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An education for all?

When MP Diane Abbott decided to send her child to an independent school, there was understandable uproar. A woman who has been a key figure in the Labour party, a party which claims to fight for equality of opportunity, arguably demonstrated that her socialist values and credentials are only important when berating the opposition in the commons, but pragmatically have no place in the world[1].

This should really come as no surprise. A system of government, which ‘whips’ MPs to vote in accordance with party policy and sometimes against their own conscience, or more significantly against the wishes of the people they are representing, is one which will see career politicians thrive and the immoral assume positions of power. Parliament has only recently been hit by the scandal of revelations that there were around 300,000 ‘attempts to access websites categorised as pornography’ from computers on the Parliamentary network[2].

When questioned about the decision to send her child to an independent school, she mounted what can only be described as a feeble defence and notwithstanding her protestations of having genuine reasons, the bottom line was that she felt state education was not ‘good’ enough for her son. It was not ‘good’ enough to provide him with the necessary life chances that would see him into a comfortable ‘middle class’ existence; that is after all, apparently, what a good education is for.

I do not particularly want to discuss and dwell on the purposes and aims of education here, as it deserves to be addressed in a separate article. What is clear however, is that education is considered culturally, a vehicle for social mobility. Those who receive a ‘good’ education are more likely to have ‘good’ jobs and thus a ‘better’ quality of life. The fact that there is a limit to the number of ‘good’ jobs available in the market produces intense and fierce competition from parents who want to ensure that their children have access to the best possible institutions, to ultimately secure these coveted employment opportunities.

To be brief, the existence of independent schools has provided wealthy individuals the opportunity to purchase advantage for their children in securing the best possible schooling, while the financially ‘poor’ are left to manage within a system that does not offer them equity of opportunity. The system itself has effected a form of virtual monopolisation for the elite, where, in general, their families will continue to benefit from this arrangement for generations to come. The implicit sentiment by those who promote these private educational institutions is: as long as the needs of my children are being met and their life chances are being improved, I couldn’t give tuppence about the rest!

While this rather singular and individualistic attitude is understandable amongst non-Muslims, especially and more so with those who would identify as having no faith, I am concerned that the very same attitudes have unwittingly been appropriated by the Muslim community. Contrary to the aims of the Abbotts of the world, if we can agree that Islamic schools have, as their ‘primary’ aim, the desire to nurture and develop Muslim children into God-conscious individuals, I would ask whether the chance for people to become God-conscious is limited to a particular number, such that we would need to compete with each other at the expense of excluding those Muslims who are financially weaker.

Yet this is exactly what Islamic independent schools unintentionally end up doing. They ultimately exclude those who are financially less well off and in so doing, create a system that does not take into account or promote the Islamic well-being of the majority of Muslim children. The Prophet (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”[3] The very nature of our brotherhood is fundamentally expressed through our need to help and support one another to earn Allāh’s pleasure and ultimately His paradise. If the institutions we establish to realise these aims are only accessibly by the wealthy, we may have acted contrary to the spirit of Islām. Some Muslims, in my opinion, incorrectly defend their position by quoting the verse, ” O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones…”[4] While there can be no argument about the importance of protecting one’s family from the fire, why are the two mutually exclusive? Why is it not possible for all our children to benefit together?

Many believe that this cannot be achieved pragmatically, because they cannot break free from the system of education that has become normative within the western world. They still think about and reflect on the problem of education within a narrow framework that seeks to create a wealth-centric, individualistic society, far removed from the comparatively egalitarian and enlightened Islamic world of the middle ages. In contrast to the West which, at the time was mired in ignorance, and knowledge was predominantly the preserve of the social elite, the Islamic world offered education as a universal right, much of which was achieved through the patronage of the wealthy who recognised the value of learning for the community. Kuttabs were a form of elementary school that were open to all, where the son of a poor person could learn side by side with the child of a wealthy man.

There may be difficult questions to ask about our aims and purposes for education. We may have to challenge our conception of learning and what really the modern schooling system has to offer any of our children, Muslim or otherwise; but unless we are prepared to take the undoubtedly courageous step of going back to the drawing board, we will never be able to come up with an appropriate solution which benefits all our children.

I am not claiming to have ‘the answer’, but I am convinced that Muslim educators continue to try and tweak the current system with INSETS and pedagogy to little or no avail. I also know that people will have very strong views on this subject, and I am sure that many will not agree with my concerns or question the pragmatism of what I’m suggesting, but this is where we must start a frank and long discussion, and one which may take a number of years, but for those who are truly interested in ‘education’ as an outcome rather than wealth, I look forward to hearing from you.





