Letter: Muslim schools

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The Independent Online
Letter: Muslim schools

Sir: David Blunkett, in principle, is quite right to agree to the demand for state funding of Muslim schools ("Muslim schools win historic fight for state funding", 10 January). However, he may be unwittingly helping to create two classes of British citizens: those with a broad-based secular education and those with a narrow Islamic education. It is not difficult to imagine which class of citizens is more likely to gain employment.

If supporters of Muslim schools claim that they can get over this problem by integrating Islamic ethos into the national curriculum, they cannot be serious. The national curriculum, inter alia, espouses multi-culturalism, while Islam is not averse to cultural and religious triumphalism. It is difficult to see how two mutually exclusive notions can possibly be juxtaposed without confusing young minds.

Muslim schools can survive only if they follow a Muslim curriculum; otherwise they have no rationale to exist. But experience from other countries such as India and Pakistan shows that graduates of these schools face a high degree of discrimination in the job market. And therein lies the crux of the problem.


Gants Hill, Essex