Michael Wilshaw and Discriminatory Ofsted’s Fabrications and Attacks on Islam

ofstedattackingIslam

The Olive Tree Muslim faith school is fighting back and not cowering under the pressure of the prejudiced, compromised and neocon-driven Ofsted’s report.  If we recall, this was the same school in which a child was potentially sexually and psychologically abused by an Ofsted inspector.  Once again, the parents are urged to take action against Ofsted for this unforgiveable blunder.

Ofsted’s Attack Islam

Unable to really criticise the schools achievements, Ofsted have resorted to attacking the religion of the teachers themselves and based on Islamic books present in the library of the school, fallen to making extremely inflammatory remarks based on inherent anti-Muslim sentiment:

“the Olive Tree primary school in Luton – fails to prepare its pupils “for life in modern Britain, as opposed to life in a Muslim state”, and that its library contains books that are “abhorrent to British society” in their depiction of punishments under sharia law.”

“Some books in the children’s library contain fundamentalist Islamic beliefs (Salafi) or are set firmly within a Saudi Arabian socio-religious context. Some of the views promoted by these books, for example about stoning women, have no place in British society,”

The “fundamentalist” teachings are a part of normative, mainstream Islamic theology.   The Ofsted is supposed to be an impartial organisation (a laughable claim I know).  Thus to make judgmental statements about the laws within a religion in a public capacity, is a wanton attack on that religion and exemplifies the extreme prejudice.  Does Ofsted’s remit now entail what is “abhorrent to British society”? And will these apply this test to other schools of differing faiths with similar views? The fact that claims of “Salafi” beliefs is drawn from the religious leanings of the teacher’s shows the extent at which the Ofsted is attempting to smear the school and Islam. The objectionable content raised by Ofsted is not exclusively “Salafi” or “fundamentalist” but is in fact part of mainstream Islamic legislative understanding.  Thus to attack this as “abhorrent” is to attack Islam and its adherents.

The Ofsted report has stated that the “pupil’s contact with people from different cultures, faiths and traditions is too limited to promote tolerance and respect for the views, lifestyles and customs of other people”.  A grand statement indeed coming from an inspectorate which calls the practices within Islam “abhorrent”.

As ever, we welcome a discussion, but there is no need to attack a religion based upon one’s highly subjective beliefs, especially as what follows, demonstrates, shockingly, that these comments are highly opportunistic.

Ofsted Fabricating Statements

Ofsted have actually fabricated the abovementioned claims. The school, calling the Ofsted statements an “outright fabrication”, stated:

“We have a large number of books about different faiths, which the inspectors failed to notice, including The Diary of Ann Frank,” said Farasat Latif, the school’s chair of governors, who said the library also included works of fiction by authors such as Roald Dahl.”

The school further stated:

“The inspectors scrutinised the pupils’ books and found no evidence of fundamentalist beliefs being taught. So their judgment is on the religion and not what is being taught.”

The Ofsted have clearly biased agendas. Their aim is to incriminate as opposed to assist the schools in achieving better.  The highlighting of “Salafi” understanding tallies with my investigation with schools in Birmingham, in which teachers were asked which mosques they visited, presumably to ascertain to their theological leanings.  Such personal intrusions, coupled with a catalogue of procedural problems, which have led to children being psychologically abused is highly indicative of the incredibly discriminatory approach Ofsted is taking at the behest of the neocons.

The Political Weapon: Michael Wilshaw

michaelwilshawAs mentioned in my previous blog, Zionism is promoted as part of the school syllabus in one Jewish school. Will the potential “radicalisation” which gives primacy to the state of Israel over Britain be investigated?  Will the Talmudic theology which has extreme punishments and “discriminatory” Jewish marriage laws be condemned as “abhorrent” as well?  Farooq Murad’s letter to the instrument of the government that Michael Wilshaw is, in essence makes this point. It will certainly be interesting to see his response.

Michael Wilshaw was appointed by Michael Gove, who called him his “hero”.  The Michaels share a good relationship.  Upon his assumption of his role as chief inspector, Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers said that Ofsted had become a political weapon:

“…Ofsted [is] being viewed by nobody as independent from the secretary of state. It’s now being seen by teachers not as an inspection system, but as an arm of government… Many of the pronouncements coming out of Ofsted seem to be absolutely equal to things Michael Gove has said. I think it’s bad for the chief inspector and I think it’s bad for public accountability.”

