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News – Islam and British universities

August 2007

Islam and British
universities

A government report on how Islam is taught in British universities would if implemented signal a step towards the Islamisation of Britain’s education system, according to some Christian observers.

The report was launched by previous Prime Minister Tony Blair at the ‘Islam and Muslims in the world today’ conference, sponsored by Cambridge University in June. Its recommendations include:

1. Universities should employ Muslim scholars to teach Islamic theology: ‘Students should be given the opportunity to learn from competent, traditionally trained Islamic scholars in at least those parts of the syllabus that directly inform everyday practice of Islam’.

2. All universities must employ Muslim chaplains or advisers to deal with the growing number of Muslim students on campus. More prayer rooms for Muslims should be provided.

3. Islamic student societies should be better recognised and encouraged.

4. Universities should cooperate with Islamic schools (madrassas) and colleges (dar al-ulum) to break down the divisions between British society and the Muslim community. Universities should help madrassas and dar al-ulum. These play a key role in Muslim communities and the training of future community leaders, so need a formal link to higher education qualifications.

5. Islamic studies should be linked to job opportunities, such as teaching, chaplaincy and Islamic banking.

6. Universities should provide add-on modules in Islamic studies for all students.

7. Guidance should be given to all universities on Friday prayers, Ramadan and halal food. All university staff should receive awareness training on Muslims and Islam.
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