Some Islamic schools in Britain were today accused of teaching “fundamentalist” views in a new report which warns they could undermine the country’s social cohesion.
The report, by Right-wing think tank Civitas, claims pupils are being told to shun chess, music, cricket and even Harry Potter in material posted or linked to school websites.
It says the teaching risks encouraging some Muslim children to “despise British culture” and prepare them to live “separate lives” in “Muslim enclaves” distant from the rest of society.
The Association of Muslim Schools said the report was based on flawed research. Dr Mohamed Mukadam, the association’s chairman, said: “The author has pieced together bits of information from the internet. He hasn’t set foot in a single Muslim school or spoken to a teacher or pupil.”
Well, what can you expect, given that the author in question is none other that Denis MacEoin, who was responsible for the discredited Policy Exchange report The Hijacking of British Islam.
And if you can be bothered ploughing through 150-odd pages of MacEoin’s “study”, Music, Chess and Other Sins, it can be downloaded (pdf) here.
It would appear that this is the report that was originally going to be entitled When Worlds Collide, but even Civitas baulked at MacEoin’s assertion that 60 per cent of Muslim schools in the UK had “extremist links” and refused to publish this claim, leading MacEoin to complain indignantly, via Damian Thompson’s Holy Smoke blog, that he had been censored.
Still, let’s be fair, MacEoin does have his admirers – Daniel Pipes, for example, who has announced that MacEoin will take over as editor of the Middle East Quarterly later this year.