Keates highlights that Gove’s direction and desires are brought into practice by Wilshaw:

“Michael Gove’s view is that the state system is broken. Michael Wilshaw’s view is that he is going to prove it.”

In other words, like Tom Shinner, the Department for Educations Director of Strategy, Wilshaw is another Michael Gove pawn. Michael Gove’s aim and priority from the outset is to target Muslims and Muslim schools.  Yvonne Ridley highlights this point in her brilliant article which can be read here.  Despite their recent apparent opposition, there is a clear indication of the Osfted fulfilling Gove’s dirty desires. Based on this, I would not count on a promising reply from Wilshaw to Murad’s letter.

Other schools need to replicate what Olive Tree faith school has done and challenge the thug-like pressure being unduly placed on Muslim schools.  This targeting of the Muslim minority and now, blatant attacks on Islam are clearly agenda-driven by the anti-Muslim Gove and must be fought back and resisted.  The reality of this onslaught is not dissimilar to the school’s response to this fiasco:

“The draft report from Ofsted was Michael Wilshaw’s way of teaching a Muslim school a bloody good lesson for daring to stand up to them, an attitude not dissimilar to how the colonial masters dealt with the restless natives,”

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Michael Wilshaw and Discriminatory Ofsted’s Fabrications and Attacks on Islam

  1. There are more Methodist schools than Muslim schools in England and 33% of English state schools are Christian. There’s been a big kerfuffle over a supposed Muslim influence on six schools in Birmingham, with outlets like the BBC and Telegraph alleging a “Trojan horse” takeover by Muslim parents. But whether you agree with religion in schools or not, the faith that is most clearly represented in Britain’s education system is Christianity. There are more Methodist schools (26 or 0.13%) than Muslim schools in England. Out of the total number of state-funded schools (primary and secondary) in England this is what percentage were Muslim in 2012. Some 0.06% or 12 schools are Muslim faith schools. Out of all UK state-funded schools, 33.61% or 6751 schools are Christian. School segregation: 12% of state schools are split into boys and girls. Charges against the six schools in Birmingham include not teaching the curriculum, inviting radical speakers to talk to the children and gender segregating classrooms – to the detriment of girls. A small, but significant number of traditional British schools are split by gender too.

    The whole saga is outrageous, beyond belief and frankly if it was not so serious, it would be comical. The documents on which this whole action is perused is false and as there is no proof of extremism in schools, Mr Gove has made it illegal for Muslims to have conservative views (coming from a minister of conservative government, its comical really). Feel like we are back in the fifties in the USA again. Michael Gove is an avowed Zionist which is not the best way to approach issues like this! Because it can lead greater attacks on Islam. It amazes me that on the basis of an anonymous letter the whole country has been lead to believe that there is an organised plot to somehow take over schools, now allegedly across the length and breadth of Britain! Furthermore the amount of coverage that this has received from the media as being a credible story, to me, suggests the level of Islamophobia in our society has reached alarming and dangerous heights. I would suggest that for the sake of fairness, equality and justice all schools are subject to the same level of scrutiny. For example Christian, C-of-E, Jewish and Hindu, Sikh schools. I believe that this not only a witch hunt but a move to tarnish and undermine the credibility of Muslims in general and the noble teachings of a widely practiced and rapidly growing religion which a people devotedly choose to follow. Islamophobia should be stopped – especially when the racist is a government minister or department. you must share this island with many people, why does it belong to one people? Grammar schools regularly carry out gender segregation, shall we remove those Head teachers too.

