Bridging the education gap for British Muslims through mosques and madrasahs

Across Europe, Muslims are up to three times less likely to be employed than non-Muslims. Asim Siddiqui, member of The City Circle for the promotion of British Muslim community projects and founder of CEDAR (http://www.thecedarnetwork.com), holds that mosques and madrasahs could contribute significantly to help young Muslims in Britain achieve more. About 1,600 madrasahs in Britain educate as many as 200,000 children. They are the only place where Islamic education is available and therefore remain popular with British Muslim families, although the classes offered range from classic rote learning to a variety of subjects taught in creative ways.

CEDAR has now launched a mentoring programme in madrasahs that seeks to raise aspirations in young Muslims and introduces them to British Muslim professionals who can act as role models and contact persons for the younger. London Tawhid Mosque, for example, has tried the new scheme of experimental learning activities for the mosque’s madrasah students and other local youth. It included life mapping and a teamwork project for building a community centre for both Muslims and non-Muslims. The author claims that if used in this way, madrasahs could significantly contribute to a successful life and career of young Muslims in Britain.

Interview with an Expert on Right-Wing Populism: ‘Anti-Mosque Initiatives Tap into a Fear of Islam’

Across Europe, right-wing populist parties are gaining support by focusing on issues such as the construction of mosques. SPIEGEL ONLINE talks to right-wing populism expert Oliver Geden about the strategies used by the right and the pressure they put on the mainstream.