This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Talibanisation of British Childhood

Last November, on the steps of Tate Britain, I witnessed a scene that troubles me still.

A furious Asian father was shaking his young son and tearing up the picture his child had drawn.

The boy kicked and cried. Recognising my face from TV appearances I had made as a commentator on current affairs, the father came across to say 'hello'.

So I asked him what his child had done that had made him so angry. He explained that according to his Islamic mentors, drawing pictures of people was forbidden.

I was flabbergasted. After all, this was in the middle of Britain's multi-cultural capital - a modern metropolis, not some dusty backstreet in Kabul. What harm can there be in a picture?

So I asked the man if he owned a camera. 'Yes,' he replied. 'And a video camera.'

So why, I asked, was it acceptable for him to take pictures, but not for his child to draw a stick figure?

'The madrasa teacher told me children are not allowed to,' he said, referring to the places of religious instruction for Muslim children, which are the equivalent of Sunday schools for Christians.

'I am not an educated man, so I must listen to them.'

Read more:

TAGGED: CHILDREN, EDUCATION, ISLAM, RELIGION


RELATED CONTENT

James Shapiro goes after natural...

Jerry Coyne - Why Evolution Is True Comments

James Shapiro goes after natural selection again (twice) on HuffPo

Oklahoma high school valedictorian...

NBC Staff - NBCNews.com Comments

Oklahoma high school valedictorian denied diploma for using 'hell' in speech

U.S. Should Adopt Higher Standards for...

- - Scientific American Comments

Teachers, scientists and policymakers have drafted ambitious new education standards. All 50 states should adopt them

Delhi Charter School: Stop...

Petition - change.org Comments

Delhi Charter School: Stop Discriminating Against Pregnant Students!

Parents shun school religion

Jewel Topsfield - The Age Comments

The group representing parents in Victorian state schools has joined teachers in calling for controversial religious instruction classes to be scrapped during school hours.

Acid attacks, poison: What Afghan girls...

Allie Torgan - CNN Comments

There were at least 185 documented attacks on schools and hospitals in Afghanistan last year, according to the United Nations. The majority were attributed to armed groups opposed to girls' education.

MORE

MORE BY YASMIN ALIBHAI-BROWN

Christianity deserves better worshippers

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown - The Independent 92 Comments

Blair-Hitchens head-to-head

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown - Independent 66 Comments

The two faces of modern America

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown - The Independent 20 Comments

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Licentiousness...

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown - The Independent 229 Comments

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: If only I could...

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown - The Independent 100 Comments

What do these atheists understand of...

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown 113 Comments

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment