To my mind there’s nothing at all wrong with teaching children that different people believe in different deities or religions. It’s helpful, in my view and in my experience, to know what different people believe, as it can sometimes aid understanding. Therefore teaching a child dispassionately about different religious beliefs isn’t that much of a problem for me. After all understanding your neighbour is often a good way of being at peace with your neighbour.
Religious Education in schools is a sensitive and sometimes controversial matter and because RE is a contentious issue, means that the broadly secular state schools should not be engaging in the promotion of any individual religion and should certainly not be in the business of promoting Islam in particular. There have been a number of incidents reported by various outlets, including this site, of schools that have crossed the moral and ethical line when it comes to Islam and have gone from dispassionate and honest teaching, into outright Islam promotion.
The latest incident to catch my attention is a pretty vile example of rampant Islam promotion to twelve year olds by a school near Sunderland in England’s North East area. According to press reports a father became enraged when he saw that his stepdaughter’s homework contained the instruction ‘write a letter to your parents explaining why you have converted to Islam’. The parent of the child, who attended Kepier School in Houghton Le Spring near Sunderland was so horrified to see that this appalling bit of Islam promotion being aimed at his child, that he refused to let his stepdaughter complete the homework task.
What Kepier School under it’s headteacher Mrs Cooper has done, is that they have crossed the line that divides honest teaching from dishonest indoctrination. I applaud the gentleman who is angry about this inappropriate propaganda aimed at vulnerable children and his stand against this monstrous bit of Islamopandering by the school. I also think that the parent has done the right thing in getting the media involved in this case as the publicity that this case is gaining it makes it less likely that the school will try to intimidate or punish either the parent or the child for objecting to this disgraceful act of propagandising for Islam to British children. The Daily Mail is giving this case some prominence on its online pages and I excerpted some of that story below. As is usual policy for this blog the original text from the Daily Mail is in italics whereas my comments are in plain text.
The Daily Mail said:
A furious stepfather has refused to let his 12-year-old stepdaughter finish her homework after she was asked to write a letter to her family about becoming a Muslim.
He has refused to let his stepdaughter, who he has asked not to be named, complete the task after failing to see what the letter would accomplish.
Mr McLachlan said: ‘I know as part of the national curriculum they have to learn about all religions.
I just don’t see why they should ask a child to write a letter addressed to their family about converting to another religion. I really just don’t see what the letter will gain.
‘If they want children to learn about Islam, then go teach them all about it and its history.
Like this parent I also can’t see what this sort of task accomplishes and it could probably do more harm than good. If I was sending my child to a school that professed to be secular in nature I would not accept the school telling my child to imagine converting to any other religion and especially not Islam, primarily because of the hostile and hateful nature of Islamic theology. This looks very much like the school promoting Islam rather than giving their pupils an honest warts and all description of it.
The Daily Mail article continued:
‘What I don’t want is a school asking my stepdaughter to look into reasons for converting to another religion.
‘Like every parent, it is our decision on how we raise them and once they are old enough to make decision, then it is their choice.’
Agree there, religion education is a parents choice and not the schools and most definitely not if that school is secular.
The article added:
Mr McLachlan visited the school to raise his concerns and was told that this was part of the curriculum and was shown example exam questions for Islam, Christianity and Hinduism.
The school has tried to wriggle out of the scandal by pointing out that other religions are dealt with in this way, but ultimately this sort of question is unacceptable no matter what religion the child is being asked to write about. I think the parent did the right thing in this case in challenging the school as for far too long the Leftist dominated education system in the United Kingdom, has been engaging in some seriously worrying pro-Islam activities. This Islam promotion is starting to cause much concern among British parents who are removing their children fro RE lessons in droves. This phenomenon has so worried the promoters of multiculturalism in our established church that some want parents forced to send their children to RE lessons and be indoctrinated with lies about Islam, lies such as ‘Islam is a religion of peace’. Some senior figures in the Church of England, a church wedded to the failing ideology of multiculturalism, want the right of parents to remove their children from RE to be taken away. The church’s RE advisor, Derek Holloway said that as parents are removing their children from RE in order to stop them learning about Islam and that to prevent parents from receiving instruction on Islam, the right of parents to take their children out of RE lessons should be removed. Derek Holloway writing on a Church of England blog said: “Sadly, and dangerously, the right of withdrawal from RE is now being exploited by a range of ‘interest groups’ often using a dubious interpretation of human rights legislation.
“The right of withdrawal form RE now gives comfort to those who are breaking the law and seeking to incite religious hatred”. What an arrogant crock of shit that statement is. Most parents, myself included would have no objection to children being told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about Islam in RE lessons, but in all too many cases we know that this is not what is happening. What is being dished up to our children in RE lessons is blatant and dishonest pro Islam propaganda and it is this dishonesty that many of us object to, not the idea that children are honestly and objectively learning about the beliefs of others.
This case is one of a number where schools have been caught out promoting Islam to the children of parents who may have justifiable reasons to dislike Islam. It also shows why good parents should be active parents where there children’s schools are concerned. If parents leave education matters entirely to the schools then they will be moulded by the schools which for me is unacceptable. For far too long and on far too many occasions schools, often packed with Left wing teachers, have been allowed to actively promote Islam. The various schools that have promoted Islam and been complained about have got away with this sort of behaviour because they allegedly engaged in intimidatory activities towards individual children and parents where objections to Islam promotion have been made.
It’s been too easy for schools to intimidate single families with threats of exclusion or social services or PREVENT involvement in order to get parents to shut up and stop objecting to the pro-Islam propaganda. This is why I believe there is a need for parents to network together so that no parent is left alone to face the wrath of the pro Islam leftists embedded in Britain’s schools when a complaint is made. Mr McLachlan comes over in the Daily Mail article as a caring parent who knows that what the school is doing is morally and ethically unacceptable and because of that has spoken up. Parents like Mr McLachlan who protest at this sort of awful and unnecessary pro Islam propaganda should be supported by the rest of us as they are fighting not only for the rights of their own children but for the rights of all our children to be educated fairly and honestly and not subjected to outrageous and pernicious indoctrination such as quite obviously occurring at Kepier school and in other British educational establishments.
Original Daily Mail story about the latest example of rampant Islam promotion going on in a school
Church RE advisor demands that parents be banned from removing their children from RE lessons
The official website of Kepier School in Houghton Le Spring