[lg policy] Fwd: Muslim Academies

Dave Sayers D.Sayers at SWANSEA.AC.UK
Wed Nov 14 06:38:58 UTC 2012

I've never been sure why I receive circular emails from LSoI. I certainly can't vouch for their
authenticity or origin, and they're always fairly polemical, but they usually touch on language
policy in one way or another.

(Note: I'm forwarding this to the list neutrally as an 'interesting text'; I neither endorse nor
denounce its content.)


Dr. Dave Sayers
Honorary Research Fellow, Arts & Humanities, Swansea University
and Visiting Lecturer (2012-2013), Dept English, Åbo Akademi University
dave.sayers at cantab.net

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Muslim Academies
Date: 	Tue, 13 Nov 2012 22:53:33 -0000
From: 	Iftikhar ahmad <london_school_of_islamics at btinternet.com>
To: 	d.francis <d.francis at mmu.ac.uk>

_London School of Islamics     _

An Educational Trust

63 Margery Park Road London E7 9LD

    Email: info at londonschoolofislamics.org.uk <mailto:info at londonschoolofislamics.org.uk>


Tel/Fax: 0208 555 2733 / 07817 112 667

Muslim Academies

Academies bill will enable a radical overhaul of England's schools, giving every school the chance
to convert to an academy and giving parents the right to create free schools outside the control of
LAs.The new schools will drive up standards and the education would be in accordance with the needs
and demands of the parents. It will help native Brits, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and other minorities
to set up their own schools for the education of their children. It is nothing to do with
integration or segregation. Segregation already exists in British schoolings, it is not going to
widen. President Obama supports free schools in America because they have benefitted the least well
off the most. Educating children is the priority.

It is wrong to assert that a small unrepresentative group of Muslim activists tried to Islamises a
state primary school in Woking. The silent majority of Muslim parents would like to send their
children to state funded Muslim schools. They are not extremists who want to change of ethos of
those schools where Muslim children are in majority. It is the democratic right of every Muslim
parent to see that their children receive balanced education, so that when their children grow up,
they do not find themselves cut off from their cultural roots and linguistic skills. It is a
question of common sense, humanity and reason that bilingual Muslim children must be educated in
state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental
periods. The whole world believes that people who speak more than one language is a vital economic
asset. Pupils who speak more than one language do not cause difficulties. It is the politicians and
monolingual teachers who are the problems for bilingual pupils. Muslim school will help to cultivate
the child into a healthy, fully flourishing individual with a passion for learning.  There are
hundreds of state and church schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such
schools may be opted out as Muslim Academies.

Muslim schools are not only faith schools; they are more or less bilingual schools. Bilingual Muslim
children need to learn and be well versed in Standard English to follow the National Curriculum and
go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. State schools with monolingual teachers do not
teach Standard English to Migrant children. Bilingual Muslim children learn English in the
playgrounds and in the streets. They speak street language with its own grammar, vocabulary and
pronunciation. The teachers let them speak the same accent in the classroom. They have no courage to
stop them or correct them. This is one of the main reasons why one third of children have
difficulties with reading when they leave primary schools.  Majority of such children are Muslims.
In other European countries and in the sub-continent argot and slang are not allowed into the
classroom. In Britain primary school teachers do not feel that it’s their role to interfere with
self-expression in any shape or form. They encourage children to read poems and stories written in
ethnic dialects.

Muslim faith schools are more or less bilingual schools. Priority will be given to the teaching of
Standard English, Arabic, Urdu and other community languages. All Muslim children will learn and be
well versed in Standard English and Quranic Arabic and at the same time they will learn and be well
versed in one of the community language to keep in touch with their cultural roots and enjoy the
beauty of their literature and poetry. Majority of children will learn Urdu language because it is a
lingua franca of the migrants from the sub-continent. And majority of British Muslims are from
Pakistan and their national language is Urdu.

Iftikhar Ahmad

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