Andrew Moffat and Parkfield School: A summary of the Concerns Around No Outsiders

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This piece summarises the previous five articles on No Outsiders. I have linked them within the summary below.

Moffat targeting the Muslim Community

Full version with complete references and more details can be accessed here.

According to Schools Week, Moffat “promptly got a job in Birmingham with majority Muslim and Afro-Carribean Christian parents” after “teachers told him it was easy to preach from a predominantly white area”. He then targeted “a school that was 99 per cent Muslim pupils in an area heavily affected by the so-called Trojan Horse plot to radicalise pupils”. Moffat saw Muslims as a challenge to be overcome for the distribution of his syllabus and his civilising mission.

Moffat’s Support

Aside from the usual media and political backing, Brigid Jones and Colin Diamond have both backed No Outsiders. Both, in differing ways, fuelled the notorious, Islamophobic Trojan Horse conspiracy theory in 2014.

Disturbingly, Jones is accepting of taking a “subliminal” approach to developing Muslim “resiliency” by subtly promoting different family setups. Moffat’s support comes from someone who is “fine” with secret brainwashing.

Ex-Muslim Yasmine Mohammed praised Moffat. Moffat reciprocated this with his gratitude to her before condescendingly claiming that the protesting parents “do not understand” the No Outsiders project. Yasmine’s circle closely aligns with deplorable neocons and their enablers including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz, and other “ex-Muslims” who believe Islam should be legislated against and the Hijab should be banned.

Unsurprising, support for Moffat also came from PREVENT.

PREVENT and the state-sanctioned Muslim

In a presentation by Parkfield School head teacher, Hazel Pulley, No Outsiders is shown to be developed specifically to “reduce radicalisation” in children “from nursery onwards” and respond to “ideological challenges” to the PREVENT-defined British values.  In other words, Muslim children are to be treated as potential terrorists and remedied with the cure of No Outsiders indoctrination. Moffat explicitly adopts the War on Terror doctrine of pre-emption in his book:

“In the original No Outsiders book I referenced radicalisation briefly; however since then I have been developing the resource with a specific aim to prevent young people from being drawn in to terrorism… we reduce radical ideas by promoting community cohesion through an understanding and celebration of diversity and equality… but more importantly we proactively promote an alternative narrative to reduce the risk in the first place.”

More recently, the trash paper Daily Mail reported that Moffat believed “absolutely” that the aim of No Outsiders is to “prevent future attacks”.

He also shared a retweet which reiterated the bloodthirsty Tony Blair’s statement that “extremism is a global education fight”. This is interesting given how immoral and repugnant Blair. It should be noted that his Institute recently published a blueprint for censorship of views critical of government policies and aspects of Islam.

What sort of person would be happy to retweet a man’s statement whose hands are red with the blood of countless Muslims and who should be standing trial for his war crimes in the Hague?

Moffat’s approach includes talking to young children about terrorist attacks, whilst positing his No Outsiders as the benchmark for normality. Any difference to this is impliedly associated with terror attacks.  This view is further reinforced in his book. Thus, for Moffat, a “rise in radicalisation” is linked to views that diverge from “the messages of equality that they hear inside [school]”.

The school has been referring cases to the PREVENT lead of which a number have been going onto the Counter Terrorism Unit. The aforementioned Hazel Pulley presentation disconcertingly highlights how staff at Parkfield “must report anything they feel uneasy about.” In 2015, it was reported that a child at Parkfield “raised concerns” when he asked for a prayer room on a residential trip, encouraged girls to wear a hijab, and expressed an “alternate view” on the Charlie Hebdo attack. Moffat and the school are in effect bullying children into submission to state-sanctioned ideology and Moffat’s personal beliefs.

I have already extensively covered the brainwashing effects of subjecting children to militarism, as well as how particular symbolism, like the red poppy, contributes to the propagandising of skewed, colonialism-friendly history, and a reformation of Muslim identity concordant to a neoconservative worldview.  Moffat promotes these themes. Under the theme “British values” and “community cohesion”, Moffat uses a picture of Ahmadis selling poppies as part of Remembrance day along with the “acceptable Muslim” narrative where the positive role models for Muslim children are those who died for colonialism and empire.

Misusing the Law

Full version with complete references and more details can be accessed here.

