Muslims seek ban on rally by extreme right

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The Independent Online
MUSLIMS in Nottinghamshire have called for a ban on a rally by extreme right-wingers over the opening of Britain's first village- based Muslim boarding school.

The British National Party has threatened to hold the rally today at Flintham, near Newark. Nottinghamshire Anti-Fascist Alliance will hold a counter demonstration. Villagers, who initially opposed the school on road safety grounds, say that the right-wingers have 'jumped on the bandwagon' by trying to whip up local feelings and are angry that the issue has shattered their rural peace.

'The British National Party has claimed it was invited into the village. That is totally untrue,' Colin Burley, the parish council chairman, said. 'We do not want anything to do with them, or with the anti-Fascists. They are all mad. We do not oppose the school on racial grounds. The parish council objected because the site was unsuitable for a school.'

The school, to be known as the Islamia Institute for Education and Training, will be opened in a former officer's mess at a disused airfield on the edge of the village. Initially it will have 200 male pupils. Work will begin on converting the building next week.

Pupils and students will study the national curriculum, as well as Islamic Studies, Arabic and other modern languages. There will be an emphasis on 'moral education'. Raza Ul Haq, secretary of the school and chairman of the Madni Masjid mosque, said: 'Muslims are worried because the state school system is failing in the inner city. This will be an experiment. We want to create a better atmosphere for children to learn.'

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