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Church leaders say no to sending children to Muslim schools


Category: News

Date: 27.09.2005
Printable version


Speaking about faith schools on BBC TWO's God and the Politicians (7.00pm, Wednesday 28 September) Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, has said that he wouldn't be happy with large numbers of Catholic children going to Muslim schools.

 

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor explains that: "A number of Muslims and Jewish people are happy to send their children to Catholic schools because they understand that the ethos of those schools are.. are something which they cohere with, you know they want for their children."

 

But when asked: "Would you as the Catholic primate be happy with a large number of Catholic children attending Muslim schools?" he replies: "Well, that would be another matter wouldn't it and I would have to... I suppose the answer is... I wouldn't, because fundamentally the creed of the... of Islam is totally diverse from the creed of Christianity and while there should be dialogue between them, I wouldn't want Catholic children to be as it were, brought up in that particular atmosphere."

 

The Rt Rev Dr Tom Butler, The Bishop of Southwark, is also asked: "Would you have sent your children to a Muslim school?"

 

He responds: "No, I don't think I would because I... I. although religion is taken seriously in... in a Muslim school, I think the particular insight of Islam is... is not mine."

 

Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, is asked if he would be happy for Muslim children to attend a Catholic school.

 

He tells the programme: "Indeed I myself did my secondary education in a Catholic school, and one can see the real benefit of that.

 

"I only hope that the faith schools that are predominantly in the UK, the Christian, Jewish and others, are more inclusive nature, they're able to open up to others as well."

 

Sir Iqbal is told that the Bishop of Southwark and the Cardinal Archbishop were both very happy to have Muslim children at their faith schools, but were not happy to send Christian children to Muslim schools.

 

He adds: "I think this is the difficulty which we have that what is good for myself and my children should also be seen to be good for others as well.

 

"And as much as we are all professing that we have to have that understanding of each other, it is important this should be also put into practice."

 

Speaking about the increasing number of faith schools, A.C. Grayling, Professor of Philosophy, Birkbeck College, says: "This is all part of multicultural idea but the risk of course is tremendous because it sort of ghettoises faiths and there are some parts of the country where the communities have been so divided as a result of faith based schooling that the problems that have risen from it have been very great."

 

Paul Goggins MP, Home Office Minister for Faith and Race Equality, says: "Well I'm a big fan of faith schools, I think they add tremendously to the richness and diversity of our society."

 

Notes to Editors

 

If any of the above is used it should be credited to: God and the Politicians, BBC TWO, 7.00pm, Wednesday 28 September.


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Category: News

Date: 27.09.2005
Printable version

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