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Not Only Faith Schools

I just watched Faith School Menace1 and as you can probably tell from the length of this, I am appalled by almost every opinion displayed by the religious 'educators' featured. Here’s partly why... About 20 minutes into the programme, Richard Dawkins is informed by the headmaster of Madani High School, that the students are "thinking critically, understanding the world in a very critical fashion." All well and good you'd think but then a group of Muslim girls, school pupils, displayed their complete misunderstanding of evolution and their teacher was, appallingly, similarly handicapped by her faith based perceptions. The poor befuddled Muslim science teacher could not answer a simple question about evolution. "If we evolved from apes, why are there still apes?" SHE COULD NOT ANSWER! Dawkins enlightened...
"It's not that we've evolved from chimpanzees. Chimpanzees and we have evolved from a shared ancestor who lived about 6 million years ago and who was neither a human nor a chimpanzee."
I, a mere layman, with only state comprehensive science education could answer the question but her students had obviously never heard the explanation before which, of course, they could not have, because they are being mis-educated in a Muslim school by a 'science' teacher who clearly did not know her subject.
But WHY did she not know?
Seems simple. Because she is Muslim? I can only assume her own Muslim schooling had never included the full answer, her Islamic tutors had deliberately concealed the most important information because of its faith destroying nature. That would be bad enough, but she is a 'science' teacher, surely she should have come across the reality of evolution in her further education? Apparently not.
Her disgusting display of ignorance was a disgrace to the teaching profession. If this is an example of Muslim education, I can only pity those under its totalitarian control.
We can only assume that all other faith schools have a similar policy of misrepresenting the facts to suit what their church wants them to mean, so check these numbers… There are usually about ¾ million kids in each UK school year. The programme told us 1 in 3 schools are faith based. Therefore UK faith schools are producing a couple of hundred thousand deliberately mis-educated students EVERY year! In the Muslim school featured in the show, the totally unashamed teacher happily admitted that all of her 60 pupils had come to the opinion that evolution was false. I felt sick. Had she, a Muslim, never heard of the scientific method, or its pioneer, the Muslim scholar Ibn al-Haytham (965 - 1040). More disturbingly though, neither the teacher nor the headmaster seemed to have any idea that they were misinforming their students about the facts of reality.
That’s the facts of reality mind you! You know, the really important stuff!
And this is because, as we all know, the purpose of a Muslim school is not to produce properly educated adults who understand what it is to think rationally but merely to produce good Muslims. Might I point out here that we in the free thinking democracies have always mistrusted regimes that prohibit and limit knowledge and information, currently Communist China, North Korea and Tehran, and previously, Nazi Germany and the old USSR instantly spring to mind. Totalitarian regimes control their population by delivering to their people only the version of reality that matches the leaders' agenda. Mis-education is key for the longevity of the regimes control and it is done because all totalitarian regimes are fearful of full comprehension. In Faith School Menace Islam has clearly displayed its method of retaining power, the nuts and bolts of how it delivers its brand of totalitarian fascism to its children. Let me make it clear here though, I am making the same statement for every faith school. All faith schools present evolution as opinion (which it is not) rather than fact (which it is) and they do this because full comprehension destroys all totalitarian systems, not just the novel the Qur’an!
Makes you wonder...
When so many of our fathers and grandfathers died fighting against exactly this style of non thinking, why are UK politicians in favour of embracing Islam?

However, before I'm accused of the anti-Islamic stance, which I do take, but by no greater degree than against any other groundless method of social control, let's press on with an example from a 'secular' comprehensive from just a few years ago.

Disturbing teaching practice is not only limited to faith schools.

I was recently in conversation with a 20 year old woman. I have known her for the whole of her life and when she was primary school age I considered her potentially one of the most inquisitive and analytical minds I'd ever met. Anyway, we were discussing the concept of wishing and she said she believed in wishing. I was astonished. She had gone through GCSE's! She must have been taught the basics of science! Surely! "You know of the scientific method?" I asked.
After a moment, she remembered "Oh yeah we did that once."
Once!! I thought, this is the scientific method! It's not an 'oh yeah and some scientists work like this' type of concept! The scientific method explains how rationality works; it is the core of science! I persevered… "You know... it goes something like 'postulate, experiment, evaluate, re postulate'?"
She looked blank then remembered. "Oh yeah, yeah, that's what it was about! That’s what we did, everyone did it. And everybody came out with different comprehensions, so that proved that scientists can be wrong and they are only telling us their opinion, and most scientists are paid to tell us what their employers want us to know."
I was gobsmacked.
It concerned me greatly that this young woman with a very sharp mind had obviously managed to draw the wrong conclusions from the point of the lesson. To be honest, the more I thought about it the more furious I got, but it wasn't the fault of the student it was the fault of the teacher. Instead of taking the opportunity to teach the students that the scientific method which, in essence, is a foolproof way of how to think rationally, a key way of testing the validity of any concept and, I'd suggest, a valuable life lesson for the class, the teacher had chosen to deliver the twisted message - "you can't trust scientists, they make it up to suit themselves."
How many teachers overlay their ‘need to believe’, even if only subconsciously, onto the way they teach the lesson? And as a result, how many children are leaving science class with the mis-comprehension that evolution is only an opinion? When the truth conflicts with the dogma that the teacher likes to pretend in, can any science teacher, that is also a person of faith, be relied upon to tell the whole truth? They are capable of pretending in god after all! The poor regulation of science means that the deluded (religious) who enter teaching are delivering a view of reality which is equally as skewed towards the paranormal as the Muslim school of the show.
Perhaps science teachers’ opinions should be removed from the classroom and they should be prohibited from straying from the full evidence.
Perhaps, for the teaching of evolution, the curriculum should be set at government level, and by an expert like maybe, Richard Dawkins?



And now, thanks to our lilly-livered, politically correct politicians we are going to have more faith schools!!
We Are So Doomed!

As a final thought, does anyone else see a similarity in the words of the Buddha and the scientific method? Seems to me that the scientific method is merely the Buddha's words applied to scientific study.
Siddhartha Gautama [Buddha] 400 BC Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason, and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, accept it and live up to it.
I've been quoting this for years but at some point I've lost the link to where on the internet I found it. (If you know, let me know). However, it's bullet points of the Criterion for Acceptance from the Kalama Sutta The best explanation of the Kalama Sutta I've found is here.
Faith School Menace - Originally broadcast on Wednesday 18 Aug 2010 9pm on More4. You may be able to Watch it here but it’s not available everywhere. More Commentary on the Faith School Menace independent schmusing metro A further article on the human rights of children in faith schools Here
This is one of the Too Many Questions
PEACE
Crispy
1Faith School Menace - this a link to UK 4OD - it may not work for everyone.
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If you enjoy what you read here
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