British PM David Cameron vows to close down Muslim schools teaching anti-Semitism
Addressing the annual Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to investigate and close down Islamic religious schools teaching children anti-Semitic beliefs.
He said, “Let me be clear: there is nothing wrong with children learning about their faith, whether it’s at madrassas, Sunday schools or Jewish yeshivas. But in some madrassas (Islamic schools) we’ve got children being taught that they shouldn’t mix with people of other religions, being beaten, swallowing conspiracy theories about Jewish people.’’
“These children should be having their minds opened, their horizons broadened — not having their heads filled with poison and their hearts filled with hate. So I can announce this today: If an institution is teaching children intensively, then whatever its religion, we will, like any other school, make it register so it can be inspected,” he said.
“And be in no doubt: if you are teaching intolerance, we will shut you down,” he added.
The Prime Minister’s Office said that the new inspection regime would apply to an estimated 5,000 religious institutions offering eight or more hours of study a week to children in England, including Christian Sunday schools and Jewish yeshivas as well as up to 2,000 madrassas.
Many of these offer teaching within places of worship, but others are conducted in homes.
At present, these institutions are not required to register with the authorities and are not subject to inspection.
Cameron made tackling anti-Semitism a priority in the campaign that led him to a strong victory in May’s general election. He said he would be“heartbroken” if “people in the Jewish community thought that Britain was no longer a safe place for them.”