Apartheid tag is wide of the mark

9th October 1998 at 01:00
In a typically misleading statement ("Funding bid for Muslim secondaries", TES, September 25), Birmingham councillor James Hutchings describes discussions about an aided Muslim secondary school in the city as "building apartheid".

This is a wholly inappropriate use of an emotive word, suggesting as it does state-enforced discrimination and separate but unequal development.

Any Muslim school within the state system would offer parents of all faiths and none a choice that doesn't exist at the moment, a choice that increasing numbers are asking for. Nobody would or could be forced to attend such a school, as the word "apartheid" implies, and for Mr Hutchings to say that "social unrest" would result suggests an agenda beyond the usual brief of an education spokesman, even one belonging to the Conservative party.

Come clean Mr Hutchings: if you are against Muslim schools, be honest and say so, but don't try to blame them for the social ills that affect us all.

Ibrahim Hewitt. Development officer. Association of Muslim Schools of United Kingdom and Eire. I Evington Lane, Leicester

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today