Incidents such as Hindu pupils being bullied to convert to Islam and beef being thrown at another are among some illustrative examples recorded in a new report by a UK-based think-tank released on Wednesday, warning against the prevalence of anti-Hindu hate in schools in Britain.
‘Anti-Hindu Hate in Schools’, by the counter-terrorism think-tank Henry Jackson Society, found that 51 per cent of Hindu parents surveyed reported that their child has suffered anti-Hindu hate at school. It also recorded that teaching on Hinduism was reported by some participants of the study as fostering religious discrimination towards Hindu pupils.
“This report highlights the prevalence of discrimination against Hindus in British schools, with 51 per cent of Hindu parents surveyed reporting that their child has suffered anti-Hindu hate at school,” the report concludes.
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“The findings underscore the urgent need for greater awareness and understanding of the Hindu experience in schools and further research into other lesser known types of prejudices that may be manifesting in Britain’s classrooms. It highlights the need for more specific and accurate reporting mechanisms to capture such incidents,” it notes.
Religious Education (RE) is compulsory in schools in England up to the age of 16, with the option to take it as an exam module under the GCSE curriculum. The reports analysis is based on freedom of information (FoI) requests from 1,000 schools around the country, alongside survey results from 988 parents about the experience of schoolchildren.
“This report has shone a torch on an important issue. If we have children fearful of going to school, that is not acceptable – regardless of their faith,” said Baroness Sandip Verma, during a launch event for the report.