As it's a blogpost [and, thus, not Paywall-bound], I think Damian Thompson's latest post can [just for once] be highlighted in full:
"Students' understanding of the arts, different cultures and other beliefs are limited." That's one of the complaints about Birmingham schools made by Ofsted in their leaked report. It sounds like a relatively mild criticism.Not so. What the Trojan Horse scandal has revealed is that leaders of the Muslim community in Birmingham have been creating a Wahhabi-inspired counterculture in secular, not faith, schools.Put simply, the interpretation of Islam that's sweeping through the Muslim world, thanks to Saudi money, seeks to deprive children of any exposure to the arts, which it condemns as idolatrous. Even listening to music is haram, forbidden. The underlying teaching is that the arts, by seeking to create beauty, blaspheme by detracting attention from the only source of true beauty, Allah, which can be appreciated only in the natural world he created.The imposition of this ideology on Muslim cultures is a tragedy – for them. But secular state schools in Birmingham are not part of Muslim culture, and their ghettoisation under the years of Labour government is a scandal.To be clear about this: primary school children in certain non-faith schools are not taught music because Islamic fundamentalists have been able to manipulate the system.Finally, Ofsted has begun to discover what's going on. I very much doubt whether it would have done so if anyone other than Michael Gove – who is not an Islamophobe but is definitely a veteran opponent of creeping Islamism – were Secretary of State for Education.I expect plenty of controversy in the days to come, as the Ofsted report is published and its implications sink in. The BBC will try to dampen it down. We mustn't let that happen.
"The BBC will try to dampen it down."
That's a serious charge, but it's one many of us might take more as a 'dead cert prediction' than as a mere charge.
We'll see. If the report says what Damian says it says, and if the BBC tries to dampen it down, it would be unforgivable. So, eyes wide open then!
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