‘This book does not take a single problem and offer a neatly aligned solution to it. It has raised the curtain on a small group of women from the largest faith minority and sizeable ethnic minorities in the UK, and shared their experiences. Where normally gender, class and race intersect in ways that show marginalization, the axis the mothers constructed places their faith identity firmly at the centre of their experience. Thanks to the ways Muslims have been placed in the public imagination by the media and political discourse, the struggles they talk of at times position the faith element above gender, race or class. Their accounts of how they view education, what their experiences have been, what they find challenging, what they do not understand, how they contribute, why they do or do not engage, have filled some of the spaces between assumptions, conjecture and fact.’ – Chapter 7, Narrative Bridges

‘It’s very important for children to a get a solid education. Education is the base of living…it’s anything that helps you help other people and you’ll get rewarded for that. (Hafsa)’

‘It’s necessary to be involved more than ever before, making sure we’re not misunderstood. (Nasra)’

‘We need more interfaith dialogue between parents and school; in some areas communities are quite polarized. (Catherine)’

‘Well … I was trying to suss out a place where my children would feel at home. In one of the first schools – a headteacher was cold and unwelcoming – and I’d rather drive further to a school where the head was warmer and more welcoming. I thought if I don’t feel comfortable, how would my children be? Children are children, they just have a natural need to belong, have friends, blend in, feel comfortable. They won’t want to feel like they’re weird. (Wahida)’