Multi-faith plan is a secularist plot

The Church of England has thrown its weight behind an extraordinary proposal to unite Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Hindu children in the country's first multi-faith secondary school. The plans, backed by leading figures, are aimed at transforming the image of faith-based education which has been criticised in the wake of last summer's race riots.

They hope that the 1,000-pupil school planned for the London borough of Westminster will be the first of a series of similar ventures around the country. It is described as a highly significant development, which will open the way to a new era in relations between Britain's religious communities.

Many Anglican schools already have a majority of children from other faiths. In my opinion, it is a secularist plot to undermine faith schools.

Multi-faith schools are not going to bring together children from different faiths. State schools are already multi-cultural and multi-racial, but relations between different communities have gone from bad to worse in the past 30 years.

The recent riots are clear evidence of the failure of multi-cultural education. Muslim children leave school with identity crises affecting mental, emotional and personal development.

The silent majority of Muslim parents would like to see their children attending Muslim schools. There are few such schools and they have long waiting lists.

There is no shortage of state schools where Muslim pupils are in a majority. Such schools could be designated as Muslim schools under the management and control of a Muslim educational trust or charity.

Iftikhar Ahmad London School of Islamics Trust 63 Margery Park Road London E7

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