[3] Narrated by al-Bukhāri and Muslim

[4] Al-Qur’ān 66:6

About Usman Qureshi

Born and brought up in the UK, Usman graduated from Kings College London and then travelled abroad to study Arabic at The Markaz Fajr Institute in Cairo. He returned to undertake a PGCE at the renowned Institute of Education and spent several years in the world of schooling with his last full-time position as the Headteacher of an Islamic independent school. Deeply disatissfied with the corporate nature of schooling and how children learn, he committed himself to further study completing his MA in Effective Learning at the Institute of Education. He speaks on and writes about issues related to schooling, parenting and community, and is an active member of his local masjid.


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  3. Salaam Brother Usman.

    Masha’Allah again you are on point. You have made some pertinent points in your article, and I must say from personal experience, Islamic schools in some areas are seen very much as a status symbol. However, not just in the monetary sense, but I have also seen some parents look down upon those who decide to send their children to a conventional school and supplement religious education at home. There are many issues that need to be explored, and I really do congratulate you for bringing this issue to the fore for some reasoned discussion. Looking forward to part 2….

  4. Nobody wants to see elitist Islamic schools, yet at the same time schools need to cover their costs, pay teachers a fair wage and plan for the future. The fact is that whilst living in the West, such institutions are never going to be publicly funded, without significant interference in the curriculum choices the schools make. Thus, without an Islamic system, wholesale access to Islamic schooling for all Muslim kids seems unlikely.
    However, that is not to say there is nothing that can be done. As always, many of the solutions that we are looking for are already present in our heritage. We used to have a Waqf fund as part of the Islamic system, which, amongst other things, provided for students from less well off backgrounds, who were able and needed financial help. Whilst it could be argued that to implement bits and pieces of the Islamic system detracts from the wisdom of the whole- it also demonstrates that we have solutions in Islam for today’s problems. We have plenty of Muslims who’ve done well financially in the UK, MashAllah. Those who could afford it, could pay into regional Waqf funds which would be open for all students to apply to; those who passed entrance tests to Islamic schools and showed a keenness to learn, would be able to attend these schools regardless of their parents’ ability to fund them. University fees could be funded in the same way- esp for those degrees that serve the community. There could be a provision, if Islamically suitable, that graduates who qualify using the fund’s resources provide free services so many times a week and pay their community back in that way. The strange thing is that during the era of the Islamic State, patrons used to be falling over themselves to support education as it was something they were keen to encourage- all that sadaqah jariyah!
    The wider question of going back to the drawing board is indeed one which warrants deeper thought. It would be both brave and thrilling to start with our primary objectives in education and rebuild a system of education. If the primary goal of education is to improve man’s relationship with God, then how much of the current curriculum serves that goal? No doubt injecting islamic notions into lesson plans is worthy, but if we could start with a blank sheet, I’d wager the majority of the day would be redrawn. As a one minute sketch: Islam would take centre stage, the breadth and depth of study (Islamic sciences and academic study) would be increased, rather than forcing kids to specialise, and literary skills (esp poetry) would be key. If we could get kids to the point where they found excitement in ideas, rather than being passively entertained, the youth could spend electric evenings listening to scholars debate vigorously on legal issues, yet with conduct that illustrated the utmost grace and respect. Thus education would teach respect of islamic differences, effectively reducing many of the woes we have currently. Education would no longer be seen as an issue for schools but an issue for communities. Every person with a skill or talent would pay back into society. It’s a huge topic and one which requires a great deal longer to explore, but I’ve thrown my tuppence into the ring!

  5. Aliza Qureshi

    Asslamualaikum, brother Usman. I hear your argument that Islamic education can also be perceived as a system which succumbs to the individualistic ideals of the western world. However, I beg to differ on two points. Firstly, not every one would want their children to attend an Islamic school from muslims and non muslims alike. Secondly, those Islamic schools that are fee paying (and not all of them are!) the fees are very different to those of “English” independent schools..hardly a hub solely aimed for the wealthy. Teachers are more often then not paid way below the national rate yet the ‘good’ Islamic schools have the same standards or better then comprehensive. It would be lovely for Islamic schools to offer free education but in this country (UK) it would not work for many reasons; there are many people whose children have studied in an Islamic fee paying turned state school and have witnessed the loss of Islamic teaching and values simply because the school then has to cater to the needs of the national schooling system which may not always be cohesive with the Islamic requirements. The Kuttab style school work really well in Islamic spheres but in the West at least the educational requirements would not allow for a an Islamic school focused on raising children with strong Islamic values to thrive in the ‘free/state’ system.

