Who's going to influence who?
This might be the multicultural rage, but will the British schools show them what western society is all about...or will they bend over backwards to accomodate the madrassahs???
BRITISH schools are to be twinned with madrasahs in Pakistan to show pupils there how much they have in common with children in the West and to combat extreme Islamist ideology.Why isn't the plan designed to broaden the Pakistani children's understanding of western culture?
The British Council is to put £6m into linking British schools with classrooms in countries where children may be at risk of being groomed by Muslim extremists. The programme will operate in Afghanistan, Iraq, Indonesia and Pakistan, including the largely lawless North West Frontier Province, regarded as a stronghold for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Last week British teachers met groups from Pakistan to discuss establishing the first collaborative projects this spring. A madrasah in Peshawar and one in the Swabi district are among those preparing to take part in the programme, which will involve 220,000 pupils in Britain, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan alone.
The role of madrasahs in fostering extremism came under scrutiny after it emerged that one of the suicide bombers behind the explosions in London on July 7, 2005, had attended a religious school in Pakistan. Shehzad Tanweer spent two months at a madrasah in Lahore in 2004.
Most religious schools in Pakistan are moderate, serving poor rural families, but others have a reputation for preparing young men for jihad, or holy war. Pakistan has an estimated 14,000 madrasahs, compared with only 137 at the time of partition from India in 1947.
The British Council, which is funded by the Foreign Office to promote British culture and education abroad, aims to link all schools in Britain with a school overseas by 2012. The UK’s 30,000 schools will receive grants to conduct community projects with their “twins”.
Although the plan is designed to broaden British children’s understanding of poorer cultures,