Is the promotion of mutual respect and tolerance incompatible with the faith ethos of some schools?

A post I wrote for my university’s blog a while back. More joys from ACE; almost every link leads to a PACE scan.


Jonny Scaramanga

The Government has repeatedly affirmed its support for faith schools and parents’ right to pass on their religious beliefs. At the same time, standards for independent schools, announced last year, require the promotion of “mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”. Has the government considered cases where the promotion of respect and tolerance is incompatible with the school’s faith ethos?

Media reports have emphasised extremism in Muslim schools, but my research indicates that some evangelical Christian schools are also preaching intolerance. I am researching the approximately 50 Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) schools in the UK. Belief in the eternal damnation of unbelievers is part of ACE’s statement of faith.

In cases like this, where religion makes exclusive truth claims, other beliefs are necessarily seen as inferior. Evangelical Christianity views other religions as at best ‘man-made’ – in contrast to evangelicalism’s God-made Truth –…

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About jonnyscaramanga

I grew up as a Christian fundamentalist in the UK. Now I am writing a book and blog about what that's like, and what fundamentalists believe.

Posted on May 24, 2013, in Accelerated Christian Education, Education, Faith Schools. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. We must tackle religious fundamentalism and extremism in schools.

  2. Ahmed Deedat

    Friendship with Non-Muslims

    Do not befriend non-Muslims
    O you who believe! do not take for intimate friends from among others than your own people; they do not fall short of inflicting loss upon you; they love what distresses you; vehement hatred has already appeared from out of their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater still; indeed, We have made the communications clear to you, if you will understand.
    Qur’an 3:118
    O ye who believe! Take not for friends unbelievers rather than believers: Do ye wish to offer Allah an open proof against yourselves?
    Qur’an 4:144
    O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.
    Qur’an 5:51
    O Ye who believe! Choose not for guardians such of those who received the Scripture before you, and of the disbelievers, as make a jest and sport of your religion. But keep your duty to Allah if ye are true believers.
    Qur’an 5:57
    There is for you an excellent example (to follow) in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people: “We are clear of you and of whatever ye worship besides Allah: we have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred for ever,- unless ye believe in Allah and Him alone”: But not when Abraham said to his father: “I will pray for forgiveness for thee, though I have no power (to get) aught on thy behalf from Allah.” (They prayed): “Our Lord! in Thee do we trust, and to Thee do we turn in repentance: to Thee is (our) Final Goal.
    Qur’an 60:4
    Forsake your non-Muslim family members
    O ye who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your brethren for friends if they take pleasure in disbelief rather than faith. Whoso of you taketh them for friends, such are wrong-doers.
    Qur’an 9:23
    You shall not find a people who believe in Allah and the latter day befriending those who act in opposition to Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their (own) fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kinsfolk; these are they into whose hearts He has impressed faith, and whom He has strengthened with an inspiration from Him: and He will cause them to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding therein; Allah is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him these are Allah’s party: now surely the party of Allah are the successful ones.
    Qur’an 58:22
    Only pious Muslims where Muhammad’s friends
    ‘Amr b. ‘As reported: I heard it from the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) quite audibly and not secretly: Behold! the posterity of my fathers, that is, so and so, are not my friends. Verily Allah and the pious believers are my friends.
    Sahih Muslim 1:417
    Using the Qur’an, Umar kicked a Christian out of Medina
    (And if any among you befriends them, then surely he is one of them.) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Umar ordered Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari to send him on one sheet of balance the count of what he took in and what he spent. Abu Musa then had a Christian scribe, and he was able to comply with `Umar’s demand. `Umar liked what he saw and exclaimed, “This scribe is proficient. Would you read in the Masjid a letter that came to us from Ash-Sham” Abu Musa said, `He cannot.”
    `Umar said, “Is he not pure Abu Musa said, “No, but he is Christian.” Abu Musa said, “So `Umar admonished me and poked my thigh (with his finger), saying, `Drive him out (from Al-Madinah).’ He then recited,”
