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Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

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Alan H
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Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#1 Post by Alan H » July 2nd, 2010, 9:21 am

From the BBC. Click here to watch the video.
Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

Hundreds of Muslim children could be withdrawn

Some Muslim parents are withdrawing children from music lessons because their beliefs forbid them from learning an instrument, it has been claimed.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said music lessons were potentially unacceptable to about 10% of Muslims.

This could equate to hundreds of Muslim children being withdrawn from the lessons, the MCB said.

It said passages from a collection of the Prophet Mohammed's teachings banned instruments.

The MCB said passages from the Ahadith collection state: "There will be people from my Ummah [nation] who will seek to make lawful fornication, the wearing of silk [for men], wine drinking and the use of musical instruments."

The Herbert Morrison Primary School in Lambeth, south London, said it had seen up to 22 children removed from music lessons.

Eileen Ross, its head teacher, told BBC London: "Some of the parents don't want children to play musical instruments and they don't have music in their homes.

"There's been about 18 or 22 children withdrawn from certain sessions, out of music class, but at the moment I just have one child who is withdrawn continually from the music curriculum."


For goodwill I allow that parent to withdraw their child from all music but I am in fact denying the child the opportunity that the other children in the class have
Eileen Ross, Headteacher

She added: "We're a very small school, we don't have a classroom to put these withdrawn children in and we don't have an extra adult to supervise them.

"For goodwill, I allow that parent to withdraw their child from all music, but I am in fact denying the child the opportunity that the other children in the class have."

Dr Diana Harris, from the Open University, has previously researched the subject and has claimed that Ofsted inspectors have sometimes turned "a blind eye" to the issue.

She said: "I feel sad because although I wouldn't want anyone to do anything against their religion, I feel there's a lot in music which gives us great joy in life and I feel sorry for children who want to be part of that and can't be and particularly when it's for reasons they don't even understand.

"Until Ofsted faces up to this, we're not going to break down the issue and sort out what really needs to happen."

An Ofsted spokesman said: "Music is an important part of any child or young person's education.

"Ofsted inspectors investigate if they become aware that any pupil's access to the curriculum is being restricted. Inspectors will always follow up relevant concerns and take action where appropriate."

Matthew Wilkinson, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said: "At a guesstimate I say it will involve about 10% of the Muslim community."

Asked if this involved hundreds of pupils, he said: "Yes, you might be looking at that sort of figure."

"The MCB wants Muslim children to take benefit of the full range of educational possibilities, including music."
Alan Henness

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1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
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Alan C.
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#2 Post by Alan C. » July 2nd, 2010, 2:28 pm

The same article is in the Guardian with some good comments.

The Muzzies really are worse than the wee frees when it comes to banning anything that might cause enjoyment, no wonder they are in a constant state of rage.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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grammar king
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#3 Post by grammar king » July 2nd, 2010, 3:32 pm

Well to be fair they're not banning anything, just withdrawing their own children.

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Dave B
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#4 Post by Dave B » July 2nd, 2010, 4:25 pm

grammar king wrote:Well to be fair they're not banning anything, just withdrawing their own children.
Which is not hugely dissimilar to atheists wanting to withdraw their kids from religious things at school. In either case it might lead the kids to modes of thought or behaviour that the parents do not wish them to be exposed to.
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Compassionist
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#5 Post by Compassionist » July 2nd, 2010, 7:00 pm

:)
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Alan C.
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#6 Post by Alan C. » July 2nd, 2010, 7:50 pm

Which is not hugely dissimilar to atheists wanting to withdraw their kids from religious things at school.
Not really a very good comparison Dave, Atheists not wanting their children's heads filled with lies and hypocrisy, hardly compares with parents not wanting their kids to learn music.
I'm reminded of the old cliché, "the wee frees don't approve of sex while standing up, as it may lead to dancing"
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Dave B
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#7 Post by Dave B » July 2nd, 2010, 8:33 pm

Alan C. wrote:
Which is not hugely dissimilar to atheists wanting to withdraw their kids from religious things at school.
Not really a very good comparison Dave, Atheists not wanting their children's heads filled with lies and hypocrisy, hardly compares with parents not wanting their kids to learn music.
I'm reminded of the old cliché, "the wee frees don't approve of sex while standing up, as it may lead to dancing"
Ah. but perhaps they think that music can lead to wearing the kind of clothes they see western kids wearing, bits of belly (all too often flopping) out all over the place or behaving like mods and rocker and punks and taking drugs and . . .

Now, the risk of religious instruction making my kids turn into raving fundies v the risk of my kids going the sex, drugs and rock-n-roll path? Hmm, tough one!

