- An unidentified man had sought to stop ex-wife sending boy to an Islamic school
- But High Court judge rejected father’s attempt to appeal a family court ruling
A father who described himself as an ‘Anglo Saxon’ has lost a High Court appeal to prevent his ten-year-old son from attending an Islamic school.
It led to a barrister warning that similar cases will be increasingly common in family courts.
The man, who says he follows no particular faith, said his Muslim ex-wife had chosen the private boys’ school because it was Islamic. He called the institution a ‘school inside a mosque’.
The marketing director, who cannot be named for legal reasons, added he was worried he would be ‘marginalised’ if his son attended the school. Instead, he wanted the boy to go to a secular school.
A High Court judge rejected a father's attempt to appeal a family court ruling that means his son may attend an Islamic school
However, a High Court judge yesterday rejected the father’s attempt to appeal a family court ruling.
Mr Justice Baker said the couple, who are both in their 40s, had divorced more than three years ago after a nine-year marriage.
The man had converted to Islam after marriage and his son had been brought up Muslim – but he had rejected the faith after the separation. Mr Justice Baker said the boy lived with his mother, who worked in planning, and spent time at his father’s home.
A family court judge had previously concluded that the boy would be disappointed if he could not go to the Islamic school.
Barrister Zimran Samuel, who represented the father at the appeal, told Mr Justice Baker that the family court judge had been wrong and that the boy’s Muslim faith would be catered for at a secular school in London.
Mr Samuel said the man did not feel that he would be able to participate in the Islamic school.
The father's lawyer, Zimran Samuel (pictured) said: 'The mother and father have different world views'
‘The mother and father have different world views,’ he said. ‘He is an Anglo Saxon white man who has no particular faith.’
Mr Samuel added: ‘He describes it as a school inside a mosque. It’s not really a school within a mosque but that’s how he describes it.’
He said the man thought school should be a ‘neutral’ space for the boy, adding: ‘We have a father who in this modern day and age tries to tell (his son) that it is okay for parents to disagree.
‘He has absolutely made it very clear that he feels marginalised.’
Mr Justice Baker said the family court judge had reached a conclusion he was entitled to reach.
The judge heard that the boy had been offered a place at the Islamic school and was due to start in September.
Mr Samuel told Mr Justice Baker: ‘This sort of issue will crop up more and more before the courts.’
There are more than 150 dedicated Muslim schools in the UK and most of them are privately funded.
Controversy has surrounded some schools after the ‘Trojan horse’ scandal revealed a plot to impose an Islamist regime in a number of Birmingham schools.