    (O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends…) Then he reported that `Abdullah bin `Utbah said, “Let one of you beware that he might be a Jew or a Christian, while unaware.” The narrator of this statement said, “We thought that he was referring to the Ayah,
    The Prohibition of Taking the Jews, Christians and Enemies of Islam as Friends
    Tafsir Ibn Kathir
    A man follows the religion of his friend
    Narrated AbuHurayrah: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend.”
    Abu Dawud 41:4815
    Only stay with Muslims
    Narrated AbuSa’id al-Khudri: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Associate only with a believer, and let only a God-fearing man eat your meals.
    Abu Dawud 41:4814 , See also: Abu Dawud 41:4832
    Whoever joins a polytheist is like him
    “Whoever joins a mushrik and lives with him is like him”
    Abudawud 2787
    Do not take enemies as friends
    “O you who believe! Take not my enemies And your enemies as friends offering them (Your) love even though they have disbelieved in that Truth (i.e. Allah, Prophet Muhammad and this Quran) which has come to you.”
    Sahih Bukhari 59:572:1
    Muhammad was sent to stop friendship with Jews
    Some Muslims remained friends with the Jews, so Allah sent down a Qur’an forbidding them to take Jews as friends. From their mouths hatred has already shown itself and what they conceal is worse
    Ibn Ishaq p.262
    Ibn Kathir
    Allah forbids His believing servants from having Jews and Christians as friends, because they are the enemies of Islam and its people, may Allah curse them. Allah then states that they are friends of each other and He gives a warning threat to those who do this”
    The Prohibition of Taking the Jews, Christians and Enemies of Islam as Friends
    Tafsir Ibn Kathir
    Allah prohibited His believing servants from becoming supporters of the disbelievers, or to take them as comrades with whom they develop friendships, rather than the believers.
    . . .
    Allah said next, (unless you indeed fear a danger from them) meaning, except those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda’ said, “We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them. Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, “The Tuqyah is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.
    The Prohibition of Supporting the Disbelievers
    Tafsir Ibn Kathir
    Ibn Taymiyah
    “Imitation generates friendship and love, and regarding them as allies in the inside, just as loving them on the inside generates imitating them on the outside.” Allaah tells us that there is no (true) believer who takes a kaafir as a friend, for whoever takes a kaafir as friend is not a believer. Imitation on the outside implies that a person loves (the one whom he imitates), and so it is forbidden.”
    Non-Muslim Religious Celebrations and Ruling on participataing
    Ibn Taymiyyah
    “The Qur’aan, Sunnah and ijmaa’ (scholarly consensus) all indicate that we must differ from the kuffaar in all aspects and not imitate them, because imitating them on the outside will make us imitate them in their bad deeds and habits, and even in beliefs, which will result in befriending them in our hearts, just as loving them in our hearts will lead to imitating them on the outside[1]
    Ibn Taymiyyah
    Saed Abdul-Rahman
    These text indicate that muslims should not settle amongst the Kuffar in their country and that he is obliged to move from those lands to muslim lands. An exception is made….
    Islam: Questions and Answers – Alliance and Amity, Disavowal and Enmity, p.49
    Muhammad Saed Abdul-Rahman
    Offering condolences to a kaafir if one of his loved ones – a friend or relative – dies. There is a difference of opinion among the scholars concerning this issue. Some of the scholars say that it is haraam to offer condolences to them, and some say that it is permissible. Some of them added further details and said that if that serves an interest, such as the hope that they may become Muslim and it may ward off their evil which could not be done except by offering condolences, then it is permissible, otherwise it is haraam. The more correct view is if that offering condolences to them is regarded as a kind of honouring them, then it is haraam, otherwise we should look at what is in the best interests.
    Islam: Questions and Answers – Alliance and Amity, Disavowal and Enmity, p.27
    Muhammad Saed Abdul-Rahman
    Ahmad Sirhindi
    Shariat can be fostered through the sword.
    Kufr and Islam are opposed to each other. The progress of one is possible only at the expense of the other and co-existences between these two contradictory faiths in unthinkable.

    The honor of Islam lies in insulting kufr and kafirs. One who respects kafirs, dishonors the Muslims. To respect them does not merely mean honouring them and assigning them a seat of honor in any assembly, but it also implies keeping company with them or showing considerations to them. They should be kept at an arm’s length like dogs. … If some worldly business cannot be performed without them, in that case only a minimum of contact should be established with them but without taking them into confidence. The highest Islamic sentiment asserts that it is better to forego that worldly business and that no relationship should be established with the kafirs.

