LONDON – In an attempt to crack down on religious ‘extremism,’ Britain’s Education Secretary has announced that any schools that teach creation will be stripped of government funding.
Nicky Morgan, Education Secretary of Great Britain, delivered a statement to Parliament late last month, in which she condemned the spread of religious views within British schools. Citing a recently-released report, Morgan particularly emphasized the danger of radical Islamic beliefs infiltrating Britain’s classrooms.
“There has been no evidence of direct radicalisation or violent extremism,” Morgan stated. “But there is a clear account in the report of people in positions of influence in these schools, with a restricted and narrow interpretation of their faith, who have not promoted fundamental British values and who have failed to challenge the extremist views of others.”
The report mentioned by Morgan also denounces the teaching of creation in public schools, suggesting that anti-evolution beliefs are comparable to radical Islam. One section of the report claims that creation beliefs equate to “teaching belief as fact.”
“Staff have said that creationism has been taught as fact in science lessons and in assemblies at Park View School,” the report says. “A member of staff at Park View reported that pupils had said: ‘I’m made of clay … There is no evolution.’”
Additionally, British education officials say evolution should be regularly taught to students, including young children in nurseries. For instance, one section of the report takes issue with the limited attention evolutionary theory received in one school.
“Evolution is mentioned only briefly and students are simply directed to the page in the textbook,” the report states. “A teacher who did this went on to tell students that they were looking at the textbook merely to comply with the syllabus but that ‘that was not what they believed.’”
According to a report from The Telegraph, Morgan also announced that schools with be stripped of government funding if they “promote extremist views.” As a result, schools that teach creation as scientifically valid will reportedly lose their government financing.
Although a government official stressed that Bible stories themselves will not be forced from British schools, evolutionists are praising the new pro-evolution policy.
“Win!” one evolutionist blogger glowingly wrote. “Job done. Congratulations everyone. This is our first big campaigning win.”
However, others were dismayed that British officials compared radical Islam to a belief in creation.
“I would rather Christian creation be taught in schools any day than Islamic creation as the latter use it to teach extremism,” one commenter noted.
Another contended that the teaching of creation is not at all “religious extremism.”
“This hardly equates with the hatred-filled bigotry of Islam,” the commenter wrote. “Like it or not, British values are based on biblical teachings.”
Earlier this summer, the United Kingdom government banned the teaching of creation as scientifically valid in all public schools. Government officials ruled at the time that the creation versus evolution debate could be discussed—just as long as evolution is presented as scientifically valid while creation is presented as an unsubstantiated belief.