Inayat Bunglawala, the assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain – often trotted out by lazy journos as "Muslim leaders" when they are not elected as such by the Muslim population, but are an umbrella organisation – has a knock in a Guardian letter today at Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, of the new group, British Muslims for Secular Democracy. We reported last Friday that Alibhai-Brown had said that pandering to British Muslims is just fuelling their separation.
The government subsidises thousands of Christian schools, he says, and it's "discriminatory" to fund one lot and not another.
For a start, Bungly (as he is often referred to in readers' comments on the Guardian "Comment is Free" blog), this is nominally a Christian country – historically speaking. But the real point is that no schools that seek to discriminate on religious grounds should be paid for by our taxes, and that goes for Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Catholics, Church of England, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whatever.
When you consider that Muslim schools fail to teach tolerance, according to an Ofsted inspection report just over three years ago (have they changed since then?), should we even be contemplating allowing British children of Muslim parents – children who should be taught independence of mind and spirit along with many of their fellow Brits (or as much as the education system allows) – to be "taught" in schools that will just reinforce in them this hideous religion?
Of course, if they did have more schools, they'd be able to exercise control over every aspect of a child's choices, including whether he could grow a beard or whether she should wear a veil. Last year, this same body were bleating that kids should be given prayer rooms in state schools and separate changing cubicles, to accommodate their religious beliefs, and that teachers should "respect" the Islamic "faith".
Why? Why should teachers respect it? Why should any "faith" be given respect over and above, say, the local football team or the next geography lesson?
So yes, let's give them as many schools as their rapidly growing population demands, and see how integration succeeds.