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School Pupils Discuss Islamic Issues at Special Conference

Senior pupils from six Dundee schools have attended a one-day conference at the Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education to discuss and debate Islamic issues such as gender, jihad and terrorism.

This was the sixth conference organised by the College with an agenda tailored for the fifth and sixth-year pupils – and a total of 33 took part.

Its aims were to provide young people with a more in-depth knowledge and understanding of the contemporary topics related to Multiculturalism and Islam.

“The conference gave these teenagers the opportunity to ask questions on issues that may well puzzle or even trouble them,” said Dr Hossein Godazgar, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the College, an internationally-recognised centre of excellence in the Study of Islam and Muslims.

“Topics for the conference, such as jihad and terrorism, are discussed in schools as well as part of the Curriculum for Excellence.

“The young people heard from our experts and they were strongly encouraged to speak freely about their own views.

“Debate and discussion on these selected issues with the school pupils proved to be stimulating, interesting and hugely valuable.”

Dr Godazgar said that he was extremely pleased to organise such an event again this year in conjunction with Dundee City Council’s Education Department.

“The conference forms an important part of our drive to engage and serve the local community, which we regard as a key part of our work in our role as educators in a diverse and multicultural world,” said Dr Godazgar.

Fifth and sixth year pupils from Baldragon Academy, Grove Academy, Harris Academy, Morgan Academy, Menzieshill High and St John’s RC High attended.

Their topics were Gender in Islam; Fairtrade; Jihad and Terrorism and Peace in the Qur’an.

Councillor Stewart Hunter, Dundee City Council education convener, said: “It is important that our pupils have a wide and detailed understanding of international issues.

“I am keen that they can play their part as global citizens and help promote tolerance and understanding.”