Faith schools – OK for Jews but not for Muslims, says Boris

Boris JohnsonThe JC interviews Boris Johnson, aspiring Tory candidate for Mayor of London:

“As mayor, I can assure you I certainly would not welcome people like Mr al-Qaradawi,” he says. But he also declines to score some easy, minority-friendly points over faith schools, which he admits he does not instinctively support.

“If I was able to start from scratch, I’d probably have an American system in which I wouldn’t allow faith to be any kind of bar to a child’s entry to a school,” he says. “But we have some wonderful faith schools and we have lots of institutions that work, we have fantastically energetic parent bodies, teachers, they get terrific results – I’m not going to monkey around with that.”

Yet he worries about schools that, without proper regulation, might encourage divisions between communities. He does not mean Jewish ones. “It’s pretty obvious what I’m talking about,” he says, rather gruffly. Indeed it is. “I do worry there are some communities, where faith schools that aren’t properly regulated and controlled could be places that encourage more division, and I want to see unity.”

Jewish Chronicle, 7 September 2007