In its latest misguided policy, the British Government is planning to send Muslim soldiers into schools to challenge Muslim children about their patriotism rather than address the abuse, attacks and victimisation suffered following the Woolwich murder.
The Muslim News Editor, Ahmed J Versi, warned that the initiative has again failed the Muslim community at a time when mosques were being targeted with terrorist bombs. Instead the Government is giving more ammunition to right-wing extremists by treating Muslim children as potential traitors to Britain.
“It is outrageous that the Government is sending Muslim soldiers to mainstream schools to tell Muslim students in front of non-Muslim pupils that they are not British patriots. The Government is not considering the consequences of this Islamophobic action,” Versi said.
“Muslim pupils will feel they are second class citizens. Non-Muslim pupils will look with suspicion at fellow Muslim pupils, as traitors, as anti-British. Muslim pupils are already suffering Islamophobic abuse from non-Muslim pupils, as supporters of terrorism.”
Prime Minister, David Cameron, has already being under fire from the Muslim community for failing to condemn last month’s series of terrorist bombing targeting mosques during the unprecedented outbreak of Islamophobic attacks following the killing of drummer Lee Rigby in May.
“It is unbelievable that Prime Minister Cameron, who told The Muslim News during his visit to a mosque in Manchester earlier this month that the next meeting of extremism taskforce the Government will discuss the attacks on Muslims. Now he appears to have changed his mind and instead of dealing with the victimisation, the taskforce will apparently discuss about sending Muslim soldiers to schools to challenge patriotism of Muslim students,” Versi said.
“All surveys since 9/11 and more so since July 7 London bombings show that Muslims feel more British, identify more with British institutions including the armed forces than the population as a whole. Still the Government is looking at the Muslim community with suspicion.”
The plan is to be included in preparations to mark the centenary of the First World War. As part of coordinated events, some 650 Muslim military personnel are to be sent to schools to convince youngsters that it is possible to follow Islam and be a patriotic Briton.
A spokesperson for Downing Street told denied that Muslim pupils will be targeted but was not able to provide information on the initiative.
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