When I was a teenager living in England during the 1960s, religion — i.e. Christianity — was still studied in the schools. I attended a grammar school in Yorkshire, and if memory serves, some of my fellow students took Scripture O-levels.
I presume all that opiate-of-the-people rubbish got thrown out when the big switch to comprehensive schools took place in the 1970s. But, after 35 years, religion is coming back to state schools in the UK, only this time it’s not the Christian religion.
According to The Daily Mail:
State school pupils are set to be taught Islamic traditions and values in compulsory citizenship lessons.
Why, you ask yourself, would anyone want to inject Islam into the official curriculum of the British public school system? Don’t they have enough unofficial Islam in the schools already?
The move — part of a package of initiatives announced by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears yesterday — is designed to curb extremism.
So that’s the reason. The teachers will tell Ahmed and Aisha what it means to be a good little Muslim, and thereafter the kids will ignore the radical sermons in the mosques, and disregard what they hear from their parents and their peers.
After all, the British state school authorities have such a good track record in installing the civic virtues into their (formerly) Christian charges. Why shouldn’t they have a go at the Muslims?
There’s a lot more information in this article, and I recommend reading the whole thing. I’ll just highlight some of the juicier bits:
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Prominent Muslims said this scheme was naive because Government endorsement would erode the credibility of those taking part, especially among the young and disaffected.
You know, I find myself agreeing with prominent Muslims for once. Whatever the schools tell them to do, chances are the kids will do the opposite.
Also, the state aims to extend its tendrils into the madrassas:
Another measure will see Muslim children being taught citizenship lessons by imams in mosque schools — in the hope that they will be better equipped to resist extremist messages.
Many Muslim youngsters in the UK attend evening classes at madrassah schools attached to mosques, where imams give instruction in the Koran and Islamic history.
The organisation, however, wants to extend its remit to mainstream state schools by ‘teaching Islamic traditions and values in the school citizenship curriculum’.
This is creepy beyond words. The sovereign government of a supposedly Christian kingdom is deliberately importing a violent alien religious ideology into its state schools so that it can be taught to children.
They’re bleedin’ loonies, the lot of ’em!
Well, not quite all of them. This fellow seems to be eminently sane:
David Conway, senior research fellow at the Civitas think-tank, said: ‘Some will see this as another sign of a creeping process of Islamisation — an insidious process which plays down the Christian basis of our culture and encourages children to learn more and more about Islam’s contribution.
‘Muslims are still a relatively small minority in Britain and, while I have nothing against children in our multi-religious society learning about each other’s faiths, for one particular faith to be privileged in mainstream schools seems to me pointless, and won’t make for greater harmony.
‘I fear it will play into the hands of the small minority who want to see the Islamisation of Europe, and believe they will triumph through sheer numbers.’
And another one:
Nick Seaton, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘We should not single out one particular faith. Citizenship is supposed to be secular.
‘It seems to me dangerous to single out the one faith which is probably linked to the most problems with terrorism at the moment for special treatment.’
And the official Islamic reaction? The program is not good enough:
Dr Azzam Tamimi, of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, said the scheme was doomed to failure.
He said: ‘This is a naive initiative. This not how Muslim education or awareness works.
‘When a Muslim individual seeks advice or knowledge he or she would usually go to a person they consider to be credible or an authority, and usually Muslims are suspicious of government-sponsored or organised commissions.’
Dr Tamimi told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme ministers were trying to dictate to Muslims over religious awareness and education.
Next step: the Government turns over the business of education entirely to the imams. That’s the only acceptable course of action.
Hat tip: DC.