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UK chief rabbi supports teaching Islam in Jewish schools

British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis recommends that Jewish schools teach Islam.

In an interview with the London-based Jewish Chronicle published Wednesday, Mirvis’s spokesperson says that teaching Islam will give children the opportunity to learn about a “poorly understood” religion.

“It is more important than ever that our children have a better understanding of Islam and that we build strong relationships with British Muslims,” a spokesman for Mirvis tells the newspaper.

Ephraim Mirvis will serve as the UK's next chief rabbi. (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)
UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (YouTube screenshot)

“As such, the Chief Rabbi has recommended that schools take this opportunity to teach students Islam, a faith which is widely discussed but often poorly understood in public discourse,” the spokesman says.

Beginning in September, British schools will be required to teach two faiths as part of their curriculum in order to receive a General Certificate of Secondary Education certification in religious studies. Religious groups had lobbied against the new requirement.

Mirvis has not issued any formal guidelines on the subject.

The requirement to teach two religions was implemented by the British government as part of efforts to counter religious extremism and promote tolerance.

— JTA

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