THE Lancashire Council of Mosques has blasted proposals put forward by the government to require madrassas to be registered and inspected.
The organisation has said that the out-of-school providers are ‘hugely important’ to the community and any attempt to regulate them would see hundreds close down.
The government is currently leading a consultation into the plans which will finish on Monday.
If the proposals are introduced the Muslim supplementary schools would be forced to comply with tighter scrutiny over ‘out-of-school education settings’ such as stopping ‘unsuitable staff and ‘undesirable teaching’.
It is estimated that there are around 2,000 madrassas in the country with more than 100 located in East Lancashire.
Abdul Qureshi, the chairman of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, said: “The government is going about this in completely the wrong way.
“Madrassas play a hugely important role in the community and do a lot of good.
“We may need to improve standards here and there but that does not mean that these proposals are a good idea.
“They are normally run by volunteers and if you make it harder to set them up and run then you will see fewer madrassas.
“That could see to 100,000s of young people roaming the streets across the county which will be detrimental to the community.
“I doubt that the government or any inspector would really know how a Madrassas works and I would question how much they know about the faith teaching that is provided.
“They are not hotbeds for extremism and they help young people who attend mosques with their educational development.
“As a group we unequivocally reject these proposals.”
The Lancashire Council of Mosques is part of The Northern Council of Mosques which represents 400 mosques.
A Department for Education spokesman said: “We recognise many out-of-school education settings do a great job in supporting children’s education and development but, without proper oversight, there is a risk that some children attending them may be exposed to harm, including from extremism.
“We want to hear the views of all interested parties about how settings which children attend intensively might be required to register so that they can be inspected in a way that does not place unnecessary burdens on good providers.”
Source: Lancashire Telegraph