London: Pakistani ‘imams’ visiting the country are forcing some British Muslim parents to not let their children attend ‘music lessons,’ as they claim that they are un-Islamic.
“A number of schools are allowing Muslim parents to pull their children out of classes, even though the subject is a formal part of the national curriculum,” The Telegraph quoted Dr Diana Harris, a lecturer at the Open University, as saying.
The paper says that Dr Diana, who is also the author of the book 'Music Education and Muslims', had visited schools where half of pupils were withdrawn from music during Ramadan.
By law, children are supposed to take part in all subjects and parents can only remove children from sex and religious education.
Earlier, 20 pupils were removed from rehearsals for a Christmas musical and a five-year-old girl has been permanently withdrawn from all classes, in a London primary school.
“There’s been about 18 or 22 children withdrawn from certain sessions, out of music class, but at the moment I just have one child who is withdrawn continually from the music curriculum,” Eileen Ross, head of Herbert Morrison Primary in Lambeth, where almost a third of children come from mainly Somalian Muslim families said.
“Majority of the parents are withdrawing their children because they had just learned that it wasn’t acceptable and one of the sources giving out that it is the feeling of the Imams who had come over from Pakistan, who didn’t really speak English and felt threatened” Dr Diana added.
First Published: Friday, July 02, 2010, 14:46