What is Islam’s view on the separation of church and state?
Muslims want their own religion made compulsory in Scotland — and they think they can have it.
They also want the teaching of creationism in our schools, though the First Minister insists the law does not oblige.
And as we reported last week, the Islamic council of Britain wants children to be taken out and taught the Bible instead of the Qur’an.
So the latest development in this divisive dispute is a letter from a local Islamic school, the Islamic Academy of Glasgow, in which it asks the First Master of the mosque (who lives here) to consider setting up his own Islamic school.
In a sign of the divide over what the Quran means, it claims that its new school will cater for all religions — not just Islam — but will teach the same subjects as the local community school.
Its board chairman, Mohammed Akunjee, said: “I am a little concerned about our local community’s lack of knowledge of the religion of Islam.
“Our students have to learn English. We will have all the same academic standards as the local council schools.
“We are a minority in Glasgow at the moment but if we are not open, we will fall back into the ‘separate but equal’ mindset.
“We are not trying to force anyone to follow our religion or anything else. There will be no prayer in the classroom and no music or dance. All subjects will be held in their own time.”
What does it mean?
Last night the First Minister refused to condemn the letter, saying it was just one more instance of Muslims trying to get more people to accept their faith.
He insisted that the law doesn’t compel anyone to adopt the religion of the Muslims in the UK to the detriment of other faiths.
The First Minister also insisted that the mosque would continue to act as both a mosque and a community centre.
He told the Sun: “In Scotland we do welcome people from all religions — you wouldn’t have to choose between Christianity or Judaism.
“In our community we’re an integrated community — we are a mosque, a community centre, a cultural centre of the Muslim religion.
“We are absolutely open for people of any religion. The mosques in Scotland are a place of worship where people of everyone religion worship with other people of all religion or none in the mosque.”
Will he condemn it?
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