Saturday, July 19, 2008

Islamic Education in British Schools

When I was a teenager living in England during the 1960s, religion — i.e. Christianity — was still studied in the schools. I attended a grammar school in Yorkshire, and if memory serves, some of my fellow students took Scripture O-levels.

I presume all that opiate-of-the-people rubbish got thrown out when the big switch to comprehensive schools took place in the 1970s. But, after 35 years, religion is coming back to state schools in the UK, only this time it’s not the Christian religion.

According to The Daily Mail:

The DunceState school pupils are set to be taught Islamic traditions and values in compulsory citizenship lessons.

Why, you ask yourself, would anyone want to inject Islam into the official curriculum of the British public school system? Don’t they have enough unofficial Islam in the schools already?

The move — part of a package of initiatives announced by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears yesterday — is designed to curb extremism.

So that’s the reason. The teachers will tell Ahmed and Aisha what it means to be a good little Muslim, and thereafter the kids will ignore the radical sermons in the mosques, and disregard what they hear from their parents and their peers.

After all, the British state school authorities have such a good track record in installing the civic virtues into their (formerly) Christian charges. Why shouldn’t they have a go at the Muslims?

There’s a lot more information in this article, and I recommend reading the whole thing. I’ll just highlight some of the juicier bits:
- - - - - - - - -
Prominent Muslims said this scheme was naive because Government endorsement would erode the credibility of those taking part, especially among the young and disaffected.

You know, I find myself agreeing with prominent Muslims for once. Whatever the schools tell them to do, chances are the kids will do the opposite.

Also, the state aims to extend its tendrils into the madrassas:

Another measure will see Muslim children being taught citizenship lessons by imams in mosque schools — in the hope that they will be better equipped to resist extremist messages.

Many Muslim youngsters in the UK attend evening classes at madrassah schools attached to mosques, where imams give instruction in the Koran and Islamic history.


The organisation, however, wants to extend its remit to mainstream state schools by ‘teaching Islamic traditions and values in the school citizenship curriculum’.

This is creepy beyond words. The sovereign government of a supposedly Christian kingdom is deliberately importing a violent alien religious ideology into its state schools so that it can be taught to children.

They’re bleedin’ loonies, the lot of ’em!

Well, not quite all of them. This fellow seems to be eminently sane:

David Conway, senior research fellow at the Civitas think-tank, said: ‘Some will see this as another sign of a creeping process of Islamisation — an insidious process which plays down the Christian basis of our culture and encourages children to learn more and more about Islam’s contribution.

‘Muslims are still a relatively small minority in Britain and, while I have nothing against children in our multi-religious society learning about each other’s faiths, for one particular faith to be privileged in mainstream schools seems to me pointless, and won’t make for greater harmony.

‘I fear it will play into the hands of the small minority who want to see the Islamisation of Europe, and believe they will triumph through sheer numbers.’

And another one:

Nick Seaton, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘We should not single out one particular faith. Citizenship is supposed to be secular.


‘It seems to me dangerous to single out the one faith which is probably linked to the most problems with terrorism at the moment for special treatment.’

And the official Islamic reaction? The program is not good enough:

Dr Azzam Tamimi, of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, said the scheme was doomed to failure.

He said: ‘This is a naive initiative. This not how Muslim education or awareness works.

‘When a Muslim individual seeks advice or knowledge he or she would usually go to a person they consider to be credible or an authority, and usually Muslims are suspicious of government-sponsored or organised commissions.’

Dr Tamimi told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme ministers were trying to dictate to Muslims over religious awareness and education.

Next step: the Government turns over the business of education entirely to the imams. That’s the only acceptable course of action.

Hat tip: DC.


Anonymous said...

Muslims are suspicious of organized commissions? Are Saudi Arabia's numerous official Islamic commissions aware of this?

Whiskey said...

This is actually a valid statement.

Saudi Arabia's, and also Egypt's, and Jordan's, and most official Islamic Commissions and paid Imams have little credibility on religious matters.

The Muslim world has a long tradition of the "virtuous" man who rejects government pay and thus compromises to be a "pure" scholar. Men like say, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the "blind Sheik" behind the 1993 WTC bombings and follow on conspiracy are regarded as the "legitimate" Imams precisely because they struggle against a corrupt and brutal government. For what Muslims see as the "true Islam" untainted by compromises with the powerful.

For much of the Muslim world, there is the equivalent of Al Capone and his cronies running things, with the opposition not being Eliot Ness but Rasputin meets Jim Jones. Muslims since the end of the so-called "right" or descendants of Mohammed Caliphs have viewed Imams tied to governments with suspicion.

