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Passion Islam I September 2008 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 9
UK Muslims condemn Israeli
closure of al-Aqsa Foundation
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) offices in Umm el Fahm last weekend. Maghariba Quarter of Masjid Al Aqsa
condemned Israel’s closure of the al-Aqsa The closure, ordered by Defence and its systematic desecration of Islamic
Foundation and seizure of thousands Minister Ehud Barak, came after it accused cemeteries in the holy city.
of historic documents which preserve extremist Israeli settlers in Jerusalem of Bari said that Muslims were also
the heritage of the Islamic and Christian defiling more than 20 ancient tombstones deeply shocked by reports that certain
sanctuaries in Jerusalem. in the Ma’man Allah cemetery just outside Israeli rabbis have issued a fatwa calling
“We urge the British government to the holy city. for the murder of the prominent Palestinian
intervene and ensure all the confiscated “If any one was ever in doubt of leader Shaykh Raed Salah and plans to
documents and stolen money are returned Israel’s nefarious intentions this act clearly launch a rocket attack on Masjid Al Aqsa
immediately to their rightful owners,” confirms their long-standing ambition to during Ramadan.
Britain’s mainstream Muslim organization change the religious character of occupied MCB, he said, fully supports the calls by
said. Jerusalem,” said MCB secretary general Palestinian leaders for an urgent meeting
“We regard the silence of the British Abul Bari. of the OIC and Arab League to discuss
government on these developments The closure coincided with the 37th the deteriorating situation in Jerusalem.
unhelpful and morally inexcusable,” it said anniversary of the Zionist arson attack The latest Israeli outrage was a “gross
following hundreds of Israeli police and on Masjid Al Aqsa and linked with Israel’s provocation to Muslims everywhere,” he
security officers storming the foundation’s continued settlement activity in the said.
Faith schools in UK unite against
renewed smear campaign
A coalition of over 6,000 faith schools in It comes after Accord, a new group of results, within a caring atmosphere
Britain have joined together to rebut a humanists, secularists and others chaired that nurtures the whole student as an
renewed smear campaign claiming that by a Jewish rabbi, Jonathan Romain, individual.
religious schools are discriminatory and a urged the government to stop state-funded “European Human Rights legislation
divisive force within society. faith schools engaging in what they say is guarantees the rights of parents to
This latest attack, based on “discrimination.” schooling compatible with their religious
unspecified ‘research’, does a disservice Unlike previous campaigns, it stopped and
to the huge value that faith schools add to short of calling for the closure of faith- philosophical beliefs,” it also said.
our state education sector and the extent based schools but for a changes in Faith schools make up around a third of
of appreciation that parents and students practices, claiming that segregating the 21,000 in England, the overwhelming
have for these schools,” they said. children on religious grounds harms majority are Christian and have existed
The rebuttal was made by community cohesion. since their foundation.
representative leaders of Church of But the joint rebuttal said that faith The campaign against religious
England, Catholic, Methodist, Jewish, schools, which tend to score better in schools has often been linked to the
Muslim, Sikh and Hindu state- funded examinations than secular schools, approval of the first state-funded Muslim
schools in Britain. consistently deliver excellent academic schools in the past decade.
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