How Does Madani High School Fit The Community Cohesion Agenda?

One of the Government’s justifications for bringing private Islamic schools into the public sector is that they will then be forced to embrace the national curriculum. We are told that it will be easier to oversee them. Any of them that are promoting a top-heavy or fanatical religious agenda will be brought into line.

The NSS has predicted that as soon as these schools are brought into the state system, they will start to demand exemptions from the National Curriculum or even that the National Curriculum be re-written to take into account their cultural “needs” (see here for full details of what those “needs” might be). We are assured by the proponents of these schools that this will not happen.

But then, we are told all kinds of things by enthusiasts for religious schools. For instance, when the Madani Islamic High School in Leicester put itself forward to receive state funding, there were objections from the local population who thought it would endanger community relations. An adjudicator was brought in to rule on the objections and was reassured by the school’s founders that they would take a ten per cent quota of non-Muslims in order to encourage “community cohesion”. The adjudicator believed them, and said in his report, that approved the school: “One further tangible expression of the school’s inclusiveness lies in its commitment to reserve 10 per cent of its places for non-Muslim pupils.”

Well, the school is now open and the ten per cent promise has gone by the board. Madani’s head teacher, Mohammed Mukadam (who also happens to be chairman of the Association of Muslim Schools), said this week that non-Muslim pupils will only be accepted once demand from Muslims has been “exhausted”. But as there were 400 applications for the 120 places in year seven this September, all pupils will be Muslim.

The silver-tongued Mr Mukadam, you may remember, said on the Moral Maze programme last year that any non-Muslim girl that got a place at the school would be required to wear a veil. He now says that this is not the case. He will never have to prove that he means this, because no non-Muslim girls stand a chance of getting a place. And how many would be applying, anyway? And what about the Muslim girls at the school? They will be forced into hijabs and jilbabs whether they want them or not.

Mr Mukadam told the Leicester Mercury: “In principle, there’s no problem. The Government allowed us to establish a school to provide for Muslim schoolchildren first and foremost.”

Peter Flack, of the National Union of Teachers, which had resisted the establishment of the school, hit the nail on the head when he said: “We were told one thing, then they achieved their objective and it all changed.”

Well, Mr Flack, we confidently predict that this is only the start.

See also: Government adviser calls for more “multi-faith” schools
Veils won’t be banned in schools

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2 responses to “How Does Madani High School Fit The Community Cohesion Agenda?

  • Iftikhar Ahmad

    End of Local Education Authorities

    Parents’ groups, charities, faith bodies, and mutual organizations will have greater role in delivering educational services under plans being drawn up by both Labour and Tory parties. Swedish system of independent state schools, financed by vouchers, is now inspiring the Tory Party to set British schools free from LEAs. The proposal will end 60 years of local government control of education,

    Since 1944, all schools have been under a statutory obligation to provide for the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils at the schools. All state schools have failed to help children to achieve such goals. This is the main reason why silent majority of Muslim parents would prefer to send their children to Muslim schools. Even OFSTED is unable to assess the spiritual and moral development of the children. There is ample evidence that state schools foster intolerance, hate and bullying. There is no evidence that Muslim schools indoctrinate children with values and endanger shared society. Primary Review reports on diversity presents a powerful attack on current educational discourse in relation to diversity and to bilingual pupils in particular. The schools and teachers see children’s use of languages other than English as a ‘barrier to learning’ instead of recognizing and respecting them.

    It is crucial that Muslim children should be surrounded with the languages, culture and faith. Faith is powerful element of both personal and community identity. They need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models. There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim pupils are in majority, in my opinion and in the opinion of the silent majority of Muslim parents, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools. Muslim schools are not only faith schools, they are more or less bilingual schools. Bilingual Muslim children need to learn and well versed in Standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. They need to learn and well versed in Arabic to recite and understand the Holy Quran. They need to learn and well versed in Urdu and other community languages to keep in touch with their cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. Bilingualism is brilliant for the development of intellectual ability and cultural understanding. The great diversity of cultures and languages should be the key to the development of Britain as a world leader in multilingual, multi-cultural integration and partnership, an example to every other nation of how people of all faiths and cultures can live, learn and work together in harmony for a more just and fair world for everybody.
    Iftikhar Ahmad

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