Moffat uses the Equality Act to dismiss concerns of parents, staff and governors and to bully through his interpretation of the Equalities Duty. He states that permission for his No Outsiders is not needed from governors, “uncomfortable” staff should be bullied into delivering his project on the basis of “UK law”, and that objecting parents should spun away by being told that gay people can get married according to UK law, and therefore children should be told about it.

Various government guidance notes, however, do not prescribe how the Equality Duty should be implemented. In the case of teachers in fact, the DfE guidance on the Equality Act states that no school or individual teacher is under a duty to “support, promote or endorse marriage of same sex couples.”

In relation to the children, this guidance is to be read in accordance with the current SRE guidance, which conditions SRE teaching on parental consent and respect for religious background of pupils.

Moffat however explicitly sets out to circumvent these guidelines and rights by weaving these themes into the ethos of the school:

“The law says you can remove your child from RE or sex education lessons but this is a lesson celebrating diversity. The lessons are not one-off sessions; the ethos is all around the school. It is not possible to shield children from our school ethos.”

Moffat’s Doublespeak

Full version with complete references and more details can be accessed here.

In an interview with BBC 5 live, Moffat explains that he tells his teachers that on the one hand, there is a religious prohibition and on the other gays exist.  He goes on to explain that children can have these views, and that these ideas coexist. He adds “we are not saying one is right and one is wrong”.

In a section of his book elaborating how he dealt with Muslim parent’s concerns around the No Outsiders project, Moffat explains,

“We understand there is a tension [between Islam and accepting homosexuality], and we are not telling children what to think…”

An analysis shows that proselytising and indoctrination are prevalent in the No Outsiders material.

Opening the introduction of his book No Outsiders, Moffat explains his mission thusly:

“I don’t believe that we need to be teaching children that gay men and lesbian women exist… what we now need to be teaching is that… to be a person who is gay or lesbian or transgender or bi-sexual is normal, acceptable and OK. Children also need to be learning that they may identify or may not identify as LGBT as they grow up, and that whoever they grow into as an adult is also perfectly normal and acceptable”.

In his select answers to “challenging questions”, Moffat states,

“Some of our children may turn out to be gay… and they need to know that it’s OK.”

Moffat wants to “sell” his morality to children. He uses psychological techniques to achieve behavioural change.

Psychological Techniques

Moffat employs role-modelling, vicarious reinforcement and negative reinforcement/isolation which borders on bullying of a child. For example. Moffat asks Year 6 children a series of questions in which he not only gets children to affirm that “gay is OK”, he presents himself as a role model, before rewarding them with praise (“given them a clap!”). In other example, Moffat isolates a child’s reaction to a man coming out gay in an assembly as “homophobic” that “made him an outsiders”.

This is disturbing.  Firstly, it most certainly confirms that Moffat is actively conditioning children how to think and what to think in a given circumstance thereby actively teaching moral positions. Secondly, the above desensitisation of most of the class to the topic shows that he has conditioned responses. And thirdly, he has used questionable techniques which border on bullying as a way of coercing compliance.

Promoting Confusion of beliefs and Deformation of Islam

This proselytising extends to how a child should think about religions. Moffat shares a note written by a child which states that “it’s OK for Muslim children to listen to a Christian assembly because it won’t hurt you and it won’t affect your religion”. How does a child – or any non-Muslim for that matter – know whether content of an assembly from another worldview or belief system “won’t affect your religion” And why is Moffat encouraging this attitude in children?

The No Outsiders companion website hosts various materials for conducting assemblies.

One assembly example involves a story about a Muslim female boxer experiencing rejection from her mother due to her boxing before eventual acceptance. Moffat impresses on children that “ideas can change and people can change”. It is questionable as to what sort of message Moffat is promoting here. The use of a Muslim example to effectively place disobedience to a parent in a positive light, along the with the message “ideas can change” suggests that Moffat is advocating the undermining of parental authority and guidance.

In another example promoting “different families”, Moffat feels it is necessary to instil doubt by promoting religious relativism – a sort of perennialism – to Muslim children. The assembly teaches that in the context of religion that “there are no wrong answers”. Whilst coercing acceptance of LGBT as “normal” and “ok”, Moffat wants children to suspend judgement on what is right and wrong when it comes to their religious beliefs.

He also actively advocates the normalisation LGBT orientations/identities to Muslim children through Muslim “role models” such as a fashion designer who designs rainbow hijabs and a gay Muslim, who wants to “show the world you can be Muslim and gay”.

