Is it acceptable to allow inclusion of faith teaching in schools?
As soon as Trojan Horse made headlines many voices are trying to brush it aside by agreeing that this is yet another plot to malign the ideals of social cohesion which is dependant on religious education.
It is up to an individual’s interpretation as to what role religion can play in modifying their views and ideas. However it becomes problematic when ideals of faith are taken too seriously as to undermine the existing social structure. If schools are teaching ethical values of sharing, supporting their class fellows and obeying the rules, along with understanding how to deal with bullying it encompasses to some extent the necessary character building values for children. It should not be frowned upon as deficient and not enough to make Muslim children feel they have no essential grasp of what it takes to being a good Muslim.
Creativity which allows you to think and create using imagination and emotions has never been best friends with religion. Many Islamic schools of thoughts encourage drawings of faces without features and restrict artistic exploration within the confines of what is termed as Islamic Art. Music so essential in promoting sensory perceptions and sometimes the best aid for children of special needs can no longer be something to be taught and learned in academies and after school clubs. Dialogue to challenge ideas and question them has never been a role model for those who will frown upon the littlest disparities when it comes to following a religion.
I would like to ask families whose overriding concern is to educate their children in the best of Islamic ways, can the essentialness to wear head coverings, eating halal food and offering prayers regularly benefit their children in the practical world! Academics and a proper grounding in trying to live and exist with everyone else are compromised by trying to lay extraordinary emphasis on the religious character building.
In a globalize world is it right to expect deferential treatment on the basis of your beliefs or should you learn to live along with others without causing too much mayhem by drawing lines to portray your individual identity.