Life as a Muslim schoolgirl in Manchester.

‘“People think Muslims are oppressed but we’re not,” says 15-year-old Bushra Moqbel.

“Even though we’re visibly different we’re just normal people.”

It’s a stereotype none of the girls can stand.

Islam is central to the way the girls dress and behave, but their faith is not at odds with being educated, ambitious and or being a feminist.

Noora Sayid, 15, explains: “People are pretty shocked when I say I’m a feminist and wear a headscarf. It’s my right to wear it. It’s my choice and no one else’s.”

The small independent school in Chorlton prides itself in academic excellence and was recently rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted inspectors.

The girls work hard and are encouraged to think about their career path from a young age. …

Mona Mohamed, head of the school, says extra care is taken to prepare students for negative reactions.

She explains: “After an atrocity like Brussels, people tend to react. They tend to get upset. We try to help our pupils understand people’s feelings. We say don’t be angry and don’t let people make you feel any less British. Don’t let anyone make you feel like a less valuable citizen.”

Muslim schools have come under fire in the past for not promoting British values - which is probably why there is so much emphasis here on being British and Muslim.
The girls don’t just learn about their own faith and not all their teachers or support staff are Muslim. – Manchester Evening News


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