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Last Updated: Monday, 12 December 2005, 18:09 GMT
Muslims unite in school campaign
Muslim pupils
The proposal has support from a number of organisations
Muslim organisations have formed a coalition calling for the establishment of Scotland's first state-funded Muslim school in Glasgow.

The city council plans to close Willowbank Primary in Woodlands, which has a 98% Muslim school roll.

Campaigners said the primary could be saved if it became a faith school, boosting the current roll of 76 pupils.

The council said it would not be replying to any responses to planned closures until the New Year.

Campaigner, Osama Saeed, said there was widespread support for the faith school proposal.

"This coming together of the Muslim community has never happened before in this manner, not even on the issue of Iraq," he said.

We should be allowed to have our children educated within our own faith while being fully integrated into the state system
Fariha Thomas,
Muslim Women's Resource Centre

"The council has been looking for demand amongst Muslims for a school, and we've emphatically demonstrated that today. The ball is now in their court.

Mr Saeed said it was inevitable that Glasgow would have to set up a Muslim school.

"There will never be an easier or smoother way for them to do it," he said.

Fariha Thomas, co-ordinator of the Muslim Women's Resource Centre said the Muslim community should have the same rights as other faith groups.

She said: "We should be allowed to have our children educated within our own faith while being fully integrated into the state system.

"This would put an end to the current situation where children have to make compromises in their daily school lives which can lead to identity confusion and under achievement."

The Scottish Executive said decisions on inter-faith schools were a matter for local authorities.

The proposal has the backing of organisations including Glasgow Central Mosque, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, UK Islamic Mission, the Islamic Society of Britain, the Muslim Association of Britain and the Scottish Muslim Parents Association.

Muslim groups make the case for a state-funded school

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13 Jan 03 |  Scotland

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