Sorry, arguing for the sake of showing that there are view points and view points. But I think I would rather my kids (if I had any that is) take the first risk than the second. Religion is easier to argue someone out of than addiction. But, tens of thousands of kids take both risks every year and it is probably only a few that suffer serious problems either way.
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Nick
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#8 Post by Nick » July 2nd, 2010, 11:42 pm

I am appalled by it. Music is such an important part of my life, it seems wicked to deprive kids of it. And when I was at primary school I was more likely to play a triangle than slip into sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. It is the narrowness of Islam which blocks a source of great joy and emotion, based on complete and utter nonsense. It's a tragedy.

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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#9 Post by Mike » July 3rd, 2010, 5:43 am

Dave B wrote: Now, the risk of religious instruction making my kids turn into raving fundies v the risk of my kids going the sex, drugs and rock-n-roll path? Hmm, tough one!

Sorry, arguing for the sake of showing that there are view points and view points. But I think I would rather my kids (if I had any that is) take the first risk than the second. Religion is easier to argue someone out of than addiction. But, tens of thousands of kids take both risks every year and it is probably only a few that suffer serious problems either way.
Dave, I am far from convinced that listening to music, or playing an instrument, will lead me into a life of drugs and sex and rock 'n' roll. If I thought that it might I would have taken it up years ago!

There is music and there is music. I am the son of a retired opera singer. My mother was a professional singer until she was in her fifties and, as far as I know, none of us were led astray as a result. Mind you, she was also religious and that did cause the odd problem. :D

Perhaps we should re-record that Cindy Lauper song and re-name it - "Moslems just wanna have fun" (Sub-titled - "But they are not allowed to")

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Alan H
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#10 Post by Alan H » July 3rd, 2010, 11:07 am

I commented on a blog post about this this morning. The blogger (a Muslim) said that "Muslim children are not put in any danger during music lessons."

I questioned whether that would be the view of the Muslim parents: presumably they see their children being harmed by music? I think we'd need to understand what their thinking was to get to the bottom of this.

I have also suggested elsewhere that any parents wishing to withdraw their child from music, should make themselves available at the school to take their child out of school for the duration, returning them at the end. However, that is not serious. There appears to be no opt-out allowed for a National Curriculum subject and I don't think the Head Teacher has any discretion over it, so the children should not be excused.

I did hear that someone thought that their kid should be excused from guitar lessons because the body of the guitar was the shape of the female body...but I suspect that was the Daily Mail version and totally unconnected with reality. Honest.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#11 Post by Dave B » July 3rd, 2010, 11:22 am

Mike wrote:
Dave B wrote: Now, the risk of religious instruction making my kids turn into raving fundies v the risk of my kids going the sex, drugs and rock-n-roll path? Hmm, tough one!

Sorry, arguing for the sake of showing that there are view points and view points. But I think I would rather my kids (if I had any that is) take the first risk than the second. Religion is easier to argue someone out of than addiction. But, tens of thousands of kids take both risks every year and it is probably only a few that suffer serious problems either way.
Dave, I am far from convinced that listening to music, or playing an instrument, will lead me into a life of drugs and sex and rock 'n' roll. If I thought that it might I would have taken it up years ago!

There is music and there is music. I am the son of a retired opera singer. My mother was a professional singer until she was in her fifties and, as far as I know, none of us were led astray as a result. Mind you, she was also religious and that did cause the odd problem. :D

Perhaps we should re-record that Cindy Lauper song and re-name it - "Moslems just wanna have fun" (Sub-titled - "But they are not allowed to")
I know this, Mike, wish there was a "tongue in cheek" emoticon, perhaps I should have used the wink, but I am not a habitual iconist. Yes, there is great pleasure in music, though I am only an occasional player of it - I have to be in a contemplative mood (often also getting on the outside of a measure of wine . . .)

Like many things music is something that can be used for many purposes, and some parents do, perhaps rightly, fear that their little darlings may get tempted into dodgy paths if they "get in with the wrong crowd." I "lost" a good childhood friend to drug addiction and criminality when he started to go to ever more extreme gigs, that was back in the very early 60s.
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Marian
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#12 Post by Marian » July 5th, 2010, 5:42 pm

I think banning children from music lessons is narrow-minded and short-sighted. (I was looking for another word I could hyphenate but it just wasn't coming to me :) ) The type of music these children are likely to learn at school is not going to be stuff like 50cent (which is all he's worth, imo); it's going to be classical music. Learning to play an instrument properly takes time ,dedication and discipline. Depriving a child of that opportunity is very sad.

I don't have a problem with parents screening the music their child listens to depending on the age of the kid. If the kid is older, maybe discussing the lyrics (if you can understand them) is appropriate but banning children from music is not going to work. They'll just listen to it elsewhere.