    • Sr Aliza

      Wa ‘alaikum as salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. Jazakillah khair for your response. I think you’ve made the pretty broad assumption, as have others i’m sure, that firstly i’m advocating Islamic schools as a proposed solution and secondly that they should be run as completely free institutions; i’m not, because, for the reasons you’ve stated and more, that would be unworkable. When I talk about going back to the drawing board, I am proposing that we start right at the beginning and try to answer more challenging questions such as ‘What do we mean by education?’, ‘What outcomes do we want from education?’, ‘How do children/people learn most effectively?’, etc. My contention is that people have accepted the ‘system’s’ (whichever way you wish to describe it) answers to these questions and if one was to reflect more deeply on those answers, they would find a system of ‘education’ which broadly sits in opposition to ‘Islamic’ values. This is where our discussion needs to start in my opinion and when we do, I hope, begin to engage in a frank and meaningful discourse, we will ‘probably’ find ourselves shifting from the current notion of schooling to something that will seek to ‘educate’ not just our children, but our communities as well.

  6. A very interesting article, I think it covers a number of issues. Most pertinent though are the issue of Muslim independent schools charging a fee and the other about the curriculum content.

    With regards to the fees, Muslim schools charge a fraction of what other independent schools charge. For example, here in Leicester, fees for a conventional independent school, is £4000 a term, we charge £1600 for a year. Our fees cover only 40% of the costs of running the school. I am not sure what model you might promote which promotes an equal education, whilst being financially viable? It is worth noting that most of our families are not from high-earning families, this will be the case for most Muslim schools. I’d welcome an exploration of your thoughts of an alternative, as currently only 5% of Muslim children access Muslim schooling (I am not sure to what extent this is determined by finance). Especially if you are promoting a shift from the national curriculum (which I do), as state funding clearly wouldn’t be the answer.

    Secondly, what you say about tweaking the curriculum may have been true, and may continue to be true for some independent Muslim schools. However, I’d invite you to do a case-study with us and other schools who are making pedagogical and curriculum shifts to reflect the progress being made in this area.

    I hope you will take me up on this offer and reflect it in a follow-up article, insha’Allah.

    Jazakallah Khayran for the thought provoking article nevertheless

    Head Teacher
    Al-Aqsa School, Leicester

  7. The Muslims don’t want to integrate or abide by western law. Just because they don´t want to wear nude clothes or at least cloth that can show how big her breast are… so these people failed to integrate. Just because they don’t like free sex, then these people failed again. What a dirty Bush mind you have!

    The western “values” suggest equality and freedom for all that means society must allow religious freedom. The Christians and Jews have Church/ Jewish schools as well as kosher meat, yet when Muslims simply ask for the very same treatment, the Islamophobic secular right wing jump up and down screaming that somehow western values have been attacked. The Jews throughout the western world have their own religious courts. Christians have been enjoying the right to be married in Church. Muslims should have the same right to get married in Masajid

    “Western” society is trying to dictate what people within one faith are supposed to act, what they should wear. Telling Muslims to go back east is stupid tell all Christians to back 2 Jerusalem then exactly no point everyone has the right to live in whatever country they choose. There are catholic schools which require a certain type of conduct even if the person is not catholic at that school. You have Sikh, Hindu and Islamic schools and they all instil good values in children in their own way and if someone has certain dietary needs then the school will adjust to that. I don’t understand why everyone has to criticise everything that is going on within the religious circles right now.

    Let’s think of all those bad things we are proposing:

    – to make children multi-lingual.
    – understand and accept the sanctity of marriage.
    – Encouragement to take not even but one drop of alcohol and non-prescribed drugs.
    – Encouragement not to judge or be judged on grounds of race and colour.
    – Self discipline in sleeping, hygiene and diet patterns.
    – Liberation of individuals from materialism and desires to live according to base instincts.
    – a detailed understanding of the other two monotheistic religions.

    Multiculturalism is not about separation, ghettoization or balkanisation. It is, instead, recognition of both diversity and the need for common ground, mutual respect, and cultural engagement. Muslims all over the world never opposed English as a language what they did was opposition of the Western culture and their system of education. In Pakistan, the medium of instruction is Urdu and English and the official language is both English and Urdu. Pakistan is going to send English teachers to Korea for the teaching of English language.

