Faith schools – they’re no threat at all … unless they’re Muslim

Charles Moore 2Charles Moore argues that the history of Christian faith schools shows that they represent no threat at all to social cohesion, and that the government was mistaken in proposing a compulsory quota system. He continues:

“So what is behind all this anxiety? The answer, of course, is Islam…. There are said to be about 115 Muslims schools now seeking state money, on top of the half-dozen that already receive it. Most people do not like the idea of Muslim schools acquiring this status, but few, except Lord Baker, dare say so. In order to euphemise the problem, the Government thought up a general rule to apply to all religions, and so prevent the Muslim expansion that it fears. You could call it the veil wagging the dog.

“People are right to worry. Unlike church schools where, in the great majority of cases, the Government can deal with the clearly recognised command structures of bishops, Muslim schools have no such central authority. Sunni Islam is as fragmented as extreme Protestant sects: it will be very hard for the people paying out the taxpayers’ money to know with whom they are dealing.

“The more fundamental problem lies with the state of the religion itself. Just as, once upon a time, it was the case that being a Catholic in England put great strain upon your loyalty to the nation, so in Islam today. Although most Muslims seem pleased to be British, polls also show significant minorities who support or condone terrorism. Many repudiate the way of life, even the language, of the host nation.

“That is why the Archbishop of Canterbury is wrong to equate the wearing of a cross and of the veil. The first is not intended, in most cases, as an angry statement of difference. The veil is…. Inside Islam is a strong strand, currently growing stronger because of the propaganda of the radicals, which believes in ‘territoriality’. Such Muslims – for example, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, whom Mayor Ken Livingstone greets as a hero – reject the legitimacy of all non-Islamic society. They regard what they call ‘man-made’ laws as non-operative. Only the laws of God apply, and these laws, expressed in the Sharia, should turn our land Muslim by imposition. It would seem mad that people who believe such things should get state money to teach our fellow citizens.”

Daily Telegraph, 28 October 2006

From which you can only conclude that Moore hasn’t hasn’t made the slightest effort to acquaint himself with Qaradawi’s views. But why go to the bother of studying a subject when it’s so much easier just to rely on ignorant bigotry?