Abolishing faith schools is not the way to create harmony between different communities in the wake of the London attacks, Tony Blair has said.
The Blairs' children went to Catholic schools
The prime minister said axing Muslim schools would mean ending Catholic, Jewish and Protestant schools too.
"Realpolitik" would prevent such a move, said Mr Blair.
He said it was "perfectly consistent" in a multi-racial, multi-religious society for people to want their children educated in their own faith.
The prime minister highlighted how his own children had attended Catholic schools.
He stressed that he backed faith schools, including Muslim schools, which were part of the "proper" school system.
And he insisted the schools did not teach children to "look at children of other faiths in a bad way" and often contained some pupils from other religions.
Mr Blair said parents were attracted to such schools because they provided a "strong ethos and values".