|Message ||Education of Bilingual Muslim Children
Human being is a product of his culture, language and faith. There is a positive co-relation between language and culture. If Muslims become notoriously monolingual Brits than there is a likely hood that they will adopt English culture. They will still be the underdogs of the British society. In the past they were victim of Paki-bashing in all walks of life by the British society in every walks of life becuase majority of them were not well versed in local accents. Now Muslim youths born and educated by British education sysytm are being victim of terrorism by British establishment. Thousands of them are being searched by Police in streets and many of them are behind the bar without any trial. A lot of Muslim youths are imprisoned by British courts on the slightest excuses. The number of Muslim prisoners is on the increase in British jails. When they come out of jail they will become real criminals and terrorists while British foreign minister has said that Muslims are law abiding and committed citizens.
I am concerned with the education of bilingual Muslim children. I set up the
first Muslim school in London in 1981 and now there are round about 140
Muslim schools and only 11 are state funded. I would like to see each and
every Muslim child to be in a Muslim school.
A study by Bristol University reveals that a high level of racial
segregation in Oldham schools and tension between communities resulted in
recent riots in 2001. The solution is that those schools where Muslim
children are majority, may be designated as Muslim community schools. The
native parents do not want their children to be educated along with migrant
chiildren. As soon as they find that the number of other children are on the
increase, they remove their children to those schools where native children
are in majority.
In the 70s, when I raised ithe issue of bilingualism and Muslim schools, I
was given the impression that British education system does not believe in
bilingualism. According to varities of studies, a child will suffer if
he/she finds himself cut off from his/her cultural and linguistic roots.
Arabic is our religious language and each and every Muslim must be well
versd in Quranic Arabic. This the main reason why I believe that Pakistani
parents must find marriage partners from Pakistan for their children.
Pakistani children and youths suffer more than others because they find
themselves cut off from the literature and poetry. Majority of them are not
even well versed in Standard English. This is the main rason why majority of
Pakistani children leave schools without goood qualification. English is
their economic language while Urdu is their social and emotional and Arabic
is their religious language.
There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim children are in majority.
In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community
schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models. There is no place for
a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.
Bilingual Muslim children have been in state schools for the last 50 years. They have been suffering from Paki-bashing. They have been unable to develop their confidence and self-esteem due to racism and bullying. This is one of the main reason why they have been unable to achieve good grades. They have been suffering from Identity Crises. They do not know where they belong. Muslim school with bilingual Muslim teachers is only the answer.