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Original Message
Forum Muslim Schools 
Topic a wolf in sheep's clothing 
Author Abdur-Rahman Raines 
Date Created 12/08/2006 22:27:24 
Message Salaams,

Having browsed through some of the postings by Muslims regarding Muslim Schools on this forum, it has only served to endorse further my long held belief that the whole movement for founding “Muslim” and “Islamic” schools whether state aided, or independent, is very much a wolf in sheep’s clothing, promoted and endorsed by some of the “leading lights” of the majority Indo-Pak community residing with in these Isles.

In an attempt to justify, validate, and endorse their cause, they have undertaken their crusade against the West and rejecting all its poison, by adding “Muslim” and “Islamic” to these proposed educational establishments. If we were to substitute these terms with Pakistani, or Bengali, or Gujarati, we would be nearer the mark of their real aims and objectives.

Integration with in mainstream society is the very least and lowest priority on their nefarious agendas. The ghetto mentality has pervaded through the second and now third generation of immigrant Muslims, who are fast drawing up the shutters around themselves with a siege like mentality and paranoia, in order to preserve the last vestiges of their native cultures, and all done in the name of Islam!

Her Majesty’s Government has made provision for Muslim children with in the state educational system for

i. Providing a prayer area for children to fulfill their obligatory prayers if requested
ii. Providing rest facilities during the lunch break for fasting children
iii. Providing a vegetarian alternative, and in some cases, halal school dinner
iv. Allowing girls to wear hijab and appropriate clothing
v. Including Islam with in the general syllabus for GCSE
vi. Offering a GCSE in Islamic studies

and much more. But, alas, no! This is not good enough for an ungrateful Indo-Pak Muslim population. They “demand” their “rights” in the name of “Islam” and the “British Muslim’s” of this country. Well, not in my name you don’t, and I, along with a sizable non Indo-Pak minority do not accept the self appointed representatives of British Muslims with in the UK. It begs the question, how British are these Muslims claiming to be “British Muslims”, or are they just flying under a flag of convenience?

I note that these same “British Muslims” are a lot less circumspect when it comes to accepting all the economic and material benefits which their fathers came seeking with in these Isles in the first instance, or questioning the legitimacy or morality of some of their financial dealings. They have aquired more “bling” than they would have ever dreamt possible back in their homelands.

A confident, balanced, well centered, right thinking British Muslim would act like a penicillin to the ills of British and Western society in general, proactively embracing it with all its faults, by showing, living, speaking, and breathing a spiritual and practical alternative; that no one in Truth - haqq, would be able to resist, and such true leading lights would be the cause of many jumping into the ocean of true Islam and bathing in its endless seas of Divine Mercy. Do we see such personages amongst the racist bigots from the Indo-Pak sub-continent? I don’t think so!

Whilst I have no doubt that a sizable number Indo-Pak Muslims who may take a moment to read my musings will reject them and continue to patronize me as a “ghora (whitee!) who is not a pukka proper Musalman, as he is a converted Christian angrezi (Englishman)!” I would say to you, actually no! I am a Muslim of conviction rather than birth or culture, have taken time out to read and find out some of the reasons behind so many cultural assumptions made by born Muslims, have found the road of submission (Islam) to be as broad as the sky above my head, adhab – (manners, etiquette) is not the preserve of Muslims, neither is Truth – Haqq, and am fast reaching an age where it is quit likely that I have fasted more Ramadhan’s than some of the members of this forum have walked the face of this earth. Think on it for a moment if you will.

Many salaams,

Topic Re: a wolf in sheep's clothing 
Author Spammed 
Date Created 16/09/2006 10:18:15 
Message A fine argument sir. I don't agree entirely but you make many superb points.

History is littered with aggression wrapped up in a national flag to give it some kind of justification. I think there are many British Muclims who use the phrase to truthfully show their recognition of the culture of theis country being married to their own.

But the price of democracy is eternal vigilence and maybe there are others who disguise their motives by draping the word British over their true identity. 
Topic Re: a wolf in sheep's clothing 
Author Iftikhar Ahmad 
Date Created 16/12/2011 10:47:18 
There is a positive co-relation between faith, culture and language. Faith needs culture and languages to flourish. According to a research, children who study the language and culture of their parents may achieve more and become more involved citizens. Migrant Muslims speak variety of languages. State schools as well as Muslim schools give lip service to the community languages but majority of Muslim schools completely ignore or discourage community languages. The chairman of the Association of Muslim Schools Mr.Idrees Mears, a native revert totally rejects the teaching of Urdu and other languages. The same opinion was expressed by the head of state funded Islamia School as well as by the Chairman of the Nida Trust. They are not in a position to understand the needs and demands of the bilingual children because they are themselves monolinguals. It is a well known fact that social and emotional education comes with ones own language, literature and poetry. Pakistani children suffer more than other children. They speak different languages at home and when they go to the Masajid they are exposed to Urdu and Arabic. At schools they are exposed to English and at the age of 11 are exposed to European languages. Now European languages are introduced at Primary level, but Urdu is totally ignored and discouraged by the state as well as by the Muslim schools. English, Arabic and Urdu must be introduced at nursery level so that the children can grow up with three languages. We have already lost three generation and the fourth one is in the process of losing its linguistic and cultural identity by not learning Urdu. The Muslim community is suffering because of social and cultural problems of high rate of divorce, run away young girls, low academic achievements, drug addiction, drinking, teenage pregnancies, disrespect for their parents and elders, forced marriages and honour killings. It is all because our youth are cut off from their cultural roots and languages. I blame state schools because they have never been serious in the teaching of Urdu, Arabic and other community languages.

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 DFES and OFSTEAD are not serious about the importance of bilingualism and bilingual education. Their priority is the teaching of English language. No body 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.

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 ones 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 traveled 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. They need to learn Arabic and Urdu to keep in touch with their cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of their 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.
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