    Speaking English does not promote integration into British, American and Australian societies, and broaden opportunities. English speaking Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist, thanks to state schools with monolingual non-Muslim teachers and English language. English language is not only a lingua franca but also lingua frankensteinia. Human right are also covers linguistic right. Cultural and linguistic genocide are very common. British schooling is murdering community languages like Arabic, Urdu and others. English is today the world killer language. Linguistic genocide is a crime against humanity and British schooling is guilty of committing this crime. Language is not just a language. It defines one’s culture, identity and consciousness. It defines how we think, communicate and express ourselves. The fact is the most South Asian Muslims have come to know Islam by way of Urdu, the children’s alienation from the language that connects them the heritage of their parents and grandparents is disturbing. As a matter of fact, one has to get to know his mother tongue well if one is to master any other language.

    The best solution of this problem is that those state schools where Muslim pupils are in majority should be designated as Muslim community schools under the management and control of Muslim educational Trusts. Newly arrived Muslim children can be educated in Muslim schools with Muslim teachers. They are not going to swamp state schools and they will not suffer from bullying and racism. They will feel at home with teachers speaking the same languages. This is a humane approach to the education of newly arrived children otherwise they will suffer educationally and emotionally like their predecessors. I hope Policy makers will look for alternatives to educate children of asylum seekers so that they could be easily accommodated and adjusted in the British society as equals.

    Truth is always bitter. You must learn to listen to those who are culturally, linguistically and spiritually different. Education is should be more than providing pupils with the skills they need to get a job or enter university: we should not forget that we have a duty to pass on a body of knowledge through generations.
    London School of Islamics Trust

  8. A Future for Muslim Schools

    Education Acts 1996 – Aims of National Curriculum
    ‘…promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the schools and of society and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experience of adult life.’
    Human Rights act 1998:
    Legally, the state has an obligation to respect the rights of parents to ensure that ‘education and teaching(of their children) is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.’
    The schools must satisfy the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural needs of Muslim pupils. State schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers are not in a position to satisfy their needs.

    A good school is not just a knowledge factory or a conveyor belt for churning out exam passes – it is a community, a family. A community is held together by common values and principles.

    It is a common saying that British schooling is upholding British values of integration, respect, tolerance and equality. But all minority groups find British schooling is the home of institutional racism and British teachers are chicken racist. This is one of the many reasons why they would like to see their children attending their own schools with their own teachers. Muslim community started setting up school in the 80s and I set up the first Muslim school in 1981 and now there are 180 Muslim schools and only 12 are state funded. Sikh and Hindu communities have set up their own schools. Now Black community is thinking of setting up schools with their own teachers.

    Western media and politicians have been trying their best to propagate against Muslim schools. Muslim schools are even called Osama bin Laden Academies by a Teaching Union. Only less than 5% of Muslim children attend Muslim schools while more than 95% are in state schools to be mis-educated and de-educated by non-Muslim monolingual teachers. The demand for state funded Muslim schools is in accordance with the law of the land. Muslim community is not asking for any favour. Muslim community pays all sorts of taxes and is less burden on social services. Church leaders say it is no longer “appropriate” for them to run Sacred Heart RC Primary School which has just six Christian pupils. The school in Blackburn, Lancs, could be handed to the nearby Masjid-e-Tauheedul mosque.

    An American research reveals in 2005 that bilingual learners with no education in their first language take longer to learn English and a bilingual learner with a good education in their own language do best of all. Muslim schools are committing the same mistake by ignoring community languages. Even OFSTED is not serious about the importance of bilingualism and bilingual education. Their priority is the teaching of English language. Nobody is denying the importance of English as an economic language but equally important is the first languages of the children for social and emotional literacy.

    The Muslim community has been passing through a phase of fourth Crusades. The battleground is the field of education, where the young generation will be educated properly with the Holly Quran in one hand and Sciences in other hand to serve the British society and the world at large. A true Muslim is a citizen of the world, which has become a small global village. We are going to prepare our youth to achieve that objective in the long run. A true Muslim believes in Prophet Moses and the Prophet Jesus and without them one cannot be a Muslim. My suggestion is that in all state, independent and Christian based school special attention should be given to the teaching of Comparative Religion and Islam should be taught by qualified Muslim Teachers to make the children aware the closeness of Islam to Christianity and Judaism which will help them to think about Islam, as “A Pragmatic and Modern Way of Life,” during their life time.