Moffat even promotes the undermining of sex segregation of religious ceremonies/gatherings by asking the kids how they can make a place of worship (Gurduwara), “more inclusive”.

Presumably this is all Moffat not telling children how to think and not taking a moral stance.

Deconstructing Family

Irrespective of one’s outlook on what constitutes a family, the DfE’s SRE guidance makes it plain that parents have a right to have their children withdrawn from lessons on sex and relationships, a right that is circumvented by No Outsiders.

Moffat’s material on families demonstrates a phased approach to deconstructing the family and reconstituting it around his own beliefs.

Aiming at 0-5 year-olds, Moffat uses the Family Book to subtly influence a child into accepting that that all families including gay families are “OK” as the basis is care and love – a moral-judgement claim.  Using The Great Big Book of Families, he gives the perception that the traditional family structure is backward.

With And Tango Makes Three children are taught normalisation and acceptance of gay relationships by exposing them to a biased nature argument around homosexuality. Moffat encourages teachers to talk about the “many stories on the internet about gay animals in zoos”. This is tantamount to indoctrination.

Using King and King, disturbingly, Moffat wants teachers to close off the lesson by directly juxtaposing religion at odds with British law. This has the effect of creating a cognitive dissonance in the child between his or her religious beliefs and British law. Moreover, the religious perspective is also placed against No Outsiders, reinforcing the idea for the child that his or her religion is at odds with the school’s ethos, further increasing the dissonance.

When this is coupled with another book listed by Moffat which encourages children to disobey rules and read material in secret, and when one considers that Moffat’s proposed activity is to get children to “smuggle” books, the No Outsiders project becomes frankly sinister and subversive.

Transgenderism

Full version with complete references and more details can be accessed here.

In No Outsiders, Moffat explains transgender and gender roles:

“‘Transgender’ is when a person feels different from the body they were born into it; we were all assigned a gender at birth and sometimes… we may feel differently about that. Some people say there are ‘boy things’ and some say there are ‘girl things’, but we say that this is not the case and boys and girls can do the same sorts of thing if they want. Some of us will live as a different gender from the one other people chose for us; others may like to do things that some people are ‘just for boys’ or ‘just for girls’.”

Where a person is diagnosed with “gender dysphoria” (GD),[1] the person, as part their treatment, undergoes “social transition” – changing clothes, name and adopting gender stereotypical behaviours. The person may move onto hormonal and surgical transitions.

This approach is known as “gender-affirming” treatment.

All of this, however, is based on a particular understanding of the self and reality.

Philosophic Basis

Much of the transgender/gender fluid discourse emerges from queer theory, which derives its intellectual roots from feminists such as Judith Butler, Teresa de Lauretis and Eva Kosofsky Sedgwick.  They promoted the idea that gender and even the body itself is fluid, shaped by knowledge and power that is dispersed throughout society: i.e. it is a social construction.  What a person does is what defines their identity and gender, not their biological reality, giving rise to “new realities”.

The above draws from postmodern thinkers. They argue that there is no truth. Any thought-structure, any idea or opinion, thus is as valid as another. There is no truth because there is no authority which can decide what the truth is. Biology and the physical reality of humans, therefore, can be set aside for ultimately what one wants to think and believe.

There are fundamental inconsistencies, one chiefly being that asserting there is no ultimate truth is an objective statement in of itself – which can be deconstructed.

Pertinently for Muslims, the above thinking directly contradicts fundamental Islamic theology.[2]

The implication of the above is that the social engineering through education taking place is not neutral, scientific, or even liberal. In practice, it is thoroughly political.

Political Indoctrination

Moffat’s material can be considered suggestive. A suggestion is influencing children to respond uncritically.  There is a difference between teaching children to respect people who may be different to you, and instilling doubt through philosophy, suggesting cross-dressing and gender-norm deconstruction as normal, actively showing them mechanics of transitioning and teaching a view of gender dysphoria that aligns with postmodernism, in which the only outcome is transitioning to another gender. All of the latter is indoctrination.

In his No Outsiders book he promotes the following:

  1. Moffat encourages the gender neutrality of the characters in a book at Year 1
  2. At Year 4, children are to be exposed to a story which draws parallels to gender-affirming transitioning.
  3. By Year 6, children should be reading a story which depicts a cross-dressing child. Moffat wants children to accept this and not “judge”.

