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France’s Le Pen vows to ban schools non-pork meals

25th Apr 2014
France’s Le Pen vows to ban schools non-pork meals
Eat pork or go hungry, France’s National Front leader Marine Le Pentells tells schools

 

Elham Asaad Buaras

Leader of France’s far-right Front National (FN), Marine Le Pen has vowed to stop non-pork meal options in school canteens in towns where her party won local elections.

Le Pen reignited debate about the substitution meals targeting Muslim and Jewish pupils for whom pork is forbidden.

“We will accept no religious requirements in the school lunch menus. There is no reason for religion to enter into the public sphere,” said Le Pen.

She defended the decision saying it was necessary to “save secularism”.

The FN, won control of 11 towns and more than 1,400 municipal seats nationwide in local elections on March 30, its best ever local election results.

Many Muslims view France, which is officially a secular republic despite being overwhelmingly Catholic, as imposing its values on them and other religious minorities.

France has Europe’s largest number of Muslims, some 6.5 million.

The issue of halal meat is also a controversial topic in France and has been used as a political football.

Le Pen had launched a fierce row before the last presidential polls in 2012 by claiming that non-Muslim consumers in the capital were being misled into buying halal meat.

There has been controversy in the past over whether schools and holiday camps should be required to provide halal food for Muslim children, as well as higher-profile disputes over the wearing of veils in France.

Any form of clothing linked to religious observance is banned from French state schools and since 2011 the wearing of full-face veils in public has been outlawed.

Director General of the European Jewish Association (EJA), Menachem Margolin, said Le Pen’s call “undermines religious freedom” in France and urged “all enlightened forces in France and the European Union to unite against the exclusion of entire populations from educational institutions in the country.”

“It is truly sad that in the French Republic which was founded in the spirit of Voltaire’s famous phrase: “’I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it,” there are those who wish to prevent law obeying citizens from expressing their faith in God,” Margolin added.

One Response to “France’s Le Pen vows to ban schools non-pork meals”

Iftikhar AhmadApril 25, 2014

Muslim children not only need halal meat or Eid Holidays but they need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their development period also. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.

The schools must satisfy the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural needs of Muslim pupils. State schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers are not in a position to satisfy their needs. A good school is not just a knowledge factory or a conveyor belt for churning out exam passes – it is a community, a family. A community is held together by common values and principles.

It is a common saying that British schooling is upholding British values of integration, respect, tolerance and equality. But all minority groups find British schooling is the home of institutional racism and British teachers are chicken racist. This is one of the many reason why they would like to see their children attending their own schools with their own teachers. Muslim community started setting up school in the 80s and I set up the first Muslim school in 1981 and now there are 180 Muslim schools and only 12 are state funded. Sikh and Hindu communities have set up their own schools. Now Black community is thinking of setting up schools with their own teachers.

Western media and politicians have been trying their best to propagate against Muslim schools. Muslim schools are even called Osama bin Laden Academies by a Teaching Union. Only less than 5% of Muslim children attend Muslim schools while more than 95% are in state schools to be mis-educated and de-educated by non-Muslim monolingual teachers. The demand for state funded Muslim schools is in accordance with the law of the land. Muslim community is not asking for any favour. Muslim community pays all sorts of taxes and is less burden on social services. Church leaders say it is no longer “appropriate” for them to run Sacred Heart RC Primary School which has just six Christian pupils. The school in Blackburn, Lancs, could be handed to the nearby Masjid-e-Tauheedul mosque.

The Muslim community has been passing through a phase of fourth Crusades. The battleground is the field of education, where the young generation will be educated properly with the Holly Quran in one hand and Sciences in other hand to serve the British society and the world at large. A true Muslim is a citizen of the world, which has become a small global village. We are going to prepare our youth to achieve that objective in the long run. A true Muslim believes in Prophet Moses and the Prophet Jesus and without them one cannot be a Muslim. My suggestion is that in all state, independent and Christian based school special attention should be given to the teaching of Comparative Religion and Islam should be taught by qualified Muslim Teachers to make the children aware the closeness of Islam to Christianity and Judaism which will help them to think about Islam, as “A Pragmatic and Modern Way of Life,” during their life time.

