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Joint statement: “We should respect and tolerate our differences,” say UK scholars and Imams

Over a hundred scholars and Imams from various backgrounds and schools of thought in the UK have called for true tolerance, after the row in UK schools over LGBT classes.

Amongst the signatories of the statement are Imam Suliman Gani, Sheikh Dr. Haitham al-Haddad, Mufti Amjad Mohammed, Sheikh Zahir Mahmood, Imam Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf, Sheikh Tauqir Ishaq, Imam Abdullah Patel, and Imam Shakeel Begg.

You can read the full statement and sign it below:

Joint statement of Muslim scholars & Imams on LGBT row in schools

The statement follows recent discussions surrounding beliefs about “sexuality” and LGBT issues, which has been the subject of widespread news coverage recently.

The Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) Bill will officially come into force in September 2020. As a result, every state school in England will have to teach pro-LGBT lessons to children as young as five years old.

In addition, parents will not have the right to withdraw their children from these classes in primary schools. Instead they must submit a “withdrawal request” which the school is not obliged to accept.

Hundreds of Muslim parents in Birmingham peacefully protested the actions of the senior leadership at their children’s’ schools.

The protests and demonstrations, which took place outside two schools in Birmingham, were against the mandatory teaching of LGBT classes for young children. Parents argued that the classes goes against Islam and is not age appropriate.

When asked about the rationale behind the joint statement, the organisers that launched the statement said:

“We are upset at the demonising misinformation and abuse that some parents in Birmingham and other places have received for asking for their rights, where a tiny minority of schools have not consulted and worked with parents in the propagating of values and moral positions of certain teachers or groups to the exclusion of others.”

They further added that:

“Muslims are a valuable part of the mosaic that makes up 21st century Britain, and are here to stay, God willing. We have always been happy to coexist amicably and break bread with those whose beliefs and values we disagree with. We should continue to allow different opinions to be shared without threat or one group forcing their values on another, especially children.”

The Birmingham schools where the protests and demonstrations took place were only 2 schools out of 258 in the area, the majority of who were said to have consulted and worked well in their communities, according to local MP Roger Godsiff.

The organisers of the joint statement also spoke in appreciation of the schools that ensured they consulted parents on the sensitive matter. They said:

“We are grateful and glad that the vast majority of schools have acted maturely so far and consulted with the parents of their pupils. As a result most schools have a harmonious approach to teaching value-laden subjects like appropriate vs inappropriate relationships, where one group does not dominate or force its views on another.”

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