The Telegraph reports that parents should be banned from pulling their children out of religious education classes because they are preventing students from learning about Islam, the Church of England has warned.
Derek Holloway, the Church’s lead on religious education (RE) policy, said that those with “fundamentalist” religious beliefs are “exploiting” laws which give them the right to withdraw children from the lessons, in order to stop them from learning about the Muslim faith.
“Youngsters must learn about other religions and world views so that they know how to get along with people from different backgrounds and beliefs,” Mr Holloway said.
“RE lessons, along with other school subjects, can help efforts to combat extremism and foster better community relations”
Mr Holloway said that the right to withdraw students from RE lessons “perpetuates the myth” that the classes are in some way linked to collective worship, when in fact they contribute to a “broad and balanced curriculum” by teaching children about a range of faiths and beliefs.
“Through RE teacher social media forums and feedback from our RE advisers, I am aware that some parents have sought to exploit the right to withdraw children from RE lessons,” Mr Holloway told the Press Association.
“This is seemingly because they do not want their children exposed to other faiths and world views, in particular Islam.
“This is not confined to any one particular religion or area of the country. “
Have you seen evidence of this in your school? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or on Twitter ~ Tamsin
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