Friday, 26 December 2014

Let us not challenge - Trojan Horse schools were doing their best!

Many times if opinions and comments are left unchallenged they are perceived to be accepted as genuine outcomes of issues. A month ago I met a lady who works as a teacher in one of the local primary school not far from the Park View School in Birmingham. She firmly believes it was unjustifiable to label the schools inadequate which were investigated after the letter with details of plans seeking to introduce Islamist was leaked. Her opinion rests on the presumption that some of the schools helped under-achievers gain the required higher grades necessary and this outcome in due time would have helped in raising the standard of the school too. She sympathized with the teachers who came under scrutiny after the OFSTED carried out inspection and also felt it was grave injustice to widen the investigations as some were labelled wrongly to be part of this plot.

Due to the seriousness of the outcomes, rightly or wrongly the nature of the investigations and media scrutiny were overwhelmingly extensive and broad based. Those who already believe that racism occurs from deliberate targeting of alien beliefs in society, view this negatively. And many commentators were quick to point out on twitter and in newspapers that schools introducing Islamic ethos are no different from other faith schools where Catholicism and Jewish faith are introduced to children in order to enhance their religious knowledge. Similarly many have argued that there is nothing wrong with segregation which was encouraged in the Trojan Horse schools because old independent schools like Eaton and Harrow have been practising it over much longer period of time and producing overall best results academically and nurturing students of high calibre.

For a gullible person these reasons will seem arguably justifiable enough to believe there was some deliberate attempt to derail the schools encouraging Islamic ethos. But let us examine the opinion that Trojan Horse schools are no different from other independent schools where girls and boys are taught separately. My ten year old daughter out of her own admission wants to go to a ‘girls only’ school, because she believes boys are aggressively competitive which makes it harder for girls to outshine. This view cannot be a deliberate enforcement of religious dogma. If many of the independent schools in Britain are Christian faith schools too, the evidence of discrimination towards pupils of other faiths is hardly there. Ethos of religious education taught in these schools does not give rise to mindset which is extremist, dogmatic and narrow-minded. Islamic education system taught in schools world over have yet to match parallels with British education system where direct religious teachings are not conflicting with principles of independent thinking and progressive outlook.

If Islamic education is based on the teachings of Quran and Haadith, how is it possible to separate the concept that non-Muslims are inferior in status and virtuosity is superior to intelligence!

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