Members of a local education body believe “integration issues” in Thurrock, Essex, are fuelling the rise.
ESSEX – Parents in Thurrock, Essex are removing their children from lessons about Islam and preventing them from visiting mosques on school trips, according to a report published by a local government, BBC reported.
“SACRE is aware that some schools in Thurrock have experienced these tensions directly. For example, parents have objected to the teaching of Islam and withdrawn children from lessons and visits to places of worship,” Thurrock Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) said in a report published online.
“The outcome for those children, who arguably are those that most need to be taught about Islam, are no longer being taught about it.”
The report added: “It is not clear whether or not this is a widespread issue in Thurrock, but it is clear that SACRE needs to investigate.
“Schools have a statutory duty to promote community cohesion.”
A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain said that in today’s “increasingly diverse” society, it is “more crucial than ever to learn about each other’s faith and cultures.”
“As hostility towards Muslim communities remains widespread and more young people are brought up with inaccurate views about Muslims, we believe visits to mosques are an important way to help resolve misunderstandings,” he added.
Imam Habib Ahmad from the Colchester Islamic Cultural Association told Heart it’s important for children to learn about all religions.
“It makes it possible for people to appreciate the diversity that they have,” he said, “without having to worry about it being a problem, without having to fear it, without having to be scared of it.
“When people learn about these things – people learn about all different religions – then it becomes a lot more difficult for them to hate that religion.”
The national census of 2011 reported Muslims make up only 2.01% of the population of the local authority area.
Thurrock also registered the fourth-highest Leave vote in the EU referendum, with 72.3% voting to exit the bloc.