There is no doubt that there have been failures, from governance issues to power-play, the problems entail a wide diaspora of issues in schools. The key point is this however: these problems are most certainly not peculiar to one faith, demographic or group. My articles in exposing various details of the attacks on the schools have sought to highlight the discriminatory targeting of the Muslim minority – they have never sought to exonerate any mistakes which have been made, unless there are good reasons in doing so, such as the plethora of lies, twists and distortions which have been peddled in the media.
This neatly brings us to my favourite reporter. The sock-puppeting “journalist” that is the hype-whore Andrew Gilligan did another piece mainly targeting the Jewish community.
Is Gilligan trying to restore some balance in his reporting by targeting the Jewish community? No Gilligan. One tokenistic piece is nothing compared to the targeted harassment of Muslims you have dished out over the six months and the continued surveillance you or your cronies subject victims too.
Despite some similarities in the allegations made about the Muslim faith schools/madrassas in the UK, and the Jewish schools (that they are insular, non-integrative and “indoctrinating”), there has not been an outcry regarding the Jewish community and the fallaciously constructed possibility of terrorism, despite the fact the British Jews are serving in the IDF. Neither have any of the neocons in Government blustered over the “shocking” revelations which are unseating “British values”, whatever they may be. After all according to the report, a number of Jewish schools stop teaching secular subjects to focus on yeshivas (religious studies), with Yiddish being the sole language being taught. In spite of this, no allegations, by Gilligan, are made of “hardliners” pushing “hardline” beliefs (as was done in the context of Muslims) and neither was the appellation “extremist” used to describe any of the aspects of the school’s “preaching”. Zionism is taught in their syllabi. Will Wilshaw be forming policy suggestions based on the potentially extremist nature of their curriculums and link it the fact that Zionism is a supremacist ideology which has been condemned as racism?
Gilligan’s discriminatory writing style reinforces the sentiments Muslims are increasingly expressing in the face of the media barrage: the label of “extremism” and other negative terms like “hardline” are Muslim exclusive. Traditional practices amongst the Jewish are “orthodox”, similar practices amongst Muslims are “hardline” if not “extremist”.
It is this subtle language bias which reinforces stereotypes marginalising the Muslim minority. And this is ignoring the fact negative reporting of Muslims is disproportionately greater than any other minority group. As of writing, besides Channel 4 and the Telegraph, no other major news outlet has bothered to run the story.
Albert Bore of the Birmingham City Council wrote in a largely missed article that,
“Out there in the Muslim community it’s bloody difficult because they feel they’re being pilloried, they feel they are being treated very differently from the rest of society.” And they’re not wrong to feel that way, he suggests. “I have a case in a very white area of the city where evangelical Christians tried to do something very similar – tried to change the ethos of the school from within by putting governors in there.” But Christians aren’t being castigated by the media, education secretary or Ofsted for infiltrating school governing bodies. Muslims are.”
The media as well as the government is consistently targeting and failing the Muslim minority. Far from countering stereo-types, respecting minorities within minorities and encouraging pluralism in society, the government and the sections of the media have massively contributed to the complete opposite: disproportionate targeting, smearing and distortions which have done nothing but reinforce negative stereotypes of Muslims.
The UK government in its FCO Human Rights report submits that it adheres to and maintains the propagation of the UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18. It also advises other states to be mindful of their obligations under it.
The Resolution calls on states:
“To foster religious freedom and pluralism by promoting the ability of members of all religious communities to manifest their religion, and to contribute openly and on an equal footing to society”
The Sixth session of the Forum on Minority Issues on “Beyond freedom of religion or belief: Guaranteeing the rights of religious minorities”, (A/HRC/FMI/2013/3, 26–27, November 2013), advises states that,
“Education should counter negative stereotypes and myths about faiths and groups, promoting plurality” [which incidentally would help the prevention of regurgitation of common distortions regarding Islam]
“Local human rights institutions should develop guidelines on religious minorities for instance, for employers and promote diversity”
The reference of the “Trojan Horse” itself is a derogatory termed used for Muslims, yet all, from government officials like the neocon Michael Gove to teachers peddling lies and distortions like Karen Slater and Tim Boyes have inexorably fuelled this “plot” thus reinforcing the stereo-type that orthodox Muslims are somehow the “enemy within”.
Perhaps our government needs to look in its own back yard and its treatment of the Muslim minority before calling on States around the world to recall their obligations under the Resolution.