We’ll stand up for schools that ban hijabs and fasting, pledges minister

Schools that try to ban hijabs or fasting will receive government support if they face a backlash, a minister has pledged.

Lord Agnew of Oulton, the schools minister, says that he will help head teachers to make difficult and “sensitive” decisions if they come up against opposition.

Writing for The Times, he criticised parents, local residents and religious leaders who “intimidate and bully” schools when they disagree with the head teacher. He said that “a culture of fear and intimidation must not be allowed to pass through the school gates”.

He gave his personal backing to Neena Lall, head of St Stephen’s primary in east London which tried to ban girls under eight from wearing the hijab. The school capitulated to opposition and removed the ban last month.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] “The Muslim Council of Britain said last week that Ofsted had issued a “disproportionate” number of statements about Muslims. It warned: “A lack of appropriate engagement will undoubtedly strengthen the negative perception among many Muslim parents about Ofsted’s interventions.”

This is where I lose any sympathy for Muslims. This is (one of the areas) where I get negative perceptions about Muslims. They live in the UK, they are a minority and yet they expect their own cultural and religious ways to dominate those of their host country. They have totally the wrong attitude. They should be doing what they can to integrate into their host country. If they aren’t they need to be challenged as to why not.

School uniform is there to provide a school with identity but also inclusivity, same with school rules. Demanding your child wears your own cultural clothing instead of complying with a school’s uniform ( the Koran does not require any specific clothing, it’s the later interpretation by clerics in the hot and dusty 7th c ME countries ) and the need for children to integrate via accepting school wear, is demonstrating just how little you are prepared to adapt and integrate into this country, but rather more how you want to dominate.

Same with school curricula and the approach to Ramadam and schools. Same with demanding halal meat in schools and wanting segregation in PE and swimming lessons.

This is why I think if they don’t like our values then they should resettle in a Muslim country which meets their requirements. However, ironically even some Muslim countries don’t enforce the wearing of hijabs or niqabs even for adult women, so they’d have to go to regressive places.

[2ND] Fasting and the hijab should be banned in all primary school by the government. Both practices were always for teens / adults in Islam and have been introduced recently by fundamentalists.

[3RD] The Hijab is about preventing men getting aroused at the sight of a woman. If men are getting aroused at the sight of the hair of children, regardless of age, then they need to seek help.

There are plenty of other ways to protect children from Paedophilic behaviour. Making them wear a Hijab is not one of them.

This garment should be banned for under 18’s.

[4TH] I wonder why Ofsted has issued a disproportionate number of statements about Muslims. Could it possibly be because Muslim schools are, in general, all about teaching isolationism rather than inclusiveness, and the Koran rather than the core curriculum?

[5TH] Why leave this battle for the schools to fight; why not introduce a law?

[6TH] The government needs to stop buck passing and put in place nationally applicable legislation. Expecting individual schools to risk running battles with potentially extremist groups is ridiculous.

[7TH] At root, this is about stopping the rise of sectarianism in the UK.

There is a new, aggressive, hardline religiosity at work among the Muslim population that began in the 1980s and took even settled Muslims by surprise. It galvanised Muslim youth and led to the jubilant response to the death order against Rushdie.

Behind it are unreconstructed Salafist and Islamist groups with links to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. These groups were also behind the aggressive and vicious campaign against the St Stephens headteacher and chair of the board of governors.

We are in practice a secular society in which a segment of the population is growing numerically and their self-appointed representatives are trying to cement an increasingly unassimilable religious identity, bolstered by law (sharia councils) and education. I think we should politely push back. [The Times (£)] Read more

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