    The horse in question, it is alleged, contained Muslim extremism – brought to state schools by stealth, by governor bodies launching subtle pincer movements, to remove the kind of pesky teachers who might object to the segregation of pupils by sex, or a refusal to stick to the syllabus. How incredibly extremist. Schools where segregation of pupils by sex occur. How different from boy’s only Grammar schools and High schools for Girls that exist in predominately Conservative areas. And that exist predominately in the private school sector. It does though surely produce better exam results, as pupils are less influenced by the idea of ‘girl’s subjects’ and ‘boy’s subjects’, and are less likely to be distracted by sex. Allegations of an Islamic takeover plot of Birmingham schools are just the latest in a string of slurs against Muslims. It is not clear what is meant by an “Islamic plot takeover”, and whether that is the same thing as saying or hinting that some Muslims might want to get some schools to adopt their particular version of Islamic religious values, behaviours and life-styles. If it is the latter, that would not necessarily be an indication of “terrorism”, so I struggle to see the need for ‘counter-terrorism’ input. It is not terrorism in any way shape or form. It is important to remember this is not about Islam as such but yet another chance to bash people perceived as foreigners. To many Muslim is another word for immigrant and coloured person, two terrible bugbears. Why should an unnamed, undated, unspecific source has effected students, teachers, governors, parents in one swoop. It has serious implications on unfounded accusations for hundreds of people. In no way shape or form is this right, nor should have it EVER happened. Just by a anonymous letter how can you judge the schools and it is bringing such bad vibe to Birmingham schools and local Muslim community we feel like we’re targets no matter how hard we try we will never please and move forward from the terrorist labelling. I am disgusted at the way these particular schools and governors were targeted for no reason other than being Muslim. No solid evidence wa available to substantiate these accusations which arose and yet such great weight and focus was attached to them. Morally unjust and utterly unacceptable. The Trojan Horse document was clearly written by someone who knows little about Birmingham and even less about Islam. It has chimed, however, with widespread Islamophobic fantasies and fears amongst non-Muslims, and as a result of unethical reporting in the media has done much damage.

    On the one hand we get told we are not integrating enough and we should engage more in civic society. On the other, when we do, we get accused of having sinister agendas. Since when do concerns by religiously conservative parents about teaching on homosexuality, girls and boys mixing, and the reciting of prayers, require anti-terrorist experts to get involved? Allegations of an Islamic takeover plot in Birmingham schools aren’t justified by the evidence – and the government response is way out of proportion. Perhaps its best to let the Muslim community sort these issues out. These are in effect Muslim schools now. It is up to the Muslim community to see off hard liners (if there are any) otherwise it is their own children’s’ education that will suffer. I think it would be very difficult for non Muslims to get involved either as governors or management so perhaps that it is one of the reasons for the conflicts that have arisen. It may be best for the Government to but out providing the record of the school is O.K. from an exam point of view. I am so disgusted that even after it was proved there is no factual evidence or basis for that racist and hate filled document, schools in Birmingham are being subjected to this horrific ordeal and the name of many good reputable teachers is being tarnished… Why? Clearly viewable that this accusation has been purposely placed on these schools which surprisingly consists of majority Muslim children. Clearly the school policies are being contradicted by Mr Gove as they clearly state that it is the schools priority and job to meet the needs of the local community and of the students within the school. So if a school is doing that then what is the issue? What is happening feels like the persecution of a religious group. This is important because the wit hunt feeds Islamophobia. As we can see from the bombings and arson attacks on mosques in the UK, Islamophobia is a very dangerous and divisive form of racism. I’m sick of this hatred of Islam and Muslims. Haters, ignorant scum, look for any means to target Muslims, now even in our schools. It’s a joke and this has to stop. How hypocritical does a country have to be to illegally invade Muslim countries and then accuse Muslims of terrorism? I am a Muslim. I am an anti-terrorist.

    I never realised how racist and anti-Islamic this country is until I moved here. These people are here legally and have the right to live how they want to. Just because there are terrorists who use Islam as a doctrine to justify their hateful acts, does NOT mean that every Islam wants to change Britain to Sharia Law, kill the gays and put all women in burkas! These people are being judged and punished for the actions of others that have nothing to do with them, simply because they are of the same religion. Do you judge Germans in the same way because their country committed genocide? Or the Irish if they are from an area where religious conflict was particularly violent? No. Seems like thinly veiled racism to me, not the ‘staunch upholding of British rights against religious extremists’ as you all seem to espouse. What do people mean when they talk about ‘multiculturalism’? If a lot of people come from a foreign country and settle in a particular area they will bring the culture of that country with them. Of course they will want their schools to promote their values. Gender segregation is everywhere in the Muslim world including in EU applicant, Turkey, so either we believe in Britain as multicultural or we don’t. You don’t get to pick and choose the bits you want. Why not sit down with parents and listen to their concerns, instead of ordering an investigation? Shocked at this terrifying witch hunt against Muslims who are simply trying to raise standards. Its totally unacceptable to create a furore in the country over anonymous accusations with no proof. Because it is a divisive move and will affect community relations. This is the very reason why society does not function properly, this is a deliberate attempt to spread fear amongst communities, as the best way to control a nation is through fear itself. because this is NOT ,,I repeat is NOT an Islamic plot to take over Birmingham, so DO NOT put false information in the media to put Muslims down!!!!! What next…..Muslims taking over hospitals, banks, pubs….come on… Tomorrow, a Pakistani MP would become the PM of GB and this does not mean that the country has become a colony of Pakistan.