Dave and Mike,
I don't think music or religion in and of themselves leads to dodgy activities necessarily although both can be a source of escapism which is where, I think, the problem might lie. Escapism taken to the extreme has a higher risk of causing difficulties, imo, because life has a way of coming back at you with all it's trouble and you need more and more of the escapism to avoid it.

I wouldn't want my kid to choose religion or rock and roll as a means of escapism. Both are dangerous if one gets caught up in it to the extreme. I think of religion as a massive drug anyway.
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ASHEd
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#13 Post by ASHEd » July 6th, 2010, 12:17 am

What sort of religion actually would imply that it was forbidden to play a musical instrument?
Actually, scratch that, weren't the Puritans in on not letting people have fun?

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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#14 Post by philbo » July 6th, 2010, 1:57 pm

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said music lessons were potentially unacceptable to about 10% of Muslims.
..so it's not exactly a religious edict, is it?

ISTM there's a bunch of killjoys wanting to stop other people having fun and using religion as their lever of choice.

At my daughter's school (up to age 11), Muslim children are hugely under-represented at the performances they put on (there were none at all in one of the musicals they did, and the school is about 30% Muslim), however they're not kept out of music lessons.

But since music is part of the national curriculum, part of me really wants to say "if you don't want your children to learn music at school, then why not move to a country which doesn't require it.. alternatively, get a life and let your children have one, too"

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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#15 Post by Compassionist » July 6th, 2010, 3:09 pm

ASHEd wrote:What sort of religion actually would imply that it was forbidden to play a musical instrument?
Actually, scratch that, weren't the Puritans in on not letting people have fun?
:pointlaugh:

Wrestler
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#16 Post by Wrestler » July 10th, 2010, 3:43 pm

As far as I can tell, mainstream traditionalist Islam does hold that musical instruments are forbidden, based on hadiths like the one quoted by the BBC up there which are considered authentic sayings of Muhammad. Not many Muslims follow ALL the religious rules, or necessarily even know them. But I'm pretty sure taking children out of music lessons would be motivated by a trust in the authority of these hadiths, rather than primarily by any rationalisation about how music lessons might harm them. It's a completely different approach to that of a humanist taking their child out of an activity for whatever reason. There are so many choices that are not available to children of strict Muslim parents, particularly girls.

ASHEd
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#17 Post by ASHEd » July 10th, 2010, 7:46 pm

Wrestler wrote:As far as I can tell, mainstream traditionalist Islam does hold that musical instruments are forbidden, based on hadiths like the one quoted by the BBC up there which are considered authentic sayings of Muhammad. Not many Muslims follow ALL the religious rules, or necessarily even know them. But I'm pretty sure taking children out of music lessons would be motivated by a trust in the authority of these hadiths, rather than primarily by any rationalisation about how music lessons might harm them. It's a completely different approach to that of a humanist taking their child out of an activity for whatever reason. There are so many choices that are not available to children of strict Muslim parents, particularly girls.
Would you say this was in any way similar to puritanical beliefs?
From what I gather it seems to be the idea of enjoyment and/or luxury that will "contaminate" the "soul".
Please, this is merely speculation I know little about monotheist religions.
I just know that silk is luxury and music is generally enjoyable, and that Cromwell (Puritan) said no one have fun on "Christmas", and also the Globe theatre has been torn down by Puritans in history because generally those who go to the theatre go for fun.

Anyway, I'm just blathering now. I'll shut up.

Although, I like your comparison of the muslim and the humanist parent - in a very biased sort of way.

Wrestler
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#18 Post by Wrestler » July 10th, 2010, 9:19 pm

Islam is puritanical in some ways and not in others. The images of paradise are very decadent, for example. The reason silk and gold are forbidden to be worn by men (I've been told) is because these are considered feminine rather than because they are luxurious. Hadiths contain a load of superstitions - black dogs are the devil, step into the bathroom with a particular foot, evil eye is real etc. I wonder if the musical instruments thing could be put in that category.

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Alan C.
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#19 Post by Alan C. » July 10th, 2010, 10:22 pm

Wrestler
step into the bathroom with a particular foot,
That's one of my favorites, did they even have bathrooms in the 700s? Or is this just made up shite? (pun intended) :smile:
Just how ridiculous do the religites have to get before the rank and file say............No! this can't be right?

You put your right foot in, your right foot out, in out in out and shake it all about............................... :smile:
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Paolo
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Re: Muslim parents 'banning children from music lessons'

#20 Post by Paolo » July 13th, 2010, 1:19 pm

On a similar theme, how about swimming during Ramadan? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/stok ... 596808.stm

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