22 November 2010

Quilliam, the counter-extremism think-tank, has responded to BBC Panorama’s investigation into a number of Muslim schools, by saying that while most Muslim schools in Britain do good work to prepare their pupils to play a full and positive role in British society, tonight’s programme also raises a number of difficult questions both for British Muslims and for society in general.

Talal Rajab, a spokesman for Quilliam, the London-based counter-extremism think-tank, said:

‘While most Muslim schools are doing good work and are entirely unproblematic, there is clearly room for improvement in a minority of cases. Schools should be places where young people learn to play a full part in the society around them. They should not be venues for indoctrination where young minds are taught hatred and intolerance.

‘The Saudi government has recently taken much-needed steps to modernise religious education in its own country. It is unfortunate that these so-called Saudi schools in Britain do not seem to have similarly moved with the times. The Saudi authorities need to use their influence to ensure that hate-preaching is fully tackled both at home and abroad.

‘The government must also urgently review and strengthen its procedures to protect school children from being groomed by extremists, whether extreme Islamists or BNP members. The government needs to balance the right of schools to set their own curriculums against the right of children to enjoy a rounded and balanced education that adequately prepares them for life in a diverse and complex society.’


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