The BBC is so stupid sometimes – so conformist and reactionary and authoritarian. There’s this piece on UK madrassas “modernizing” for example.
Most mosques have their own madrassa or religious school. Larger mosques can have a number of them, and they all form an integral part of the local community.
In close knit neighbourhoods most Muslim children regularly attend their local madrassa, in part due to peer pressure, as everyone living near the mosque does so.
See what they did there? (I say “they” even though the article has a byline, Sanjiv Buttoo, because the Beeb has a house style and this piece is typical.) See how they dressed up the situation by invoking “the local community” and “close knit neighbourhoods,” which sound cozy and loving rather than stifling and coercive? They did admit that there’s peer pressure, but they softened that blow by first tucking us into the arms of the local close knit community neighborhood.
There’s also a total failure to question the value of what is learned in madrassas.
Unlike older mosques, children sit at desks and chairs, instead of the floor,
and although everyone has to learn Arabic so they can read the Koran, classes are taught in English.
Mohammed Sarfaraz is one of the teachers who works here. He said: “It’s
different to when we grew up when we could not understand Urdu very well. In my class we all speak English as it is the mother tongue of all the students.
“The benefits are that they learn quicker and they remember more, and at the end of the day what they learn, they can put to use in their everyday lives.”
In other words they can learn The Rules as laid down by a guy who lived in the Arabian peninsula 14 centuries ago. Totes modern.