Joint Community Effort to Promote Interfaith Understanding Through Education

17 May 2010

The Muslim Council of Britain’s `Books for Schools’ project will be launched in Norfolk at the University of East Anglia Islamic Centre at 4pm on Tuesday 18 May, 2010. Following a national launch in 2004 and several other regional launches, this initiative aims to deliver Islamic resources to primary schools in Norfolk, promoting a better understanding of Islam alongside other world religions.

Muslim Aid, one of the UK’s largest Muslim international relief and development charities, has sponsored 100 mini packs for primary schools in Norfolk as part of its UK Development Programme.

Muslim Aid Chairman, Sir Iqbal Sacranie said `One of the key purposes of the National Framework for Religious Education is to increase public understanding and confidence in the way Religious Education is delivered in schools. This is a great opportunity for government and community bodies to join together to discuss how this can most effectively be implemented. Promoting understanding is essential in broadening our appreciation of different faiths.`

Alison Thompson, Chair of Norfolk SACRE, said: `The importance of Religious Education being taught in schools is well recognised, being seen as a tool for developing appreciation & respect between different sections of our society. We are grateful that these new teaching resources will allow children to learn more about Islam, increasing their understanding in an ever changing world.’

Masoud Gadir Muslim Chaplain at UEA and President of Norwich and Norfolk Muslim Association added: `I very much welcome this joint initiative in Norfolk schools. There is a great deal of ignorance about major faiths, resulting in dangerous and destructive myths. The use of the new materials will help develop understanding and encourage community cohesion throughout Norfolk.’

Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: `We believe education is the key to creating a vibrant and considerate society. These resources, developed by our team of educationalists, aim to overcome the barriers to the teaching of Islam experienced by so many of our teachers, by making available creative, engaging and child-friendly resources on Islam and Muslims. We want to ensure that every school child has access to high quality Islamic resources through their schools.’