GLASGOW – Scotland’s first state-backed Islamic primary school is expected to open soon in Glasgow, with the institution set to help young people understand the true meaning of Islam.
“We want to educate young people so they are confident and strong and understand the true meaning of Islam,” Shaykh Zoheeb Iqbal told Scotsman on Sunday, February 19.
Iqbal, who opened Little Wonders Islamic nursery in the Govanhill area of the city in 2015, said the school would teach Muslims “to respect all religious beliefs”.
“There are risks out there, particularly online, where young people can be brainwashed to think other faiths are against them, but it is our responsibility to educate them and ensure they know right from wrong,” he said.
“We would promote tolerance and teach children about other religions.”
Applying to Glasgow city for funding, the independent school is expected to open in time for the new academic year in August.
“We plan to open an independent school in August and I will be approaching the council to ask for funding. It is only fair to have Muslim schools if you have Catholic schools and other faith schools,” Iqbal said.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Any church or other religious body can ask a local authority to open a denominational school and local authorities have the provision to consider such a request under the 1980 Act.”
Scotland has about 75,000 Muslims. About 40% of them live in Glasgow.
Muslims are the second largest religious group in the country, which has around thirty mosques.