This important book draws together and integrates several strands in educational policy. It offers a perspective on the role of Britain’s increasing Muslim population, and the need for Citizenship Education for all school pupils which can allow young Muslims to integrate in ways which meet their legitimate needs for expression of religious values, and which fosters tolerance in both Muslim pupils and in their peers, as well as responsible participation in the wider democracy.
The book explains clearly the meaning of education and citizenship in Islam, and argues that the practice of Islam encourages its adherents both to tolerate other religions, and the societies in which Islamic minorities have settled. In this account, there is no logic, morality or theological support for violent acts against the state. However, increasing Islamophobia, misdirected against Muslim youth in Britain, has forced a reappraisal of identity. This combined with increasing dissatisfaction of Muslim parents on the failure of mainstream schools to tolerate the religious aspirations of their children, has led to the setting up of a number of Muslim schools in Britain.
Recent government actions to introduce Citizenship Education in all schools as a means of fostering tolerance and countering political apathy are evaluated in a study of five “best practice” Muslim schools, and five similar schools serving a wider religious population. Results show the general success of Citizenship Education in the Muslim schools studied, and support the argument that Islamic education can support Citizenship Education in socially productive ways.
While focussed on Britain, this book is an important comparative study of education, sociology and social policy, and deserves to be read by trainee teachers, undergraduates, and policy makers in the fields of education and social planning.