NSW to Start Religious Tolerance Scheme

December 28, 2006

Source: Village Voice

http://www.villagevoice.com.au/article/20061228/NWS02/612280304/-1/nws/NSW+to+start+religious+tolerance+scheme

The federal government has chosen schools in western Sydney to trial a program aimed at promoting religious tolerance.

The $1 million three-year pilot program will try to address the compatibility of Australian and Muslim values and the wearing of religious garb, including headscarves, News Ltd reported.

It will be rolled out next year at 16 schools in Lakemba, which has a large Muslim population, and Macquarie Fields, the site of last year's youth riots.

The program aims to "reduce isolation and alienation felt by some students" and to "support Australian Muslims to participate successfully in the broader Australian society", according to a government request for tenders to set up then run the pilot.

Education Minister Julie Bishop said she hoped the scheme would help develop the best way to encourage tolerance and social cohesion in all schools by investigating the challenges facing students in different situations.