    What’s taking place is an absolute disgrace. This whole witch hunt is putting Muslims off from becoming governors at a time when it is need the most. Why should Muslim parents be targeted when all they want at the end of the day is a good all round education for their children. Before Muslims governors came on to the scene all the inner city schools were doing poorly and failing all the children of the school. Muslim parents were criticised for their lack of involvement in their children’s schools. Now they are being vilified. It is an absolute disgrace that an ex anti terrorist police office has been brought in to investigate the situation. It stinks of racism and the desire to label all Muslims into the category of extremist and jihadist. What a disgrace by the national and the local government. It’s wrong for Gove to be deliberately politicising our Education system. All our children deserve respect and not to be scapegoated. What a total waste of tax payers money and tactical manoeuvre by Michael Gove to divert attention away from the real issues. Gove’s war is designed to destabilise governing bodies where Muslims form a majority. Don’t want us to be part of ‘big society’? We totally reject the idea that there is Muslim plot to take over Birmingham schools. We abhor the scapegoating of the Muslim community being whipped up by the media. We call for the removal of Peter Clarke as we believe this is a provocative appointment, designed to divide our community. I don’t believe that there is an Islamic Plot to take over Birmingham schools. It’s a set-up. Anonymous complaints have been used in the past to hound good head teachers of community schools out of their jobs in order to facilitate the creation of academies. This whole story smells of falsification and corruption. I suspect that the people wishing to take over schools are not Islamic extremists, but Academy Chains with business interests. A shamefully irresponsible and sensationalised inquiry whose adverse impact on community relations locally and nationally will sadly be lingering long and far.

    If British authorities are so concerned about their education institutions being infiltrated by “extremists” then I suggest they stop Tony Blair, architect in chief of the illegal and violent 2003 Iraq invasion from speaking at colleges and universities across the UK and the world. His lies and fabrications caused the deaths, directly and indirectly, of thousands of Iraqis, British and Americans. While the survivors of his wars suffer in silence, this former British Prime Minister makes millions through his speaking engagements at educational institutions across the world with little or no sign of remorse for the suffering he caused. Nothing I see in the above articles suggests the British Muslim educators in question did anything illegal, let alone anywhere as remotely destructive as the twice elected British Prime Minister. Britain’s interests would be served better if they questioned their own domestic and overseas policies instead of perennially whining on about “extremist” from their (mostly) law abiding immigrant communities.

    There are a total of 21300 Primary and 3900 Secondary schools in the UK. Finding that 6 out of these 25200 had board members who wanted to push their extremist views over the governance of those school is not a Islamic Plot or Trojan Horse to Islamises UK. This is a massive overreaction and the Islamophobia on display in the comments is more terrifying than the actual case itself. Stop the racist witch hunt in Birmingham schools. We Muslims have a right to our religion. I decry everything which denigrates Muslims in this country. The media and governmental attitudes and actions, inflame prejudice and ignorance. We want the best for our children and such baseless witch hunt of school governors does not help the cause of better education.

