Dear Mrs Lisa Duffy
The Association of Muslim Schools UK is writing to express its dismay at your call for a ban on all Muslim schools in the UK in order to tackle radicalisation.
At a time when the country has seen a massive increase in hate crimes against minorities, and in particular Muslims, it is shocking that an individual seeking a position of political leadership would erroneously and grossly unfairly conflate Islam and all Muslims with terrorism and inflame tensions further by smearing the good name of important educational institutions which seek to nurture young people into becoming proud and active members of British society, who are confident in both their religious and national identity.
Muslim schools throughout the country promote Fundamental British Values and teach children that extremism and terrorism are antithetical to Islam. To claim Muslim schools radicalise children also implicates both the Department for Education and Ofsted as both are responsible for regulating and inspecting the schools in question.
We would also request that you substantiate your claim that security services are looking at 2000 individuals that have come from Muslim faith schools. This is an extremely serious accusation which we are not aware of nor can find any evidence of through open source research. It is important to understand the context of our objections to your statement about 2000 individuals being looked at by security services in relation to your call for all Muslim schools to be closed down.
The media cycle in early 2015 was dominated by the story of three schoolgirls from East London who attended a non-Muslim mainstream state school running away to ISIS held territory – yet you are not calling for the closure of mainstream state schools, only Muslim schools. We presume this is because, like us, you understand the school was not responsible for their radicalisation and that online grooming was the likely cause.
This would lead us to believe your defamation of Muslim schools is based solely on a prejudiced view of Muslims and Islam and political opportunism.
To gain a better insight into what Muslim schools teach and how we prepare young people for life in modern Britain, we would like to take this opportunity to invite you to visit a Muslim school, which we would be more than happy to arrange at your convenience.
We wish you well in your leadership campaign and hope to hear from you soon.