According to his online supporting material:

  1. 5-7 year olds should learn about a how a “boy teddy” becomes a “girl teddy”.   These ideas are indoctrinated and reinforced in lessons. Children are made to write letters to the teddy saying, “it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy and play with dolls” and “its ok if you are a boy or a girl”. The book encourages doubt and places feelings before reality reflecting its ideological basis, whilst proselytising to children at the same to “accept” this as normal.
  2. Another set of materials aim to have 7-year olds “accept myself for who and what I am” in the context of book called 10,000 Dresses. Children are to be asked, “What makes us think that?”; “does wearing a dress make a child a girl”; and “What does transgender mean?”

Can any reasonable person agree that Moffat is “not telling children what to think” and that he is not taking a moral stance?

Worryingly, the indoctrination is clearly having an impact. Parents at Parkfield Community School are complaining that children as young as four are asking whether they can be the opposite sex.

Promoting Gender Transitioning to Children

Full version with complete references and more details can be accessed here.

Gender transitioning is controversial, with concerns accentuated in the context of children.

As part of a lesson plan, Moffat proposes showing young children a BBC programme that follows a young child undergoing social transition. The programme makes unequivocal, partisan statements which have the effect of proselytising ideas to children and is tantamount to indoctrination. These include,

  1. “If you feel like a boy but you’re in a girl’s body then you’re a boy” (4min),
  2. A girl claiming she was “born in the wrong body” (9min).
  3. “The only difference between our (trans) life and a born male boy is that we’re trapped in this awful body and you have to do loads of medical stuff” (13.35).
  4. Puberty blockers are reversible and are akin to “pause” and “play” on puberty.

This simplistic, one-sided narrative fails to present the treatment of gender dysphoria in a balanced way.

An unbiased look at the issue requires examining uncomfortable topics around the metaphysical incoherence of the transgender discourse, desistance rates among children, the medical impact of transitioning, suicide rates of transgenders, and the practical issues it is giving rise to.

Metaphysics of the Self

The girl in the BBC programme claims that she is a boy trapped in girl’s body – this is a metaphysical assertion that cannot be substantiated, either biologically or rationally.

Whilst gender is understood with a postmodern underpinning, the gender-affirming treatment for GD requires a degree of certainty and a scientific method.  This unsurprisingly causes inconsistencies. If gender (and, according to Butler, the “sexed body” itself) is a social construct and distinct from the “real self”, then why is there a dependence on various invasive measures of the body for the person to feel a sense of alignment? Moreover, how does a biological male know what it feels like to be a female (or nonbinary)? Is not the very medium (physical reality) being used to determine male/female physiology which is supposed to be subjective and constantly shifting? If gender, sex and body are social constructs, then why is this “innate” inner feeling itself not a social construct?

Why does this inner feeling supersede biology in the case of sex and not other properties such as age? In cases of Species Identity Disorder, where a person begins to identify wholly or partly as an animal, should this person be supportively aligned to his/her inner sense of reality, or actual bodily reality? Should everyone accept the “reality” of a person who believes himself/herself to be a dog, or believes he/she is disabled?

According to the underpinning philosophy, we are whatever we believe to be, and the truth is whatever we want it to be. Why, then, is this belief coercively being taught in a dogmatic fashion, through the “oppressive structures” of PREVENT and the “disciplining power dynamics” of the law?

Desistance

The BBC programme gives the perception that “gender-affirming” treatment is the only answer. This ignores desistance – where a person’s mental state aligns with physical reality.

A number of studies show that most children eventually align with their biological reality, even where children are said to be “insistent, persistent and consistent” about their alternate identification. Getting children to “transition” early only serves to cement a gender-affirming trajectory. Pertinently there is little to no research which indicates if a child will “persist” or “desist” in a gender identity.

If most children align with their biological sex, why is gender-affirming treatment being advocated to young children? More importantly, why is Moffat – or any school for that matter – promoting such confusion to impressionable young children?

Puberty Blockers

The BBC programme uncritically proclaims that the puberty blockers are “completely reversible” and implies there are no side effects – it is a simple “pause and play” mechanism. But is it?

Dr Michael Biggs, an associate professor at Oxford found that there was a “significant increase” in self-harm and suicidal feelings, whilst parents found a “significant increase” in behavioural and emotional problems. He said that “puberty blockers exacerbated gender dysphoria.”