Which makes ANY government attempt to "moderate Islam" by paying them or including Imams in any way self-defeating. To maintain legitimacy and status any Imam would HAVE to be more Jihadist even if he was inclined not to (and nearly all are not).

This dynamic explains the failure of the West's "Magic Fix" to keep PC and multiculturalism alive. It was never in the cards. [I'll note once again it's a woman pushing this -- PC/Multiculturalism empowers them the most.]

FWIW, I agree with Andrew McCarthy's observation in "Willful Blindness" that "moderate Islam" is not supported by the Koran and Hadiths and Sura and that "Jihad" is.

Zenster said...

The move — part of a package of initiatives announced by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears yesterday — is designed to curb extremism.

This is like trying to pacify a pit bull by feeding it human flesh. Regardless of whether Muslim children take seriously their British "citizenship" classes, the preferential treatment shown Islam will only entrench a sense of entitlement and further empower already extant notions of Muslim supremacy. Pandering to extremism only fortifies it.

Whatever "peace in our time" this shameless kowtowing buys is merely the peace of a well-fed crocodile that will not blink at eating you if you ever dare to show up empty-handed.

Sir Henry Morgan said...

Going to introduce Islam into Citizenship classes? That's way behind the curve - they already do it.

Here is an approximation (but an accurate one) of part of a conversation I had a couple of days back with two teenagers here in Northwest England. And I did not ask any leading questions. The questions were all straight off the bat. If I lie, may I drop down dead this instant.

Arrrghhh - 's ok, only joking.

I was asking them what they knew about politics and civics in general. One was 14, the other 17 and about to enlist in the navy.

"What do you know about Civics?"
"What's that?"
"Ahh ... ok then, what do you know about politics?"
"I thought you had to do Citizenship classes in school these days?"
"We do"
"So what do you learn about in citizenship classes if not civics and politics?"

I sometimes despair.

But I'm not giving up. I've just about given up on the current adult generations, so I'm going for the upcoming adults. It might get me into trouble with those holding power (not the same as authority) but they'll have a hell of a time convicting me because I'm very very careful with what I say. It's more trying to get them to think for themselves (something sadly lacking in schools these days) using the Socratic method, rather than getting them to think what I want them to think (rampant in schools these days).

We do what we can. And no, I'm not the slightest bit afraid of our supposedly "Feral youth". They are mostly good boys and girls. They know full well that there's something wrong with their lives but they aren't taught enough (deliberately, in my view) to work out what it is.

The local youngsters have taken a bit of a shine to me, and these days they'll rarely let me by without stopping me for a talk, and some questions (which I almost always answer with questions to make them think). Why? I think it's because unlike most adlts they encounter I'm not automatically suspicious of them, do not judge them, speak with them rather than at them, and am as truthful with them as I can be. When people are being truthful it very soon becomes obvious - go ask a policeman.

Unknown said...

There will come a point in time when the British people will have to decide if they want to save themselves. I do not think they have passed the point of no return, yet. The present government, and bureaucracy, do seem to be possessed of a certain jaw-dropping lunacy when it comes to islam.

Blogs, such as GoV, are important in the fight. We can act as cheerleaders, a shoulder to cry on, some other ways of support, but, ultimately it will be up to the people on the street in Britain. If they choose to surrender, there is nothing you can do but watch and use it as a lesson for our own country.

Unknown said...

Sir Henry Morgan - The UK needs more people like you. Best of luck!

Joanne said...

Muslims are going after the British kids now; it is clear exactly what they are doing.

Can you imagine Christians trying to be able to teach compulsory Christian traditions and values in an Islamic school in Britain? Muslims would have none of it - there would be treats of violence.

Britain, please wake up. Please get a backbone.

Anonymous said...

The question here is whether this will cause a reaction in the Conservative opposition or will the Conservatives just roll over and accept it. I tend to think that they will roll over. The next question is whether this will eventually cause the much hoped for reaction from the British people or is still more oppression needed before the British people stand up.

I am hoping at minimum that it helps the BNP. I tend to think that these policies incrementally help the BNP.

wheatington said...

The implication of this program, not that the bovine Blears would, or could, ever understand, it that the muftis are teaching lies in the mosques. Blears proposes that teachers with a 4 hour professional development course will understand the true nature of Islam better than the goat-beards do. If the muftis figure this out, we will experience more outrage.

I predict after the courses have been taught awhile, Muslims will demand that their teachers do the job. And so kids will radicalized in the schools and the mosques.

One thing that as puzzled me; if you have to elect a woman as stupid as Blears, couldn't she at least be good-looking?