Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Recent Media

Link to Today interview about the Camden Islamic School protest

Link to Muslim school articles in the Telegraph today -


Please note important corrections: I did not say that:
a) I was the consultant for the Camden Islamic school - I consult generally on Islamic education
b) I did not say that 3 more schools are planned, only that there is a capacity for about another 3 Muslim schools


Simon said...

assalamu alaikum,

I"m just posting a comment here hoping that you could clarify your position on something that was mentioned in the DT article about islamic schools in sydney.

the DT article says:

"Forum on Australia's Islamic Relations vice-president Silma Ihram said the push to open new schools was important for establishing Australian imams."

with respect, dont you think this is going to give the public the impression that these schools are actually religious madrassahs as opposed to primary and secondry schools? isnt this a slightly misleading and potentially inflammatory statement (or piece of reporting, if its not the message you were trying to convey!)

Personally i dont think these schools will have any effect on imams being trained in this country. Proper religious education to train someone to the level where they are a real imam or sheikh is not the domain of primary or highschools and is probably something that we do not have the facility for here in australia (i.e the breadth and depth of qualified scholars).

The article seems to give the impression that you're saying these schools are going to be aussie versions of the university of al azhar or something similar. (that may not be what you meant, of course.) I hope you realise the importants of our future religious leadership having religious training that goes well beyond what could be offered at these schools.

anyway, jazakallahu khairan for any response.. sorry if theres been any misunderstanding or bad reporting (its the DT after all!). Barakallahu feeki for your good work and thankyou for your time.

Your bro in islam


Silma said...

Thanks Simon - very valid point.
You're right that supporting Muslim schools and talking about training Australian Imams at the same time runs the risk that people think that this is the purpose of Islamic schools. In fact, that's not my intention. I am very concerned that most of our young people are still pretty ignorant about the correct teachings of Islam - and those students educated in public schools will have greater ignorance in most cases. These ignorant Muslims who feel angry at society or are fired up by some radical Imam are more likely to become fodder for terrorist causes (IF such radicalism comes to exist in Australia).
At the same time, the importance of having Australian trained Imams is critical for the future leadership of the Australian Muslim community - and until now, no one is really addressing the issue.
Thanks for the comment