John Reid, the ex-Home Secretary has predicted that more Catholic schools are needed due to influx of East European migrants. An estimated 20,000 Polish children need schools for their faith. He highlighted the growing pressure on faith school places because of the growing number of Polish Catholic children in the United Kingdom. There is a demand for Catholic school places because 95% of Polish are Catholics. Polish ambassador to the United Kingdom said that there are now so many Polish children in British schools that they should be taught Polish language, history and culture, so that they do not find themselves cut off from their cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. Many schools are recruiting Polish teachers as role models. Churches have started Sermons in Polish language so that the Polish people can feel at home.
Muslim communities have started to arrive during the 50s, mainly from the sub-continent. They brought their cultures, languages and faith. They contributed for the British economy by paying all sorts of taxes. They built Masajid for offering prayers and community centers for the education of their young generations. Not a single politician ever thought and campaigned for state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models. Instead, Muslim children are being discouraged to learn and speak their mother tongues even at home by the politicians. Even Imams are being forbidden to use Urdu in their sermons, inspite of the fact that majority of British Muslims are from Pakistan. Bilingualism should be encouraged because it is enormously beneficial to children development. It should be introduced as early as nursery level. I believe the result would be amazing. It is absurd to send bilingual children to schools with monolingual teachers.
Muslim schools in Britain emerged as an answer to a major challenge that Muslim communities faced in the West on how to educate their children and inculcate Islamic values and morals among them. Muslim children have been suffering academically, linguistically, socially, emotionally and spiritually for the last 50 years. They have been in a wrong place at a wrong time. The state schools have become exam factories. They have no time and energy to educate children. Institutional racism, incivility, drug, crime, binge drinking, anti-social behaviour, high rate of abortion and an increase in teenage pregnancies are common part of life in state schools. Muslim parents do not want their children to be integrated into such barbarity.
Muslim children need to learn to be proud of their Islamic, cultural and linguistic Identities without fear of discrimination and bullying. There are over 500,000 school age Muslim children and only 4% of them attend Muslim schools. There is a need for more Muslim schools but they are being asked by the politicians to open their doors for the children of other faiths or no faiths. The demand for Muslim schools is immense and every school has a lengthy waiting list. Muslim communities do not have enough resources to set up schools for each and every Muslim child. There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim children are in majority, in my opinion all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools.