In my previous piece drawing parallels between the PREVENT duty and the Inquisition, I drew attention to Ofsted’s invasive line of questioning, unsettling children, and assessing the beliefs of children in accordance with the State’s contrived civic religion of “British values”.
My sources in Birmingham have brought attention to an Ofsted inspection which yields yet another example of Inquisitional, “radicalisation profiling”-style of questioning echoing the much despised Waltham Forest Council’s BRIT Project fiasco. If we recall, the Council in London had deceptively disseminated psychometric tests into Muslim majority schools which purported to analyse the level of “radicalisation”. The Council was exposed for lying and slammed for its Nazi-style ethnic profiling exercise as “shockingly Orwellian”.
This “shockingly Orwellian” reality has manifested again through Ofsted. My sources state that Inspectors at a Muslim faith school behaved in a similar fashion to the BRIT Project questionnaire and asked questions tailored to the “extremism” agenda, interrogating young children.
Year 6 students were allegedly asked,
“Which religion is better?”
A similar question was asked in the BRIT Project questionnaire:
My sources further state that the Inspector exceeded the BRIT Project questionnaire and focussed on Islam. Muslim girls in Year 5 were purportedly asked by a female Inspector whether she could become a Muslim. Upon the girls answering in the affirmative, the Inspector replied,
“But I do not where the Hijab, can I still become Muslim?”
The pupils drawing the Inspector’s attention to other school girls not wearing Hijab stated that the lack of Hijab was not a barrier to becoming Muslim.
It is further alleged the Inspectors concluded that the school was not promoting “British values”. When asked as to why this decision was made, they highlighted an example of a 6 year-old not knowing who the Prime Minister of the country was.
This repulsively shocking example evokes the forced Kemalist secularisation after the 1980 coup in Turkey. Ataturk’s images and symbolism were forced upon people to the point that people hung his images up because they had to in order to “prove” their loyalty. It seems now in Britain, children as young as six need to know who their Prime Minister is to “prove” they are not “extremist”. This question demonstrates that the counter-extremism discourse is much less about terrorism than about architecting an extreme form nationalism which enforces the beliefs imposed by the State.
My sources close to the school further say that the inappropriate and Inquisition-style inspection became almost comical were it not for the fact that it demonstrated the extent of the anti-Muslim climate prevailing in Britain. Inspectors entered the usually closed off library and began searching for Islamic books which could be used as evidence to demonstrate an aspect which contravened “British values”. It is alleged that they crawled on their hands and knees in search for such a book.
The disturbing nature of the Inspections points to an uncomfortable reality: the neoconservative state is attempting to shape and mould the minds of the young. In fact, the pervasiveness in the specific context of interfering with the education of a private faith school mimics the Nazi education policy, which placed “increasingly stringent guidelines” to coerce conformity to the State ideology.
The very fact that we can draw some parallels between the impact of PREVENT and the Inquisition, Nazi Germany, the McCarthy era, George Orwell’s dystopian 1984 and the authoritarian German Stasi, elicits grave indications toward the totalitarian trajectory of British politics.