    Stop this hate against Muslims. It is not them who are terrorists , but all those who imply they are with the help of media you try bringing others to your side giving false details – twin towers wasn’t Muslim either – that was the Americans – you will not win as Islam Will forever grow and prove it is peaceful through the will of God (Allah SWT)… amen. This is undermining confidence in the Muslim community and increasing Islamophobia. This is another example of the media whipping up hysteria against the UK Muslim community. The way our Govt treating British Muslims is as if all Muslims are terrorists unless they prove otherwise. Govt should focus on its job. Governors of this school worked hard to help a failing school achieve outstanding rating from Ofsted. Please fix Ofsted and stop demonising Muslims. Nick Clegg on LBC radio indicated that the DFE is full of right wing ideologues and extremist loons. Islamic schools protect Muslim children from the onslaught of Euro centrism, homosexuality, racism, and secular traditions. All education systems appear to be indoctrination systems. I went to a good private school. Guess how we were ‘encouraged’ to think about politics! Having a Muslim name in UK is a crime. All UK job application forms have sections ask your race and religions. Most UK employers simply reject your applications just by looking at this section.

    Native Brits must learn to respect and tolerate those who are different. The needs and demands of the Muslim community are different from those of natives. Muslims are in Britain not to give up their cultural heritage. They must integrate in their new home country, learn new languages and apply for political representation — without forgetting their cultural heritage. It is important to learn Standard English, but their languages should not be neglected. They need Masajid and grave yards. Muslim children not only need halal meat or Eid Holidays but they need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their development period also. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.
    A Muslim is a citizen of this tiny global village. He/she does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit. The whole world belongs to Muslims. He/she must learn and be well versed in Standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. At the same time, he/she must learn and be well versed in Arabic, Urdu and other community languages to keep in touch with their cultural heritage and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. For a Muslim English is an economic language and Arabic is a religious while Urdu and other community languages are their social and emotional languages.

    Muslim children not only need halal meat or Eid Holidays but they need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their development period also. There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This means the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islamic teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline, structure and boundaries. Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their needs and demands. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. Legally, the state has an obligation to respect the rights of parents to ensure that ‘education and teaching(of their children) is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.’ The schools must satisfy the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural needs of Muslim pupils. State schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers are not in a position to satisfy their needs. A good school is not just a knowledge factory or a conveyor belt for churning out exam passes – it is a community, a family. A community is held together by common values and principles.
    IA
    London School of Islamics Trust

  2. t’s not about being homophobic. Being a teacher, the last thing on my mind is to ensure my students know what homosexuality or even heterosexuality is, especially at the tender age of 9. We as a society already through the media, social norms and our laws approve both homosexual and heterosexual individuals. Children are in school in order learn, progress and achieve. Yes as part of that learning they will be advised about safe sex, how to avoid catching sexually transmitted diseases etc and in other areas of their learning they will be informed of different sexual groups, about practices that are accepted in society and practices that are illegal. They learn different things at different stages and I’m sorry but as a parent also I DON’T want my child learning what the birds and the bees get up to, whether its with the same sex or the bloody opposite sex in primary school. They DON’T need to know about any type if sex at 9 for gods sake. Society is sexualised enough as it is, we can’t switch the TV on for two minutes without something grossly inappropriate for young children being waved at them and lets not get started at the sexual wreck that the internet has become. We have very young children growing up with twisted ideas of ‘normal’ sex in their minds who struggle as adults to have a healthy sexual relationship. It’s just a sad mess. What business is it of Ofsted to ask these questions? What has it got to do with education? It simply proves that Ofsted has an equality and diversity agenda which has nothing to do with education, but which runs through the entire public sector like a rash. How can anyone be stupid enough to ask nine year-old’s that question., and these are supposedly school inspectors. The Parents had every right to be angry and annoyed.

    Ofsted had to abandon an inspection of a private primary school after pupils as young as nine were questioned about their attitudes to homosexuality. Parents were concerned after children told them inspectors had spoken privately to a group of nine and ten-year-olds at the Muslim school, asking them: ‘What does the word gay mean?’ and ‘Is it used in a bad way at school?’It is claimed the children were also asked about terrorism and whether it was discussed. Ofsted was forced to cut short its visit to Olive Tree Primary School in Luton after parents threatened to withdraw their children. Glulam Shah, 40, said his ten-year-old son came home complaining about being asked ‘scary and weird questions’. He said the inspector told his son not to be offended, adding: ‘It’s just a part of the law we have to ask you.’ Ofsted apologised for upsetting parents, but a spokesman said: ‘As part of any school inspection, inspectors will ask pupils about the effectiveness of the school’s actions to prevent and tackle discriminatory and derogatory language – including homophobic language’ This is outrageous….trying to open a conversation about homosexuality or indeed any kind of sexuality with a 9 year old…..without parental consent…and without the parents being present…heads must roll…that inspector must be sacked…. Aren’t Ofsted aware that the attitude towards same sex relationships is not exactly wonderful in Catholic and Church of England schools? Some gay and lesbian teachers have found it so difficult working in Christian faith schools that they have either left or had breakdowns. If the OFSTED inspectors had put the same question to the parents, I wonder how they might have responded?

