be well versed in Arabic as a religious language and Urdu as a social and emotional language. The teaching of Arabic Urdu and other community languages should be introduced from Nursery level; otherwise there is a danger of its extinction.

A Muslim is a citizen of this tiny global village. He does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit. He is not only well versed in English but also in Arabic, Urdu and other community languages. Bilingualism is an asset but British schooling considers it as a problem. Those Muslim youths who are extremists are the product of British schooling because they can only speak, read and write English language. They are unable to enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry in their mother tongues. They suffer from identity crises. For a Muslim, English is an economic language, Arabic as a religious language and Urdu and other community languages are social and emotional languages.

Speaking English does not promote integration into British, American and Australian societies, and broaden opportunities. English speaking Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist, thanks to state schools with monolingual non-Muslim teachers and English language. English language is not only a lingua franca but also lingua frankensteinia. Human right are also covers linguistic right. Cultural and linguistic genocide are very common. British schooling is murdering community languages like Arabic, Urdu and others. English is today the world killer language. Linguistic genocide is a crime against humanity and British schooling is guilty of committing this crime. Language is not just a language. It defines one's culture, identity and consciousness. It defines how we think, communicate and express ourselves. The fact is the most South Asian Muslims have come to know Islam by way of Urdu, the children's alienation from the language that connects them the heritage of their parents and grandparents is disturbing. As a matter of fact, one has to get to know his mother tongue well if one is to master any other language.
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