    The real purpose in levying jizya on them is to humiliate them to such an extent that, on account of fear of jizya, they may not be able to dress well and to live in grandeur. They should constantly remain terrified and trembling. It is intended to hold them under contempt and to uphold the honor and might of Islam.
    . . .
    Whenever a Jew is killed, it is for the benefit of Islam.[2]
    Muhammad al-Munajid
    With regard to non-Muslims, the Muslim should disavow himself of them, and he should not feel any love in his heart towards them: [Quotes Qur’an 60:1 & Qur’an 60:4]
    But this does not mean that a Muslim cannot interact with them in a nice manner that will encourage them to enter Islam, so long as that is within the guidelines of sharee’ah, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): [Quotes Qur’an 60:8]
    The Muslim should strive hard to call non-Muslims to Islam through all possible permissible means, in the hope that they may benefit from that and respond, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): [Quotes Qur’an 16:125 & Qur’an 41:33]
    [The fatwa goes on to quote the following Islamic scriptures:…Muslim narrated in his Saheeh (2674); Qur’an 4:97-98; Abu Dawood narrated in his Sunan (2645); al-Tirmidhi narrated in his Jaami’ (1640); Ibn al-Qayyim said in Tahdheeb al-Sunan (‘Awn, 7/304); Abu Dawood (2787); al-Haakim (2/141); Imam Ahmad (4/365); and al-Nasaa’i (4177)]
    These texts indicate that the basic principle is that the Muslim should not settle among the kuffaar in their countries, and that he is obliged to move from those lands to the Muslim lands. An exception is made from that if his staying there is necessary, but necessity should not be blown out of proportion. If the Muslim has to be with them (the non-Muslims) physically, he should not be with them in his heart, and he must avoid mixing with them unnecessarily…
    …Something else that will help you to stop mixing with non-Muslims is to remember that these kaafirs – even though they may have good manners and some good qualities – also do a number of seriously wrong things, any one of which is sufficient to nullify any good deeds that they may do. Among these evil things is the belief of the Christians – for example – that God is one of three (trinity), as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): [Quotes Qur’an 5:73]
    The other kaafir nations all attribute partners to Allaah, or else they do not believe in God at all.
    The kuffaar in general do not believe in the Qur’aan or in the message of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), rather they reject the Qur’aan and they reject our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him); so how can a Muslim be inclined towards them with their kufr and misguidance?
    Even if they give you some of your rights by treating you nicely, they do not give Allaah His rights and they do not give the Qur’aan its rights and they do not give our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) his rights. The rights of Allaah and His Book and His Prophet are more important than our personal rights. Remember this, for this is one of the things that will help you to hate them and regard them as enemies until they believe in Allaah alone, as mentioned in the aayah quoted above (interpretation of the meaning): [Quotes Qur’an 60:4]
    Being friends with non-Muslims
    Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 11793
    It is permissible to accept a gift from a non-Muslim because he is a relative or neighbour, or for the purpose of softening his heart and calling him to Islam, but it is haraam if it is done as an act of friendship or love, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
    “O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Awliyaa’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Awliyaa’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyaa’), then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allaah guides not those people who are the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust)” [al-Maa’idah 5:51]
    Ruling on accepting food and sweets from a kaafir
    Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 128632
    In this verse [5:51] Allaah tells us that whoever takes the Jews and Christians as friends is one of them because of his taking them as friends. Elsewhere Allaah states that taking them as friends incurs the wrath of Allaah and His eternal punishment, and that if the one who takes them as friends was a true believer he would not have taken them as friends. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning)
    Taking non-Muslims as friends
    Fatwa by Shaykh al-Shanqeeti

  3. jesuswithoutbaggage

    Wow! I spent some time looking at the ACE curriculum list. I expected much of it, but the literature courses did not include much genuine literature; sixth grade social studies was unbelievable; and “Investigates the order of the Illuminati” in government class?

    Thanks for this resource!

    • Investigates the order of the Illuminati? Even I’d never noticed that! Thanks Tim. Dammit, I feel like I should order some government PACEs now for lolz, but I’ve already set myself not to give ACE any more of my money if I can help it.

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