SNP pledges first Muslim state school in Scotland
LONDON: The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) has pledged to build Scotland’s first state-funded Muslim school if it comes to power in May’s parliamentary elections. SNP leader Alex Salmond said he would instruct the Glasgow council, the local authority covering Scotland’s biggest Muslim communities, to ensure that Muslim parents’ demands for faith schools were met.
“We must listen to representations from within the Muslim community, in particular, and make full assessment of the demand for Muslim schools,” Salmond said. Further support was offered in the north eastern Scottish city of Dundee, where the country’s only private Muslim school was recently forced to close.
The city council’s education convener Kevin Keenan told Dundee’s Courier newspaper he shared “fairly similar views” to the SNP leader.
“I can’t comment on exactly how successful a Muslim state school would be,” he said, “but I dare say it would be welcomed in the city.”
There has been a growing campaign in Scotland, where there are about 50,000 Muslims, to follow the example of England, where a number of Muslim schools have received approval for state funding since the Labour Party came to power in 1991.
Last July, the SNP pledged that the Scottish parliament would have its first Muslim member after selecting Bashir Ahmad as its second top candidate in Glasgow for May’s elections. ppi