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Save our schools doesn’t want some schools?

By johnboy - 24 August 2009 15

The Canberra Times notes an interesting change of direction for the “Save Our Schools” group.

The Government is talking about turning the Weston campus of the Canberra Institute of Technology over for use as an Islamic school.

Strangely when the government hands over unwanted facilities for Christian schools it passes without note.

But the SOS group, who have whined these many long years for disused school sites to be preserved forever as memorials to a departed era of education, suddenly want non-school uses considered.

    ”We think that the wider process that ought to be used now is to… look at a wider range of options and not just have a consultation on whether it should be suitable for a private school,” Mr Cobbold said.

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15 Responses to
Save our schools doesn’t want some schools?
housebound 11:16 am 26 Aug 09

Mike Crowther said :

…Would someone care to explain to Karim Haddad (who worked to try and set up a community school in Thawa along similar lines), that his membership of SOS makes him an Islamaphobe?

I suspect this is exactly what cuased the SOS problem in the first place. If the government can deny communities ANY school at all by refusing private schools to take up now-closed school sites, then the question has to be asked: why does this one group get special treatment? See the SOS press release: http://soscanberra.com/act-issues/proposal-to-re-locate-the-islamic-school-involves-major-policy-contradictions (google is your friend)

Rather than being racist against Muslims, the government’s actions are starting to sound bigoted against local communities that want any school.

Pandy 7:27 am 26 Aug 09

@ Ifti: Fair point quoting from a UK site, but not applicable in Australia as Islam is a minority religion. But in the Australian context it does raise some questions in regards to the proposed Weston school:

What Islamic ethos and cultural needs? Is the primary purpose of the school to teach religion? Which sect? Will it be dominated by the cultural practices from certain countries?* Will the school teach as part of its core responsibilities that they are subjects to the laws of the land and are not beholden to any man or God?

* I find it hard to not believe that muslims look at other muslims from other countries in rascists terms. It happens between Christian countries so what would make muslims anything special?

georgesgenitals 6:32 am 26 Aug 09

Ifti said :

The demand for Muslim schools comes from parents who want their children a safe environment with an Islamic ethos.Parents see Muslim schools where children can develop their Islamic Identity where they won’t feel stigmatised for being Muslims and they can feel confident about their faith.
Muslim schools are working to try to create a bridge between communities.

There is a belief among ethnic minority parens that the British schooling does not adequatly address their cultural needs. Failing to meet this need could result in feeling resentment among a group who already feel excluded. Setting up Muslim school is a defensive response.

State schools with monolingual teachers are not capable to teach English to bilingual Muslim children. Bilingual teachers are needed to teach English to such children along with their mother tongue. According to a number of studies, a child will not learn a second language if his first language is ignored.

Bilingual Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. Muslims
have the right to educate their children in an environment that suits their culture. This notion of “integration”, actually means “assimilation”, by which people generally really mean “be more like me”. That is not
multiculturalism. In Sydney, Muslims were refused to build a Muslim school, because of a protest by the residents. Yet a year later, permission was
given for the building of a Catholic school and no protests from the residents. This clrearly shows the blatant hypocrisy, double standards and racism. Christians oppose Muslim schools in western countries yet build
their own religious schools.

British schooling and the British society is the home of institutional racism. The result is that Muslim children are unable to develop self-confidence and self-esteem, therefore, majority of them leave schools with low grades. Racism is deeply rooted in British society. Every native child is born with a gene or virus of racism, therefore, no law could change the attitudes of racism towards those who are different. It is not only the common man, even member of the royal family is involved in racism. The
father of a Pakistani office cadet who was called a “***” by Prince Harry has profoundly condemned his actions. He had felt proud when he met the Queen and the Prince of Wales at his son’s passing out parade at Sandhurst
in 2006 but now felt upset after learning about the Prince’s comments. Queen Victoria invited an Imam from India to teach her Urdu language. He was highly respected by the Queen but other members of the royal family had no respect for him. He was forced to go back to India. His protrait is still in one of the royal places.

There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools with bilingual Muslim teachers. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.
Iftikhar Ahmad
London School of Islamics Trust
http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

Thanks for your contribution, an interesting read. But you realise we’re not British, right?

Granny 12:14 am 26 Aug 09

Ifti said :

Every native child is born with a gene or virus of racism, therefore, no law could change the attitudes of racism towards those who are different.

There is no gene of racism, or virus, and if there is then you are born with it also.

We have an Islamic School here in Canberra. Nobody has a problem with it to my knowledge. My daughter catches a bus with many of the kids from that school and there has never been an issue in three years.

You can try and pretend that this is about hate, but it’s not.

Perhaps it would help if you knew something about the local area on which you are commenting.

Ifti said :

There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools with bilingual Muslim teachers. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.
Iftikhar Ahmad
London School of Islamics Trust
http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

In Australia we like our public schools secular. There will never be support by the Australian people for our public schools to be designated religious in any way, shape or form.

Mike Crowther 10:46 pm 25 Aug 09

I am of the view that the first person to use the words ‘Nazi’ or ‘Racist’, has generally lost the argument. Would someone care to explain to Karim Haddad (who worked to try and set up a community school in Thawa along similar lines), that his membership of SOS makes him an Islamaphobe?

Ifti 9:55 pm 25 Aug 09

The demand for Muslim schools comes from parents who want their children a safe environment with an Islamic ethos.Parents see Muslim schools where children can develop their Islamic Identity where they won’t feel stigmatised for being Muslims and they can feel confident about their faith.
Muslim schools are working to try to create a bridge between communities.

