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Letter: Religious schools

Sir: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has failed to appreciate that the British take pride in their support of religious freedom.

To exercise freedom is to exercise the right to be different. What we have to respect in a democratic society is the right of other people to hold views different from our own. This is very different from respecting the views (or religious faiths) of other people, although the two are often confused.

She seems unaware that all parents have the right "to have education for their children in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions". This right, enshrined in the European Convention, will be fully incorporated into UK law in October 2000. It will apply equally to members of the white working class, whose attitudes to education Ms Alibhai-Brown despises.

The Labour government is to be congratulated on moving the parental rights agenda forward.


The Parental Alliance for Choice in Education

Corsham, Wiltshire