Muslim Groups Accuse Government of Perpetuating Islamophobia in Schools

June 9, 2004

Source: Reuters;jsessionid=LHSCXC5SMCLPCCRBAEZSFEY?type=topNews&storyID=5383790

On June 9, 2004 Reuters reported, "British Muslim groups accused the government of Islamophobia in schools on Wednesday, threatening to spark a similar debate to that which has been raising passions in France. They said Britain's 300,000 Muslim children faced discrimination in the state education system and called for exclusive Muslim schools and more single-sex teaching. But critics said education and religion did not mix, echoing attitudes in France, which in March passed a ban on Muslim headscarves, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses in a bid to soothe tension between its Jewish and Muslim populations. The ban, due to take effect in French schools in September, has triggered protests from France's Muslims, Islamic countries and Pope John Paul. Muslim groups welcomed Wednesday's report 'Muslims on Education', which was launched by lawmaker Baroness Uddin from Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party. The report calls for Islam to be represented in the mainstream curriculum, in subjects such as history for example, and for Arabic, Bengali, Hindi and Urdu to be more widely available."