I Storbritannia er det en tendens at muslimske barn trekkes ut av musikkundervisningen. Musikk regnes som haram – forbudt, selv om det er et obligatorisk fag. Spesielt under ramadan er fraværet stort.
A number of schools are allowing Muslim parents to pull their children out of classes, even though the subject is a formal part of the national curriculum.
Dr Diana Harris, a lecturer at the Open University, said she had visited schools where half of pupils were withdrawn from music during Ramadan.
By law, children are supposed to take part in all subjects and parents can only remove children from sex and religious education.
But Dr Harris claimed Ofsted inspectors sometimes turned «a blind eye» to the issue.
In one London primary school, 20 pupils were removed from rehearsals for a Christmas musical and one five-year-old girl has been permanently withdrawn from all classes.
The details emerged in a BBC London News investigation.
Eileen Ross, head of Herbert Morrison Primary in Lambeth, where almost a third of children come from mainly Somalian Muslim families, said some 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«There’s been about 18 or 22 children withdrawn from certain sessions, out of music class, but at the moment I just have one child who is withdrawn continually from the music curriculum,» she said. «It’s not part of their belief, they feel it detracts from their faith.»
There has been a debate in the Muslim community about music and singing, with some followers claiming that they are forbidden.
Dr Harris, author of the book «Music Education and Muslims», told the BBC: «Most of them really didn’t know why they were withdrawing their children.
«The majority of them were doing it because they had just learned that it wasn’t acceptable and one of the sources giving out that feeling was the Imams particularly Imams who had come over from Pakistan, didn’t really speak English and felt threatened.
«I think they were adhering to very strict lines about what was acceptable.
«At secondary level parents who really object to music will be withdrawing then and going to a Muslim school. At primary schools in some areas one or two permanently withdrawn but at Ramadan I’ve been to schools were 50 per cent of the Muslim student population have been removed from music class for the month.»
Muslim pupils ‘withdrawn from music lessons’
Muslim children are being withdrawn from music lessons because some families believe learning an instrument is anti-Islamic, it has emerged