Muslim schools could be a positive addition to the educational system and an effective way of integrating religious minorities into British citizenship, a Bristol University study found.
Muslims in Britain are currently subject to attention that has often focused upon citizenship and integration, with Muslim schools often seen as an obstacle to social cohesion.
The study, by Nasar Meer, research assistant in the Department of Sociology and the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at the university, said there were only seven state-funded Muslim schools compared to over 4,700 Church of England schools, 2,100 Catholic schools, 37 Jewish and 28 Methodist schools.
Muslim parents want more Muslim schools so that more aspects of Islamic culture are feature within the teaching and ethos of the school their children attend.
Muslim educators argue that one of the most effective ways to pass on knowledge about different people is through teaching. And Nasar Meer said: “Contrary to the current movements seeking a ‘retreat’ from multiculturalism, more multicultural accommodations of this kind will be beneficial.”
See also “Muslim schools make a positive contribution”, University of Bristol press release, 16 March 2007