Other issues

There are other contentious issues that are not adequately presented, or covered at all, such as the impact of hormone therapy, the fact that studies examining the long-term impact of sex-reassignment treatment are, at the very least, inconclusive, and high suicide rates among transgender/gender nonconforming persons, including those who are supported by their families.

Moffat, however, seems content in “selling” misleading, simplistic information to children under the rubric of equality. If it is argued that the children are too young to be exposed to the studies and arguments outlined above, then why expose them to an ideological view of gender dysphoria in the first place?

Gender-Neutral Toilets

Moffat’s promotes gender-neutral toilets to children in his assemblies. The issue is the subject of much political debate, with voices across the spectrum raising concerns, as increasing number of women and girls refuse to use gender-neutral toilets.

Moffat, however, frames opposition to gender-neutral toilets as opposing No Outsiders, implying that political viewpoints that contradicts Moffat’s preaching are unacceptable and intolerant.

This is, again, tantamount to political indoctrination.

Mass Indoctrination

Recall Moffat’s statements: he is neither teaching children what to think, nor is he saying what is right or wrong. The above clear shows the opposite. As if this is not sufficient, Moffat’s mission to convert people to No Outsiders ideas goes beyond Muslim pupils. He states that his aim is to extend No Outsiders “outside the school walls”. After quoting a parent who highlights that the pupils can be taught about homosexuality at school, but at home they teach them homosexuality is not allowed, Moffat writes the following:

We have enabled conversations with our parent community about LGBT equality that may have never taken place. This is an achievement in itself and a worthy beginning, but two years further on, questions need to be asked about the effectiveness of the work when it is confined to working behind the school walls. Are we teaching children to say one thing when in school and another at home or in their local community, and if so, is this real change? Are we really engaging with the community on new ideas?”

If this is not a concerted effort to proselytise and indoctrinate, then I am not sure what is.

It exposes Moffat as someone who is deeply disingenuous. He is misleading parents by telling them that he is not “telling children what to think”.  He is misleading the public by stating that he is not taking a moral stance.

Yet his No Outsiders materials show he is mapping out a plan of mass indoctrination.

Concluding Remarks

Moffat’s No Outsiders project, whilst sold as innocent, has several issues. Moffat uses the law and the structurally Islamophobic PREVENT strategy to forcibly drive antithetical beliefs and values sold as absolute fact into the target community. These beliefs and values extend beyond merely respecting differences. The analysis shows a concerted, fundamentally ideologically effort to undermine the religious beliefs of children by diffusing confusion and despotically coercing a particular worldview and associated beliefs as normative. The target is not only the minds of Muslim children, but the homes and communities in which they reside in. This isn’t education. This is mass indoctrination.  It is an extension of PREVENT, “muscular liberalism” and its structural violence against the Muslim minority.

Despite the hostile mainstream media and spin tactics designed to repress this dissent, it is for parents at Parkfield Community School to maintain their brave posture and not compromise. Nothing short of complete removal of No Outsiders – from the ethos to the permeation into disparate lessons and assemblies – is required, with parental authority reinstated around any topic that relates to SRE.

Those on the left who have formed political alliances with Muslims as well as those who shamelessly court the Muslim vote should remember that flexing muscular liberalism neocon-style to force Muslims into compromising their beliefs will only result in disintegration. Instead of targeting the children of a community that are already subjected to media, political Islamophobia and demonisation through PREVENT, it would be more productive if cross-sections of communities focussed on the tidal wave of white supremacy that seems to be enveloping the political and social landscape.


References:

[1] Gender dysphoria (formerly gender identity disorder) is a condition where a person feels intense anxiety due to an inner feeling which does not accord with physical (biological) reality. This typically manifests itself in the person desiring to be another gender, disliking one’s own body and a desire for primary and secondary sex characteristics of another gender according to the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria.

[2] The great Hanafi scholar Imam Nasafi (rahimahulla) opens his text on the fundamentals of belief with the following words:

“The people of truth said: The realities of things exist firmly and knowing them– contrary to what the Sophists say– is established. The reasons of knowledge for the creations are three the sound senses, the truthful news and the mind. The senses are the hearing, the sight, the olfaction (smell), the taste and the touch. With each of these senses one encounters that which it was created for.”

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