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To think this is a bit racist?

(379 Posts)
EMS23 Mon 15-Dec-14 19:46:48

Two friends from completely separate friendship groups have recently expressed a similar opinion to me. They have each moved their DC from a school because 'she was one of only two children not called Mohammed' / 'they were all Muslims - I don't want my kid being the minority'.

After the first one, I was pretty sure it was mildly racist, felt a bit uncomfortable about it but I rarely see her so just thought, whatever, bit of a shame but no great loss.
Then one of my oldest and best friends said the exact same thing and now I don't know how to feel. I love her and have always really respected her intelligence so now what?
Am I being hyper sensitive here? I'm a white British person so i don't think I feel offended for myself IYSWIM but I abhor racism in any form and never imagined myself as being friends with people that I knew were.

Re kids in school.

TimelyNameChangey Mon 15-Dec-14 19:48:37

The way she worded it was racist but the idea that you'd be happy if your child was the only non-muslim child in a class is unusual.

Cultural differences would probably make the child's school experience not as fulfilling as it could be in a more integrated school.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 15-Dec-14 19:50:00

Id say its racist if they were over exaggerating.

A neighbour said to me "I can't wait til your dd starts nursery as it will be company for my son whose the only one there who speaks English" - yet this is utter tripe. 20 kids, one doesnt speak any English, about five/six more have English as a second language but speak it very well. The rest are English speaking.

That feels racist to me.

BackOnlyBriefly Mon 15-Dec-14 19:53:41

The way it was expressed sounds racist yes.

Mind you the 'being in a minority' thing is something worth considering. Everyone wants their kids to fit in and make friends. If the school is a mixture that's fine, but if everyone but them is black,white, rich, poor, male, female, tall or short so that they stand out then it can hinder things.

KnackeredMerrily Mon 15-Dec-14 19:54:13

Yabu if it's true, but chances are it's wildly exaggerated

Wantsunshine Mon 15-Dec-14 19:58:16

It depends are their children being ignored by the other children as they are British and different? If so, of course you would move your child if they could not make friendship groups.

Birdsgottafly Mon 15-Dec-14 19:59:47

It's only racist if your friends thought that the Muslim children are inferior, or would influence her children with abhorant views, that she didn't want her children picking up.

There could be genuine reasons why they moved their children, that aren't racist in nature.

greeneggsandjam Mon 15-Dec-14 20:01:52

A class full of children and only 2 not called Mohammed? That must be really hard on the teacher. Hmm. I want to see this class in action!

EMS23 Mon 15-Dec-14 20:25:34

Thanks for the replies - I'm surprised to see that most think it's ok, if the balance of religion/ race etc is off in an educational setting.
Thank goodness Ruby Bridges parents weren't of a similar mindset or we'd have segregated schooling as the norm.

ExitPursuedByABear Mon 15-Dec-14 20:29:16

My pearls are well and truly clutched.

Chocolateteacake Mon 15-Dec-14 20:31:29

Well I've heard it expressed by Muslim relatives. More of a 'need a representative mix' of our societies kids in the school.

Idontseeanysontarans Mon 15-Dec-14 20:32:01

Well wouldn't they be right on a technicality? From what an ex (Muslim) colleague told me Mohammed tends to be given to boys as a first name in honour of the Prophet but the lad will usually go by his middle name. Certainly he did and a lad in DD's class does. I honestly thought it was the done thing.
Feel free to correct/flame as needed.

Idontseeanysontarans Mon 15-Dec-14 20:33:11

Apologies for bad spelling.

cardibach Mon 15-Dec-14 20:35:00

Idontsee -that's true. But the only way all the pupils would be called Mohammed would be if it were both a boys' only school and in an area with no racial mix. Seems a bit unlikely...

Hatespiders Mon 15-Dec-14 20:35:12

Those little Muslim children could all have been born in the UK to parents who were also born in the UK. They would then speak English perfectly well. So the only objection must be from a religious standpoint. If this doesn't impact on the class teaching too much (ie lessons about the Koran without any balance of other religions) which is unlikely, then I think it's pre-judgemental and 'culturist, but not necessarily racist.

cardibach Mon 15-Dec-14 20:36:19

Apologies for stray apostrophe. Changed mind about hoarding half way through.

cardibach Mon 15-Dec-14 20:37:37

Hatespiders pre-judgemental...isn't the word you are looking for 'prejudiced'?

NotYouNaanBread Mon 15-Dec-14 20:38:35

It seems slightly unlikely that her daughter was in a class with up to 28 Mohammeds.

However, if her daughter WAS indeed in such an unusual situation, then I don't blame her for moving the child. It would be a little overwhelming for any child to be in such a dramatic minority in school, whether in her own country or as an expat child.

greeneggsandjam Mon 15-Dec-14 20:40:10

I don't think its the case at all that most Muslim boys are given the name 'Mohammed' but then go by a different middle name.

Idontseeanysontarans Mon 15-Dec-14 20:41:23

Cardibach very true, was just being pernickety smile
Thing is it's the parents that bother about these things, if you put a load of children together at some point most of them will find common ground with somebody regardless of ethnicity or gender. The adults just need to mostly stay out of it.

PortofinoVino Mon 15-Dec-14 20:43:42

No, it is not being racist.

TooSpotty Mon 15-Dec-14 20:45:33

YANBU. Not only are those sort of statements usually a misrepresentation of the actual situation, but it is perfectly possibly for Muslim kids to be friends with non-Muslims anyway. As I hope is proved in the far more common cases where there is only one Muslim kid in a class.

I have been shock myself on here in the past when reading discussions in Education about certain schools, often private, where it seems to be entirely acceptable to discuss how they are too full of Asian kids to send white children to. Sadly I only read them because an old friend of mine had expressed the same sentiment to me and I was pretty depressed that she felt like that, and felt quite free to tell me too.

raltheraffe Mon 15-Dec-14 20:46:49

If my son was placed in a class where he was the minority I would move him and do not give a rat's arse if that is deemed racist.

mytartanscarf Mon 15-Dec-14 20:47:16

Personally I wouldn't want my child to be one of the few non- Muslim children at a school. Sorry if others deem it racist as it isn't intended that way.

Lorialet Mon 15-Dec-14 20:55:09

I'm with you raltheraffe

Anyway, Muslim isn't a race, so how can the friends be seen as being racist?

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