What exactly are they teaching in Religious Education classes in the UK?

Muslim-not-terrorist

My blog is mainly focused on my volunteering experiences in Honduras but after a couple of events recently in the UK I really felt a need to post about these events- and also vent my frustration. So, I got back 2 days ago from 7 days on a paradise Island and within the days I have been back in Honduras I have seen on the news stories about a girl hitting a cyclist with her car and boasting about it, and tragically today a solider being attacked in the middle of the day in London. It quickly emerged after the attack on the solider that the two perpetrators are extremists and were exclaiming ‘Allah Akbar’ as they apparently hacked the solider to death. And of course Facebook was filled with people saying ‘I hate fucking Muslims’, ‘shoot all the Muslims’ etc.

 

These views are just so shockingly out of line and it makes my blood boil. I just can’t believe that people from a country like the UK, where education is supposed to be among the best in the world, are even capable of actually believing such rubbish. The news has recently been full of the court cases of Stuart Hazell (who pleaded guilty to murdering 12 year old Tia Sharpe) and Mark Bridger (who denies killing 5 year old April Jones but the evidence looks pretty solid against him). But you don’t see people crying out about how all white men should be kicked out of the country in case they might be murdering pedophiles. There have been two recent court cases over sex gangs raping young girls – one was a group of Asian men, one was a group of white men – which do you think got a lot more media attention? And even in the case of religion, it is no secret that the Catholic church has repeatedly been discovered to commit and cover up the abuse of young boys – but you don’t have people demanding that every single Catholic must a pedophile and kicked out of the country. Because that is clearly a ridiculous generalisation. Do these people commenting on Facebook, Twitter, the Daily Mail and wherever else really honestly believe that every single Muslim person would love to kill others? Really?! No – extremists are called extremists for a reason. Islam, like all other religions is against any violence – but extremists twist what they believe in order to justify terrorists actions. After the Boston marathon attack, I read an article by a women saying she was praying that the attackers wouldn’t turn out to be Muslims because she was sick of her Muslim friends being vilified for acts that shocked and upset them as well.

 

It makes me so angry to see all of these comments and views – especially now that they are so publicly expressed and this can do nothing but spread these ignorant views. But then I realised it is not really these people’s fault that they are so ignorant to the fact that not all Muslims are extremists and want to blow people up. I realised that is the fault of the education system in the UK. We have Religious Education (R.E) classes through all of secondary school, or at least when I was at school – that is five years of teaching about religion. And yet too many people leave school with the narrow minded view that one act of violence by two people represents an entire religion. Surely 5 years of teaching about religion should be able to help students distinguish between the extremists and the ‘regular’ Muslims who just have a faith like Christians, Buddhists, Jews etc. Something really needs to be done to teach people this distinction before innocent Muslims are victimised and parties like UKIP and BNP get too much control. It will be a huge effort to change the mindsets of so many people, especially as views such as this are passed down from generation to generation, but it is something that desperately needs doing.

 

And as for the girl who boasted about committing a hit and run – where are her morals?! I honestly do not know what is happening in the UK anymore… we have so much to be thankful for and yet people are oblivious to how much we have. I saw some graffiti on my way to work yesterday – ‘we have rights’ and ‘education – it’s not a privilege, it’s a right’. People in Honduras struggle to gain proper education and are passionate about gaining it; we have the education in the UK, we’re just not using it right. Seeing pictures of the attack today, it looked like a front page from one of the Honduran newspapers. The UK needs to confront these social issues now, before the situation gets much worse. 

My thoughts are with the solider who lost his life today and his poor family, and also all those who had to witness such a cruel attack. 

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