17 Jun '14

News Trojan horse: why some 'extremists' are more acceptable than others | Laura McInerney

The government's actions in Birmingham are in sharp contrast to its support for, and secrecy over, Steiner schoolsLast week, politicians and the chief inspector of schools fell over themselves to denounce Islamic "extremism" in a handful of Birmingham state schools. If you check the definition of extremism, it means to hold an opinion far outside "the norm". Hence, inspectors found schools doing extremist-y things, such as not having a tombola at a fete and using a bank account that doesn't accumulate interest Islam forbids both. In response, the media whipped itself into a frenzy, asking to what extent "because of God" is an acceptable reason for deciding school practices.It may well be that some schools did step over boundaries of what is "the norm" but Muslims in Birmingham are annoyed about the saga: they are always treated differently. To be a socially conservative Muslim, much of the recent discussion implies, is to be inches from turning into a full-blown jihadi, which is as daft as thinking that every child raised in a fervent Catholic home is about to run off and become a nun. Continue reading...

Read the full story in Guardian Education
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