    These Ofsted inspectors should resign for frightening young children with their sexual views. Ultimately, it is parents, not teachers, who are responsible for their children’s moral teaching and guidance. And in this case in Luton, the parents exercised their parental responsibilities, fully. These questions you raise are of sexual and moral matters, that certainly should not be put to young children without the presence or consent of their parents, who have exercised their parental rights by threatening to remove their children from the school in Luton if Ofsted inspectors were allowed to continue their cross examination of young children about their views on homosexuality. OFSTED, failed teachers, failed pupils. Muslim schools should be inspected by Muslim members of the Ofsted who understand their needs and demands. Non-Muslim inspectors and teachers are not in a position to inspect and teach in Muslim schools. Ofsted should concentrate on the standard of education in core subjects like English, Math and Sciences. Ofsted reports on 4 areas for every school, Teaching and learning, Management, Pupil behaviour and Achievement. It is very difficult to work out which of these groups would cover the questioning highlighted in this article. Sounds like Ofsted making things up as they go along.

    Who can blame these parents? What kind of person asks questions like those to a 9 year old? Ofsted is out of control. This country is being turned upside down by some ideological approach which has nothing to do with ‘good parenting’. Children, note CHILDREN do not need these sorts of questions. By all means teach them about tolerance and respect for the law, but let children be children. A subject? Why homosexuality and not pornography then? What other attitudes should be checked off the list? How many attitudes should be checked? Or are some attitudes less ‘acceptable’ to the thought police than others? This is unadulterated political correctness gone nuts. The problem as it was expressed at the beginning of the article is not primarily with the question per se, but with the fact that the children were left alone with an adult they didn’t know and then asked these questions. That is surely utterly inappropriate. Indeed, if I were an Ofsted inspector I would refuse to see a child without an accompanying adult because of the danger of molestation accusations. Ofsted’s inquisitorial style and political correctness have both gone crazy. There are ways of finding out about children’s attitudes by simply listening on the playground and listening and observing in class. Honestly, I think this country is going mad… It is no ones business what your attitude is to homosexuality, let alone expecting a nine year old to even have an opinion. What are they going to do if they reply that “its a bit weird” Ask them about their bikes or roller skates or favourite pets. They are children for God’s sake!!

    This is really a story about the very very variable quality of inspection teams. It’s a well known fact in education, and it damages the integrity of Ofsted as an inspectorate. The people who run Ofsted should be held accountable. There are some good teams, and some very poor ones. Who quality controls them? Those people should be made accountable. The problem with Ofsted, I think, is its leader. One who’s more interested in appearing in the media and playing “philosopher king” off his territory than ensuring his organisation is run properly. It seems ridiculous to me that he went straight from being a head teacher to running the inspectorate. Don’t think he’d ever run an organisation at all.If someone officially pulled rank on me (similar to Ofsted inspectors); and demanded to know my sexual views, I would tell them to sod off, and go and get a life. Unfortunately, the children in question, did not have the years of experience to do this when confronted by Ofsted inspectors, who should be more concerned about the education in Luton, from personal experience of living there and looking after 3 small children, it is not so good. Many people who are followers of some religions are uneasy about homosexuality, indeed it is proscribed by them, and whatever the more liberal demand their belief is unlikely to change. What is the response going to be from Ofsted if a child states that practising homosexuality is wrong and against their religion’s teaching, that of course being what they are taught at home ? It is not the school that is teaching this it is in all their religious teachings and books- e.g. the Bible.

