CAIRO - Plans to open a free Muslim school in West Yorkshire are being put on hold over claims of extremism after a leaflet was circulated warning parents of being sent into hell.
We take any form of extremism very seriously, a spokesman for the Department for Education told The Daily Telegraph.We are investigating and if these serious allegations are confirmed we will not hesitate to take appropriate action.
Muslims were planning to open a free school in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in September by the Northern Lights Educational Trust group.
But the opening was put on hold after claims that a leaflet was distributed suggesting that parents would go to Hell if they did not participate in the new primary school.
If it was said to us If you do not attend this meeting your child will die' I am certain we would all make sure that we attend the meeting, reads a leaflet promoting a meeting with families.
What I am about to address â¦ is even more serious than death and that is for us and our children to be safe on the Day of Judgment.
There have been several incidents recently where children in various settings have been forced to do things against Islam.
The leaflet has sparked concerns among local officials about community cohesion.
David Whalley, head of learning at Calderdale Council, has sent a letter to the Department for Education warning about the rise in issues being reported regarding uniform for Muslim pupils and Muslim pupils participating in musical activities in school.
Local MP Linda Riordan and the Calderale Council have also warned that the school plans could harm community cohesion, prompting authorities to put plans to open the school on hold.
We will not take this project further until these matters are resolved, the spokesman said.
The Department carries out due diligence checks on all Free School proposals to make sure that only suitable people are able to set up and run Free Schools.
School officials have distanced themselves from the leaflet.
The proposed school would welcome children of faith and non-faith backgrounds independent of their social and cultural heritage and was fully committed to... supporting all community cohesion endeavors, Sara Noor from the Northern Lights Educational Trust told Yorkshire Post.
Officials have also denied any links to hard-line views, reiterating commitment to British values that are common to people of faith and non-faith backgrounds.
Noor said the claims about uniform, music and Christmas were misleading.
She said there would not be a uniform policy specifically for Muslim pupils and the school would have dedicated weekly provision for music for all pupils.
Children will also learn about a variety of religious celebrations including Christmas, she said.
Similar to all other state schools, parents will have the right to withdraw their children from any religious activity, as this is their statutory right.
Noor stressed that the school had widespread local support from a variety of ethnicities.
No concerns have ever been raised by the police to the Northern Lights about its work, she said.
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.8 million.
There are 400,000 Muslim students in British schools, according to the umbrella Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).
About 7,000 state schools in Britain are faith schools - roughly one in three of the total - educating 1.7 million pupils.Of the 590 faith-based secondary schools five are Jewish, two Muslim and one Sikh - the rest are Church of England, Roman Catholic and other Christian faiths.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net