Melanie Phillips provides an in-depth critique of the recent initiative in Britain to counter extremism from university courses in Islam. She says the government
is throwing a million pounds at such courses which it has designated as ‘strategically important’ to national interests, allowing tighter official scrutiny of their syllabi. This is apparently because it believes that such courses expose students to narrow interpretations of Islam and must be reformed to combat violent extremism.
Philips warns that such efforts almost always result in “a boomerang effect”:
When central government tries to shape what is taught in order to combat one vested interest or another, the new courses are invariably hijacked by those very vested interests which then become even more entrenched by government imprimatur. Thus the national curriculum was instantly captured by the very same cultural Marxists that it was aimed to confront. And so it will be with the new Islamist courses, as has already become plain.
The government recommends that Islamic studies courses be updated and include modern day practice in Britain and Europe and Britain, as well as an array of other “Muslim-friendly” measures.
It has nothing to do with addressing extremism. Indeed, it sidesteps completely the most important and pernicious element of many such Islamic courses —that Islam is not taught in the same way as other religions, as objective disciplines which place the religion in the context of its time, but as the literal word of God.
The real problem with many Islamic studies courses, Phillips concludes, is that they have forsaken academic principles in favor of religious indoctrination — with
university lecturers being forced into this, on pain of demotion or other disciplinary measures, by professors and vice-chancellors who have been intimidated by Islamist pressure and have cravenly sold academic principles down the river.
The government has handed over this initiative to “people who believe not that Muslims should integrate into British mores but that Britain should integrate into Islam.”
Sounds like a dim-witted scheme that that will only further entrench the UK’s dhimmiversities.