    The questioning about homosexuality is badly handled but probably comes from good intentions. The more worrying line of questioning is mentioned near the end of the article: ‘The inspectors also asked the children if they had seen anything on the news about terrorism that they had discussed in class.’ What concerns do they have about Muslim pupils’ knowledge of terrorism? The article doesn’t elaborate but if I was a parent at this school I’d be furious about this. It’s actually quite chilling. There is absolutely no need to talk to children sex. Homophobic or not. I wouldn’t be bloody happy about pseudopeado talk to a child. It’s not right you sick people. Whatever happened to pubescent sex education ???? WHY OH WHY CAN’T WE ALLOW CHILDREN THEIR INNOCENCE? If I was a nine year old boy, alone in a room with a strange man, and that man started asking me those sorts of questions, I would be worried that he was going to sexually abuse me. Leave them alone to grow up. The majority are not homophobic, racist or sexist in a playground. They are picking bullying for whatever reason. They are kids. The snap out of it during secondary school. Usually rebelling against whatever they were taught to hate. Leave them alone.

    The problem is the Islamification of schools through the sheer weight of numbers of Muslims in them. Attitudes to gays and terrorism may be some kind of litmus test for such Islamification but Ofsted seem to have approached this in a clumsy and insensitive way. The elephant in the room is that if you have a school full of Muslims then it is always going to be an Islamist school. It’s too late to avoid that now. Islam outlaws homosexuality. It’s perfectly reasonable to ensure children forced into a religion and a religious school by their parents are educated and accepting, and generally set up to become good citizens. It’s also reasonable to suspect a Muslim school, wouldn’t encourage acceptance of homosexuality, or discourage playground negativity towards it.

    The parent(s) of children being asked seemingly rather directly about “gays” might have reported this directly to the Police and demanded an investigation. There could have been accusations of ‘grooming’, surely there should have been two people in the room when such a question is put? Should the Ofsted inspector concerned have turned out to be homosexual, perhaps a question that some of the parents might have posed, then there could have been repercussions. Certainly it would have been used by the ‘Tabloids’. If the matter is accurately reported then Ofsted are behaving in a really insensitive and probably incompetent manner. Religions may variously accommodate homosexuality but their adherents may certainly resist attacks on their beliefs and therefore their freedom. Hinduism outlaws homosexuality. So does Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity! I have been a Governor of a Muslim school and I would have been up in arms if I found out such questions were asked to small kids and no mention was made in any Governors training regarding school inspections that this kind of question were asked. Faith schools do not condone same sex relationships, this is true of Catholic and C-o-E schools – so does seem unfair to focus on an Islamic school. Ofsted needs to be put into special ensures as it is clearly not fit for the purpose. Let’s hope this is the final nail. Get a grip OFSTED and stop trying to find pathetic ways to demonise the Muslim faith schools! Ofsted is behaving like the Stasi used to do in East Germany. There is no place for this kind of surveillance in a free society.
    IA
    London School of Islamics Trust

  3. This letter was send from Olive Tree Primary School to Michael Wilshaw today (10 June 2014)

    Dear Sir Michael Wilshaw

    I am writing further to the OFSTED inspection dated 13-15 May 2014, and the subsequent report dated 4th June 2014.

    It was stated in the report’s summary of findings that: Some books in the children’s library promote fundamentalist views which do not support the pupils’ development for life in modern Britain. Some of the views promoted by these books, for example about stoning and lashing as appropriate punishments, have no place in British society.

    There are several books in our staff library, not in our children’s library, that do indeed mention stoning and lashing. These books, which are inaccessible to children, provide information about the application of law in a theocracy, not in the UK. These books do not promote or condone its application as lawful in a UK context. We do not teach or promote this view in our school, and the inspectors did not find any evidence to the contrary.

    In light of the above, I am seeking guidance whether the following books should be removed from our staff library. The books in question are:

    1) Child Education in Islam. This book contains one reference regarding stoning, and one reference regarding lashing.
    2) The Holy Quran. This contains two references regarding lashing for slander and for fornication, and two references regarding amputation for theft and for highway robbery,
    3) The Holy Bible. This contains eighteen references regarding stoning for a number of different crimes including adultery, sodomy, witchcraft and blasphemy amongst others. Please refer to the Catholic Encyclopaedia for a full list of punishments.

    I am of the view that the above named books should not be removed from our staff library, as the punishments mentioned within them should not be taken in the context of UK law. However I would welcome further clarification on this point. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Farasat Latif
    Chair of Governors
    10 June 2014

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