Parents are pulling their children out of school religious education lessons because they do not want them taught about Islam, the Church of England said yesterday.

Some, Church officials said, hope to shield their children from learning about any faith but Christianity, and others have a particular intention to keep children from any knowledge of Islam.

They pointed towards far right political groups and some minority faith sects as activists who are trying to 'exploit' the legal right of parents to withdraw their children from school RE.

CofE leaders called for the right of withdrawal to be repealed and for RE to become a compulsory part of school timetables to encourage pupils to learn to live with others from different backgrounds.

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