    British schooling and the British society is the home of institutional racism. The result is that Muslim children are unable to develop self-confidence and self-esteem, therefore, majority of them leave schools with low grades. Racism is deeply rooted in British society. Every native child is born with a gene or virus of racism, therefore, no law could change the attitudes of racism towards those who are different. It is not only the common man, even member of the royal family is involved in racism. The father of a Pakistani office cadet who was called a “***” by Prince Harry has profoundly condemned his actions. He had felt proud when he met the Queen and the Prince of Wales at his son’s passing out parade at Sandhurst in 2006 but now felt upset after learning about the Prince’s comments. Queen Victoria invited an Imam from India to teach her Urdu language. He was highly respected by the Queen but other members of the royal family had no respect for him. He was forced to go back to India. His portrait is still in one of the royal places.

    Children should be taught about the contribution Muslims have made to civilisation in order to combat threats of extremism and discrimination. It will help native children to develop positive attitudes towards Muslims. It will bring divided communities closer together, by teaching children about debt west owe to Muslims – coffee and pinhole camera to the three – course dinner and advancement in maths. The teaching will bring together science, history, RE, citizenship and community cohesion – some of the most pressing problems for the minister responsible for the curriculum. One of the major reasons for the alienation of British Muslims is a lack of clear identity. It is crucial for the British society to understand the hugely positive impact that Islamic inventors have had upon the world, and for Muslims to take pride in it. At present there is a widespread mis-conception among many people worldwide that the state of science and technology during the period known as “The Dark Ages” was that of stagnation and decline. The Muslim civilisation flourished and contributed to thousands of essential inventions that still affect western life style. The open recognition of the contribution of the Muslims should be reflected in the National Curriculum. The mainstream history of scientific ideas has failed to acknowledge numerous Islamic scientists and their great efforts and achievements throughout the centuries.

    A report by the Institute for Community Cohesion found that native parents were deserting some schools after finding their children outnumbered by pupils from ethnic minorities. Schools in parts of England are becoming increasingly segregated. The study focused on 13 local authorities. Many of the schools and colleges are segregated and this was generally worsening over recent years. This is RACISM because British society is the home of institutional racism. My statement regarding Muslim schools where there is no place for non-Muslim child or a teacher is based on educational process and not on racism. Muslim children need Muslim teachers during their developmental periods. For higher studies and research, Muslim teacher is not a priority.

    I have been campaigning for Muslim schools since early 70s because there is no place for foreign cultures, languages and faiths in state schools. Muslim children are victim of racial abuse and discrimination. Neither Muslim community nor the DFE paid any attention to my proposal. Muslim community kept on setting up Masajid for worshiping and for the education of their children. Masajid help Muslim children to recite the Holy Quran without understanding and teach them how to perform their prayers. DFE introduced Multicultural education for the integration and assimilation of the Muslims.

    I regard Muslim schools not just Faith schools but more or less bilingual schools. I set up the first Muslim school in Forest Gate London in 1981. Special attention was given to Standard English, Arabic and Urdu languages along with National Curriculum. But due to its closure, it could not become a model school for others to follow. Islamia School, founded by Yusuf Islam became the model school where there is no place for the teaching of Urdu and other community languages and only Arabic is taught.

    The sound knowledge of one’s owns language would appear to help – not hinder the acquisition of a second language and bilingual children may even have cognitive advantages and that the ability to speak more than one language is going to be increasingly important for the world of the future. Therefore, Muslim children and young Muslims have potentially a major educational advantage, although sadly this is not being developed well at present. British policy makers now recognise bilingualism as an educational asset rather than a problem. Education plays a central role in the transmission of languages from one generation to the next. The teaching of mother tongues is essential in terms of culture and identity. Arabic is a religious language for the Muslims but for Pakistanis, Urdu is also essential for culture and identity. Blind Muslim children in Bradford are learning to read Arabic and Urdu Braille, by a blind teacher who travelled from Pakistan. Now blind Muslim children are not going to miss out on culture, religion, language and the social aspects and integration into their own community and identity.

