Making sense of British Muslim parents’ objections to ‘progressive’ sexuality education

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    Statutory requirements for compulsory Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) in the UK is generating concern among many religious communities and reigniting debates about the purpose of School Based Sexuality Education (SBSE). Among the communities voicing their dissent are members of the British Islamic community. Quranic scripture deems obligatory the teaching and learning about all aspects relevant to human sexuality, however, religion, and in particular Islam, is widely viewed as hostile to sexuality education. Whilst Muslim objection to ‘progressive’ agendas in SBSE (i.e., same-sex relations, gender fluidity, pleasure and desire) is generating much attention, equal attention to understanding the Islamic theological, philosophical and epistemological underpinnings of these views, is less frequently sought. The purpose of this paper is to foreground Islamic responses to some of the ‘progressive’ topics featuring in RSE and SBSE more broadly. Using British printed media sources and Critical Discourse Analysis, this paper aims to make sense of British Muslim parents’ objections to ‘progressive’ sexuality education. A more concerted focus on Islamic underpinnings of these views is imperative to alleviate negative responses to Muslim positions on this subject as well as inform the ongoing dilemma of finding ways in which religious diversity be addressed in SBSE.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages30
    JournalBritish Journal of Educational Studies
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


    • critical discourse analysis
    • islamic epistemology
    • relationships, gender fluidity
    • same-sex
    • sexuality education

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