|The BBC, the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph have all reported on the comments of prominent scientist and atheist, Richard Dawkins who has attacked Muslim faith schools for teaching ‘alien rubbish’.|
In an interview with the Times Educational Supplement, Dawkins said that Muslim faith schools had a "pernicious influence" and that despite concerns with faith schools in general, “Muslim ones worried him the most”.
He argued that the way that young people are taught in Muslim schools could affect their thinking “right up until their university years.”
"Occasionally, my colleagues lecturing in universities lament having undergraduate students walk out of their classes when they talk about evolution - this is almost entirely Muslims,"
Responding to Dawkins’ claims, Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra from the Muslim Council of Britain stated that, "To expect faith schools not to teach this kind of religious teaching is unreasonable, but I also think it is important for faith schools to teach science to children as well so they are aware of modern day findings and can use the information to ask further questions and strengthen their faith.
"I don't believe any religious teaching prevents people from being creative and independent in their thinking."
"The results of Muslim faith schools in England in maths and science show a strong compatibility between the Muslim faith and scientific learning."
Rightly so - some Muslim faith schools in the UK have been at the forefront of academic excellence, such as the Tauheedul Islam Girls School, which not only boasts a ranking of ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, but also assisted a local non-faith school in turning around its educational fortunes. Such schools should be given due credit for their excellence in all fields, including that of science
The Daily Telegraph reporting on the TES interview, claims that “Mr Dawkins said he was not so worried about the expansion of faith schools if they were the kind that "vaguely" have a kind of Church of England-style assembly.
“But he was holding "his fire" for the ones that are teaching "total nonsense".
"There is a difference between faith schools which just vaguely have a kind of Church of England assembly and faith schools that actually teach nonsense like this school in Leicester," he said.”
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