There is a belief among ethnic minority parens that the British schooling does not adequatly address their cultural needs. Failing to meet this need could result in feeling resentment among a group who already feel excluded. Setting up Muslim school is a defensive response.

State schools with monolingual teachers are not capable to teach English to bilingual Muslim children. Bilingual teachers are needed to teach English to such children along with their mother tongue. According to a number of studies, a child will not learn a second language if his first language is ignored.

Bilingual Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. Muslims
have the right to educate their children in an environment that suits their culture. This notion of “integration”, actually means “assimilation”, by which people generally really mean “be more like me”. That is not
multiculturalism. In Sydney, Muslims were refused to build a Muslim school, because of a protest by the residents. Yet a year later, permission was
given for the building of a Catholic school and no protests from the residents. This clrearly shows the blatant hypocrisy, double standards and racism. Christians oppose Muslim schools in western countries yet build
their own religious schools.

British schooling and the British society is the home of institutional racism. The result is that Muslim children are unable to develop self-confidence and self-esteem, therefore, majority of them leave schools with low grades. Racism is deeply rooted in British society. Every native child is born with a gene or virus of racism, therefore, no law could change the attitudes of racism towards those who are different. It is not only the common man, even member of the royal family is involved in racism. The
father of a Pakistani office cadet who was called a “***” by Prince Harry has profoundly condemned his actions. He had felt proud when he met the Queen and the Prince of Wales at his son’s passing out parade at Sandhurst
in 2006 but now felt upset after learning about the Prince’s comments. Queen Victoria invited an Imam from India to teach her Urdu language. He was highly respected by the Queen but other members of the royal family had no respect for him. He was forced to go back to India. His protrait is still in one of the royal places.

There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools with bilingual Muslim teachers. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.
Iftikhar Ahmad
London School of Islamics Trust
http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

Thumper 1:12 am 25 Aug 09

I’d rather not see it bulldozed, some of the most incredible and marvellous gardens in canberra can been seen on that campus.

Do yourself a favour and go and have a look at the hort school. Lush sweeping lawns bordered by beautiful old growth trees, hidden paths that wind seductivly through lush green bowers, frog ponds that host a miriad of water life, artificial streams that slowly wind there way through thick undergrowth.

It truly is a fabilous place if you are into botany or horticulture and really, given the time it takes to establish such a place, should not be sold off to the highest bidding developer.

Oh, that’s right, this is the Stanhope government.

emd 8:03 pm 24 Aug 09

I wonder what would happen to the CIT site at Weston if the Islamic school doesn’t move in there? Would it remain a community zoned block, or would the ACT Govt have it re-zoned for residential development (ie blocks of flats)? I would much rather see a school – private, public, whatever – on a community zoned block of land than lose it to residential or commercial development.

Swaggie 4:37 pm 24 Aug 09

We had one meeting with Trevor Cobbold during the schools debacle and “band wagon the jumping on” came to mind as it did with that Foskey Moron. We never had any more to do with the pair of them. Trevor Cobbold seems to represent Trevor Cobbold, no one else.

Granny 3:02 pm 24 Aug 09

Trevor Cobbold has devoted a large part of his life to social justice issues. He most certainly does not strike me as a racist. For goodness’ sake! Could we be any more hysterical?

housebound 11:56 am 24 Aug 09

I think you’ll find that if Barr hadn’t come out so strongly against ever re-using closed schools for any educational purpose, then this wouldn’t have been an issue. Not everyone supports closing schools just for the fun of it.

Oh, and they came out just as strongly against the Christians a few years ago when one of them put in an application for Holt or Higgins – so I don’t think it is an anti-Muslim agenda.

tvf 11:52 am 24 Aug 09

I think you are taking the comment out of context. The issue is the about face on the Government’s engagement with Private Schools.

During the schools closure process, it was suggested by the community that a number of sites could be kept open as Private Schools if the government did not want to continue the Public School. This was rejected by the government – to the extent that they even changed the ACT Education ACT the night before the final closure decisions were made, to make it illegal to open another campus of a Private school without Ministerial Approval.

The question to ask with this issue is “if it is OK for the Islamic School to used unwanted Govenment Facilities, then can some of the communities request a Private School in the unwanted old school sites (which have been handed back to TAMS)?

Certainly in the round of “consultation” with Purdons about what to do with the vacant school buildings – part of the terms of reference said all suggestions would be considered EXCEPT opening of any kind of school at the site.

The Islamic School or any other group has the right to look for support in finding a space to work, in a transparent process.

It is interesting to reflect (without the agro) about whether the promises of “Towards 2020” in rejuvinating the Public Education system has actually worked. Where is the evidence of improving the quality of Public Education in the ACT? Has it stopped the drift to Private Educatiion that was its intent? After all the chest beating from the Minister about how the system will be better off, is it actually true?

Maybe better for another post.

Thumper 11:04 am 24 Aug 09

To be fair, the Weston campus of the Canberra Institute of Technology is not really a school.

But point taken.

Clown Killer 10:55 am 24 Aug 09

Are these people still around? They were hardly relevant when the Government was working through what was an eminently sensible and widely supported restructure of the ACT public education system. I would have thought that there were spaces under rocks for them to go home to.

Perhaps they’re suffering for relevance depravation syndrome and this is little more than a desperate – albeit sad – grasp at keeping their group alive.

To give them credit I like how they try to work to private vs. public angle rather than just coming out and saying that they hate Muslims.

RandomGit 10:24 am 24 Aug 09

Will the f***nuttity of cringers never end!

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