Muslim schooling is on the rise in the West. Anti-Muslim attitudes in state schools contribute to its growth. there are 240 to 250 private Islamic schools in the U.S and 188 Muslim schools in the United Kingdom and out of that 12 are state funded. The increasing enrolment in these schools reflects the religion’s growing number of Muslims and the desire of parents to shelter young Muslims from discrimination and discomfort they might encounter at state schools. But Islamic schools, like mosques and other Islamic institutions, can be viewed with distrust and even hostility. Jewish Schools in Israel teach Children about Evolution. They have a curious way of teaching it. They said the Jews were made by god and the Palestinians evolved from apes. On the other hand, Muslim schools teach children that human beings are from Adam and Eve(peace be upon them)

The demand for Muslim schools comes from parents who want their children a safe environment with an Islamic ethos. Parents see Muslim schools where children can develop their Islamic Identity where they won’t feel stigmatised for being Muslims and they can feel confident about their faith. Muslim schools are working to try to create a bridge between communities. There is a belief among ethnic minority parents that the British schooling does not adequately address their cultural needs. Failing to meet this need could result in feeling resentment among a group who already feel excluded. Setting up Muslim school is a defensive response. State schools with monolingual teachers are not capable to teach English to bilingual Muslim children. Bilingual teachers are needed to teach English to such children along with their mother tongue. According to a number of studies, a child will not learn a second language if his first language is ignored.

“A good grasp of one’s mother tongue is an essential base for a child who then has to get to grips with the language of their host country,” reckons Amelia Lambelet of the Fribourg Institute of Multilingualism. Therese Salzmann, an expert in multilingualism at the Swiss Institute of Youth and Media, agrees. “The teaching of mother tongues reinforces self-confidence and gives the child a feeling of security.” She adds that “taking account of a child’s double cultures is a determining factor in their social integration and professional success.”

It is absurd to believe that Muslim schools, Imams and Masajid teach Muslim children anti-Semitic, homophobic and anti-western views. It is dangerously deceptive and misleading to address text books and discuss them out of their historical, cultural and linguistic context. It is not wrong to teach children that Jews are committing the same cruelty in Palestine what German did to them before or during Second World War. It is not wrong to teach children that anti-social behaviour, drinking, drugs, homosexuality, sex before marriage, teenage pregnancies and abortions are western values and Islam is against all such sins. This does not mean that Muslim schools teach children to hate westerners, Jews and homosexuals.

British society must learn to respect and tolerate those who are different. God has created diverse human beings to live in this tiny global village of one family. Creation by its very nature is diverse with different species, different communities, different cultures and languages. These differences represent the beauty and wonder but diversity is sometimes not fully appreciated, resulting in all sorts of clashes. The British society and Establishment must learn to respect and accommodate others, as if in a family. A report by the Institute for Community Cohesion found that native parents were deserting some schools after finding their children out numbered by pupils from ethnic minorities. Schools in parts of England are becoming increasingly segregated. The study focused on 13 local authorities. Many of the schools and colleges are segregated and this was generally worsening over recent years. This is RACISM because British society is the home of institutional racism. A study by Bristol University reveals that a high level of racial segregation in Oldham schools and tension between communities resulted in recent riots in 2001. The solution is that those schools where Muslim children are majority, may be designated as Muslim community schools. The native parents do not want their children to be educated along with migrant children. As soon as they find that the number of other children are on the increase, they remove their children to those schools where native children are in majority.

During colonial days, British did not follow local customs or culture. They didn’t exactly “go native”. They even forced the native Americans and native Australian to adopt all the evils of their culture and customs. They are still the underdogs of American and Australian societies. At least Australian Prime Minister apologised to the natives for their evil deeds. Brits living in Spain and France don’t even bother learning the language of the new adopted country. Frankly suggesting that people don’t want to become “British” they should move elsewhere is extremely irritating. Immigrants are in UK because they are needed, it was never an act of charity. Without migration, British economy and society will bleed to death. British culture and customs will undoubtedly change as it has for millennium due to immigration. I am not quite sure why Brits would be worried about that.

You better teach your children in your own schools and let migrant communities teach their children according to their needs and demands. British Establishment and society should concentrate on the evils of their own society and stop trying to change the way of life of Muslims. Muslim community does not want to integrate with the British society, indulging in incivility, anti-social behaviour, drug and knife culture, binge drinking, teenage pregnancies and abortion. Prince Charles, while visiting the first grant maintained Muslim school in north London, said that the pupils would be the future ambassadors of Islam. But what about thousands of others, who attend state schools deemed to be “sink schools”? In education, there should be a choice and at present it is denied to the Muslim community. In the late 80s and early 90s, when I floated the idea of Muslim community schools, I was declared a “school hijacker” by an editorial in the Newham Recorder newspaper in east London. This clearly shows that the British media does not believe in choice and diversity in the field of education and has no respect for those who are different. Muslim schools, in spite of meager resources, have excelled to a further extent this year, with couple of schools achieving 100% A-C grades for five or more GCSEs. They beat well resourced state and independent schools in Birmingham and Hackney. Muslim schools are doing better because a majority of the teachers are Muslim. The pupils are not exposed to the pressures of racism, multiculturalism and bullying.

There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This mean the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam’s teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline, structure and boundaries. Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their
needs and demands.
IA
London School of Islamics Trust
http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

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Sectarianism in the Middle East and its rise in the UK, Standpoint, Sahar TV. Interview 29 May 2013 and aired on 12 June 2013


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