"Many faith schools maintain a religious ethos without this discrimination, particularly voluntary controlled schools and academies. We question what sort of faith requires other schools to discriminate against children and teachers. Our motivation is religious: we take seriously the command to love our neighbour as ourselves and believe that means we must not segregate our children from each other. Creating educational ghettos smacks of weak faith and is a poor recipe for social harmony."The letter has been produced in association with the Accord coalition, a multi-faith campaign against the discriminatory practices of faith schools, of which the British Humanist Association is a founding member. Accord's chair, Rabbi Jonathan Romain, outlined the coalition's aims back in our Nov/Dec issue – have a read if you're unfamiliar with it.
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
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In a letter to today's Times, leaders from nine different religious denominations have called on the government to "eradicate two forms of discrimination that breach human rights and are religiously offensive, yet are currently enshrined in the Equality Bill". Both forms of discrimination relate to faith schools – specifically their freedom to reject children and staff from the "wrong religion":