chapter  4
21 Pages

The formation of Muslim capital: Education, employment and entrepreneurialism

In recent periods, there has been much discussion about identities, achievements, faith schools, the national curriculum and citizenship. The current focus on ‘citizenship education’ is the latest acceptance of the role education can play in engendering a ‘civic morality’ amongst young people.1 It is apparent that state education systems have historically tended to reinforce the status quo, and the needs and aspirations of Muslims have only in recent periods been met by local and national policy initiatives, namely through state-funded Muslim schools since 1997.2 The latter development has created consternation in some quarters who regard their existence as a potential for ‘fundamentalism’ while tentatively acknowledging that they ought to be granted funding because of the precedents set by Jewish, Church of England and Roman Catholic schools.3 At the time of writing, there are seven state-funded Islamic schools in England (compared with forty in the Netherlands).4 This figure can be ‘compared with more than 4,700 Church of England schools, 2,100 Catholic schools, 37 Jewish and 28 Methodist [state-funded] schools’.5