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Passion Islam I August 2008 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 11
British citizenship
lessons for young Muslims
Muslim children will be taught British alliance against violent extremists,” Ms be trained in using the new materials
citizenship in mosque schools as part of a Blears said. over the summer. The new lesson
Government attempt to keep them away “We have a responsibility to ensure that plans will be used alongside traditional
from the influence of Islamist extremism. our young people are equipped with the teaching about the Quran. The teaching
A trial of the new lessons will begin in skills they need to stand up to violent prospectus describes lessons capable of
several cities at the start of the new school extremists and this project will help them “demonstrating to young British Muslims
year in September, according to Hazel understand how their faith is compatible that their faith is compatible with shared
Blears, the Communities Secretary. with wider shared values and that being values and with being a British citizen
The initiative, designed to show young a good Muslim is also compatible with - undermining the violent extremists’
Muslims that there is no conflict between being a good citizen in the UK. argument that there is a fundamental
their religion and being British, is part of “We need to encourage and create safe conflict between the West and Islam, and
a package of measures published last places for sensible debate around issues being British and Muslim”.
month. that extremists can seek to exploit and Last month, the Government published
It also includes a new independent board make sure that young British Muslims a national “de-radicalisation” programme
of academic and theological experts, and recognise that their faith teaches shared including advice to town halls to consider
a group of community leaders to advise on citizenship vales.” mapping their areas religion by religion
local responses to tackling extremism. Officials said mosque teachers and ensuring they had systems in place
“We have made significant progress in London, Leicester, Birmingham, to remove funding or other support from
working with communities to build an Oldham, Rochdale, and Bradford would inappropriate groups.
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