“Welcome to Sunday!” begins Ed, brightly. “An orthodox synagogue in North London has abandoned its attempt to give women a greater role in the services. Later we interview an orthodox rabbi and a member of the Jewish women’s orthodox alliance.” announces Ed, with just a hint of gleeful incredulity.
Well. Headlining the programme with what turned out to be the last item on the agenda made me suspect that Sunday was implying a moral equivalence between a trivial, relatively obscure religious procedure of limited interest to anyone but a minority of orthodox Jews....... and some profoundly disturbing Muslim-related issues.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the other subjects, namely “Has Christianity become obsolete?” and the “Trojan Horse” business are far worthier and more urgent topics of public concern than an internal, purportedly anti-feminist controversy concerning orthodox Judaism.
Halfway through the programme, immediately before the Trojan Horse item Ed voiced another reminder of the upcoming bombshell concerning orthodox Jewry’s anti-feminist non-issue. It was as if the BBC was trying to head-off accusations of Islamophobia or heaven forbid, pro-Jewish bias, and reinforce that spurious moral equivalence.
Before we get to the nitty gritty of the Trojan Horse policy in action as opposed to the suspiciously inauthentic ‘letter’, here’s a statement from David Hughes, the governor of Park View school who defended the school against allegations that hard-line Islamists were plotting to Islamise his school. I was particularly struck that he defended certain practices by stating, “It’s not surprising that a school with 90% Muslim children would choose.....etc etc.”
“When I started as a governor here over 15 years ago no recognition was given to the fact that over 90% of the children were Muslim. In fact it was resisted, sometimes in the strongest terms: • no Halal food served • there were no facilities or arrangements for student prayer, for those who wanted it• girls who wanted to wear headscarves were not allowed to and the school refused to apply for a religious part- determination to allow its collective act of worship to be Islamic in nature. All these things are now in place.”
Well, dippity doodah for you.
“I am immensely proud of the fact that Park View honours, respects and supports the cultural and religious background of all our children – who are still predominantly but not exclusively Muslim – while preparing them to be part of 21st century multi-cultural Britain.”
I think Mr Hughes is forgetting that even if 100% of Park View’s children were Muslim, this is not a Muslim country (yet) and the debunked concept of multi-culturalism is was never intended to take the form of cult-ism. In other words it does not necessitate the whole of the UK eventually pandering to a mad, un-life-affirming cult.
So, having installed Halal food, prayer facilities, the headscarf, and religious ‘part-determination’ as per the wishes of his beloved separatist community, he doesn’t like being accused of doing something divisive and treacherous.
Liam Byrne accused the BBC correspondent Phil Mackie of making a number of errors. ED was surprised.
What??? BBC? Errors? How could this be? What errors?
Well, calling the issue ‘febrile’, (characterised by a great deal of nervous excitement or energy) for one. “This is an outstanding school, and we canno’ let this accusation ge’ in the way of an outstanding school doing an outstanding job” said Byrne, with his characteristic Labour-party t-less wordendingness.
Second, there have been very serious allegations made by former serving members of staff, which were reported to ofsted long before Trojan Horse. When you’ve go’ allegations like this the appropriate action is no’ to ignore whistleblowers’ allegations, and that is wha’ ofsted is now doing. The speed with which ofsted is doing its investigations is glacial. (suggesting the extreme slowness of a glacier) Byrne proceeded to attack Mr. Gove, forgetting that his own subversive Labour government was largely responsible for creating the fine mess we’re now in.
BBC radio Birmingham examines the issue more fully, with a contribution from Andrew Gilligan and evidence from a teacher who has witnessed bullying and intimidation.
It appears that the Muslim community’s desire for ‘higher educational standards’ is a euphemism for ‘a conservative Islamic education’.
If you have 95% pupils of a certain belief, naturally the schools will reflect that, they say. The Muslims who are defending the improvements David Hughes boasts of are advocating the Islamisation of their children's education simply because they don’t see anything wrong with it.
Well, we inadvertently voted for it, and now we’ve inadvertently got it.