    Majority of Muslim children are from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India They need to learn Arabic and Urdu to keep in touch with their cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. Urdu is a lingua frankua of the Muslim communities from the sub-continent. The young generation learn Urdu from Indian/Pakistani films, more than two dozen TV Channels and couple of radio stations broadcasting round the clock in Urdu/Hindi. They can speak and understand but are unable to read and write Urdu literature and poetry. Bilingualism and bilingual education should be part and parcel of each and every Muslim school. The problem is that most of Muslim schools are running by British educated Muslims who are made monolinguals by state schools. They do not feel the charm of bilingualism. They have never been given the chance to learn Arabic and Urdu along with English. An English man is proud of his language, culture and faith or no faith. In the same way a Muslim should be proud of his faith, languages and cultures. In my opinion at least three hours a day must be given for the teaching of English, Arabic, Urdu and other community languages from nursery level. The teaching of Standard English will help them to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity.

    According to a recent report, Muslim schools performed best overall, although they constitute only a fraction of the country’s 7000 schools. Muslim schools do well because of their Islamic ethos and a focus on traditional discipline and teaching methods. They teach children what is right and what is wrong, because young children need structured guidance.

    Bilingual Muslims children have a right, as much as any other faith group, to be taught their culture, languages and faith alongside a mainstream curriculum. More faith schools will be opened under sweeping reforms of the education system in England. There is a dire need for the growth of state funded Muslim schools to meet the growing needs and demands of the Muslim parents and children. Now the time has come that parents and community should take over the running of their local schools. Parent-run schools will give the diversity, the choice and the competition that the wealthy have in the private sector. Parents can perform a better job than the Local Authority because parents have a genuine vested interest. The Local Authority simply cannot be trusted.

    The British Government is planning to make it easier to schools to “opt out” from the Local Authorities. Muslim children in state schools feel isolated and confused about who they are. This can cause dissatisfaction and lead them into criminality, and the lack of a true understanding of Islam can ultimately make them more susceptible to the teachings of fundamentalists like Christians during the middle ages and Jews in recent times in Palestine. Fundamentalism is nothing to do with Islam and Muslim; you are either a Muslim or a non-Muslim. Muslim children suffer from identity crises because their parents teach them Islam and their schools teach them something else. There must be a positive co-relation between school and home, otherwise, children will suffer academically, spiritually , socially and emotionally. They are also unable to develop self-confidence and self-esteem.

    You better teach your children in your own schools and let migrant communities teach their children according to their needs and demands. British Establishment and society should concentrate on the evils of their own society and stop trying to change the way of life of Muslims. Muslim community does not want to integrate with the British society, indulging in incivility, anti-social behaviour, drug and knife culture, binge drinking, teenage pregnancies and abortion. Prince Charles, while visiting the first grant maintained Muslim school in north London, said that the pupils would be the future ambassadors of Islam. But what about thousands of others, who attend state schools deemed to be “sink schools”? In education, there should be a choice and at present it is denied to the Muslim community. In the late 80s and early 90s, when I floated the idea of Muslim community schools, I was declared a “school hijacker” by an editorial in the Newham Recorder newspaper in east London. This clearly shows that the British media does not believe in choice and diversity in the field of education and has no respect for those who are different. Muslim schools, in spite of meager resources, have excelled to a further extent this year, with couple of schools achieving 100% A-C grades for five or more GCSEs. They beat well resourced state and independent schools in Birmingham and Hackney. Muslim schools are doing better because a majority of the teachers are Muslim. The pupils are not exposed to the pressures of racism, multiculturalism and bullying.

    There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This mean the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam’s teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline, structure and boundaries. Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their needs and demands.
    London School of Islamics Trust

  9. JzkAllah khair for sharing your thoughts with us. I am perhaps more interested in the pragmatic side of this discussion. Some adults have bad manners, while others have good manners. If you put their children in the same school the ‘good’ chlidren are affected by the bad manners of other children. Unless the tarbiyah throughout the school is excellent enough to override the bad manners (& indeed language, ideas, etc.) that children pick up from their home and out-of-school environments, this will continue to be the case for many children. Islamic schools and Muslim teachers face this enormous challenge everyday, but the opposition is immense. May Allah make it easy for them.

  10. brother usman, i am interested in education as an outcome rather than wealth. Hence, i decided to home-school my kids. Alhamdulillah

  11. Excellent food for thought masha Allah… this is probably going to polarise some people but I am interested in seeing what the nuanced grey-area-dwellers have to say on this

  12. Thus really is a pointless article. That does nothing except make people who run and send their kids to muslim schools feel guilty.

    Muslims will and always had different levels of wealth. Rich and poor. This is not wrong or right – it’s just how it is and it is not a sin to be rich.

    • he did not say it is wrong to be poor. look around the world whats happening. we need to think about the whole picture. i can carry on but dont want to go into debate. For me, excellent article.

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