In a statement today, the Chairman of the Association of Muslim Schools, Ashfaque Chowdhury said,

“There is no place for extremists or the promotion of extremist views in schools. The government has, in recent years, put in place strict guidelines and requirements for all schools to promote British Values and prevent extremism. The overwhelming majority of schools, working with their governing bodies and their local community, do a good job of promoting British Values and preventing extremism, taking into consideration and respecting the human rights of parents and individual children. Parents have the right to bring up their children according to their religious belief, as long as they follow the rule of law. This includes the right to wear symbols and dress according to their faith. Isn’t tolerance and mutual respect British Values? So, what is the problem?”

“The Chief HMI says religious extremists are using schools to narrow children’s horizons and “pervert education”. Well, I would like her to outline the scale of the issue. Is this happening in all schools or is it specifically faith schools? We have over 21,000 schools England, so what proportion are we talking about? If, as the Chief HMI says, Ofsted inspectors are coming up against those who want to actively pervert the purpose of education, then what have they done about it?”

“Let’s have some numbers to see the scale of the problem so that we can all work together to rid education of extremism.”