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Petition: Keep Our Masjids and Madrassas Independent and Free From Government Interference

14th October 2015

Speaking in Manchester at the Conservative Party Conference, David Cameron told delegates:

“...in some madrassas, we’ve got children being taught that they shouldn’t mix with people of other religions; being beaten; swallowing conspiracy theories about Jewish people."

“So I can announce this today: if an institution is teaching children intensively, then whatever its religion, we will, like any other school, make it register so it can be inspected.”

“And be in no doubt: if you are teaching intolerance, we will shut you down.”

We the undersigned jointly declare the following:

1. That Cameron has misrepresented what occurs at maddrassas to pander to the right-wing of his party. Sadly in the current growing anti-Islamic environment it's become a trend amongst politicians to whip up support from within their party as well as amongst certain sections of society by exaggerating and playing to people's fears of Islam and Muslims.

2. That such statements are irresponsible and will foster fear and hatred towards Muslims and their institutions. This may result in mosques and maddrassas being attacked and thus endangering the safety of those children and adults who attend these places.

3. We believe that the British government are unduly encroaching upon the legitimate right of Muslims to teach their children their faith. This has been done lawfully for decades in the UK. Our teachers have to be DBS checked and they undergo training in safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults

4. Sadly with the fiasco over the Trojan horse issue which the select committee of the House of Commons found to be non-existent except one incident of one teacher who made an inappropriate remark in the staff room, we feel that such a measure of forcing maddrassas to be registered will be utilised by certain agenda driven politicians to push forward a"state sanctioned" Islam. Again this is unacceptable and is akin to the type of actions totalitarian governments like China undertake towards its religious minorities. Expecting them to register and then have their seminaries and places of worship constantly monitored.

5. We therefore believe that Maddrassas should remain independent and free to teach Islam in a lawful manner as they currently are. We reject any proposals to register Maddrassas, believing it to be a waste of time and playing politics with the Muslim community to appease anti-Islamic sentiments amongst certain sections of society. It's not appropriate nor necessary and Muslims have been teaching Islam in a lawful and productive manner for many years in the UK. Any improvements to the process should be developed by the Muslim community themselves.

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The Keep Our Masjids and Madrassas Independent and Free From Government Interference petition to Publish Online was written by Bradford Dawah Centre and is in the category Religion at GoPetition.