A lovely faith school
BBC Radio 4 recently concluded a season entitled 'Koran and Country' and the last programme was Inside a Muslim School. Read more here or listen to the programme here (until the end of November).
The programme visited the all-girls Al-Islah school in Lancashire, where the girls are required to have all hair covered at all times.
"At GCSE the girls do Arabic and Urdu rather than modern European languages and Islamic studies rather than religious education (RE).
Music is seen as un-Islamic and there are no subjects you might recognise from a state secondary school curriculum like technology, drama or sociology."
Prayer punctuates the timetable and if a girl is caught committing the heinous crime of having long nails by a prefect, they can receive a detention. The girls said that bags are checked daily to make sure none of the pupils are carrying CDs or walkmans. If you are caught with a mobile phone, you are suspended for two weeks. Only sandwiches and one packet of crisps are allowed in a lunchbox. No sweets and no chocolate.
Girls are not forced to cover their faces, but they are rewarded if they do. The presenter asked what sort of reward to which she received the answer "if you cover your face you will go to heaven."
The school has no science lab, art room, PE facilities nor music classes. A former pupil explained how happy she was to leave as her new school had windows you could see out of and "nice qualified teachers". She said:
"I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. At Al-Islah they wanted us to say you're a Muslim first. And then you're British-born. I was confused, I was like 'I'm a human first'. It was like brainwashing."
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