Muslim parents boycott religious classes

26th January 1996 at 00:00
Muslim parents in Batley, West Yorkshire, are refusing to allow their children to attend religious education classes because they are insufficiently Islamic.

In the biggest mass exercise of its kind to date, more than 1,500 junior school children have been withdrawn from RE lessons in 40 schools - a procedure specifically allowed under the law. It is understood that the withdrawal started at the beginning of term after advice from local Islamic scholars.

According to Ibrahim Hewitt, development officer with the Association of Muslim Schools, the parents are concerned that RE is taught by non-Muslims; that it may be inaccurate about Islam; and that it may confuse young Muslims by introducing them to other faiths.

The dominance of Christianity in the RE syllabuses has been an anxiety. "We're not saying that they should not learn about other religions, but that it should be within an Islamic context," said Mr Hewitt.

In a press release, the parents said: "Matters of religion are of a sensitive nature, particularly when children are concerned."

A spokesman for Kirklees local education authority said its officials will meet community representatives to discuss ways forward.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now