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6 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I April 2009
Muslim Parents face prosecution
over school ‘Gay Week’ protest
Muslim parents who withdrew their
children out of school to prevent
them being taught about lesbian,
gay, bisexual and trans-gender
relationships are facing prosecution.
The East London primary, George
Tomlinson School, has hit the
headlines when around 30 pupils
were absent from a week of special
lessons to highlight non-heterosexual
The row has once again bought
the debate forward to the suitability
of such subjects, which were once
introduced in the late years of High
School some years back and are
daughter if they went ahead with their views from religions, primarily Islam,
now being exposed and presented to
plans. “It is not an appropriate age compatible to co-exist in a secular
young children at Primary Level.
for the children to be learning such society?
As part of the ‘learning’ process,
matters” she said. Such have been the questions
students were planned to watch a
The moves towards teaching presented in both strategies and
special adaptation of Shakespeare’s
such topics have been part of a pilot projects whose primary focus,
test which government is planning by in large has been the Muslim
Romeo and Juliet retitled Romeo and
to eventually roll out throughout the community.
Julian. Stories covered in the lessons
country. Under the title of sex and The East London Primary School
at George Tomlinson School included
relationship education, which is in their pilot project has been
a fairytale about a prince who turns
currently in the consulation process, forthright in asserting key views
down three princesses before falling
children as young as 5 will be exposed which communities, regardless of
in love with one of their brothers and
to sexual issues and relationships, their beliefs and religious outlook
the tale of Roy and Silo - two male
whilst denying the right of parents and must accept as core Values of British
penguins who fall in love.
guardians to withdraw their children Society.
The Muslim community in East
from the lessons. “As part of the borough’s policy of
London has been taken back by
The UK Youth parliament, who has promoting tolerance in our schools,
the threats when the local council
been an active voice in the design children are taught that everyone in
announced that action would be
of this project, have been ambitious our society is of equal value,” said
taken against those parents for failing
“to improve sex and relationships A spokesman for Waltham Forest
to bring their children to school.
education in schools”. Council the spokesman.
A spokesman for Waltham Forest
Despite the Youth parliament This discussion goes far beyond
Council said the absences would be
having 15 Muslim members, with 7 tackling attendance of school
treated as “unauthorised” and action
alone in the North West and Yorkshire children. Already parents from various
had been taken, but refused to say
region, protest against this new project backgrounds have raised issues
what sanctions were put in place.
has been absent. about the exposure of sex related
Pervez Latif, whose children
The links between this SRE learning at such a young age and the
Saleh, ten, and Abdur-Rahim, nine,
project and the governments “contest re-enforcement of these messages
attend the school, said both Christian 2″ strategy, revealed earlier last through magazines, films and music.
and Muslim parents objected to the month to tackle extremism, has once In fact, the home secretary Jacqui
theme linked to Lesbian Gay Bisexual again bought the “shared values” Smith, herself showed great concern
Trans-gender History Month. debate to the table. Do people living on the ‘sexualisation of children’,
Sarah Saeed, 40, also took her in Britian today believe in the values specifically girls by ‘irresponsible’
eight-year-old daughter out of school underpinned in British society? Do media.
during the week. She claims she told people share the idea of being Liberal By Majed Iqbal
the school she would remove her and tolerant in their views? Are Independent Journalist
Blears faces
A leader of Britain’s largest In what is being described of adopting “an extraordinary
Muslim organisation is by members of the Muslim and malicious interpretation”
libel action
threatening to sue Hazel Council of Britain (MCB) as of a declaration he signed
for attack
Blears, the secretary of a crisis in relations between this year. Abdullah’s lawyers
state for communities, after the Muslim community and have told Blears that unless
on leading
she accused him of calling the government, lawyers she issues a retraction and
for violence against Jewish acting for its deputy secretary apology by 15 April they will
communities and British troops. general have accused Blears issue proceedings for libel.
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