…continuing from yesterday as campaigners condemn ‘ludicrous’ hijab questioning…

Muslim campaigners have condemned “discriminatory” plans for school inspectors to question girls who wear hijab in primary school.

Yersterdays post explained that the Head of Ofsted Amanda Spielman would be asking why they (the children) wear the headscarf, which “could be interpreted as sexualisation of young girls”.

But some have asked why the pupils and not the schools will be challenged. I would take a guess here that because there is no legal basis for any school uniform the schools cannot really be held responsible for what children wear.

hijabs-630x388Oftsed should instead ask “why are primary school uniform policies allowing hijab for girls under the age of puberty when Islamic laws state otherwise,” she added.

Maybe parents should be asked as they, of course, are the one clothe the children. I’m not sure if a child will really understand.

Ofsted said the move was in line with its current practice of assessing whether a school promotes equality.

The hijab is traditionally worn as a sign of modesty once a girl reaches puberty which I would guess most Islamic parents know so I am not too sure why you would want a young child to wear it.

Research by the National Secular Society in September suggested 59 of 142 Islamic schools, including 27 primary schools, in England have a uniform policy which states a head-covering is compulsory. “The hijab in primary schools should be something that is dealt with via the schools uniform policy,” said Sajda Mughal, head of JAN Trust, a charity working with BAME and Muslim women.

She called the move by Ofsted “nonsense and discriminatory” and said it will be used by extremists to advance their narrative of “them and us'” and could fuel marginalisation which seems a little over the top in my opinion.

“I know as a Muslim mother of young girls, I’d be alarmed and horrified if I found that my daughters were questioned if they wore the hijab,” she said.

Surely if you dress your child with a head covering you would teach them why you are doing it, what it is for and what part it plays in your faith?

Amina Lone, from the Social Action and Research Foundation, was one of those who lobbied Ofsted to take action.

“As a second generation Muslim woman and a parent, I have huge concerns about the increasing encroachment of gender inequality in public spaces for women of faith,” she told the BBC’s Asian Network. “The hijab is absolutely not required for children.

“Gender equality was hard fought for in this country and we shouldn’t be diluting that.”

She said it was “absurd” to be having this debate in 2017 and stressed this was not about secondary school children or adults.

There is no ban on Islamic dress in the UK, but schools are allowed to decide their own dress code.

Current government advice states: “Pupils have the right to manifest a religion or belief, but not necessarily at all times, places or in a particular manner.”

Shereen, a hijabi, said the choice should be between the parents and the child.

The mother-of two, whose own daughters do not wear a hijab, said the headscarf has been misrepresented.

“It has nothing to do with sexualising children. That claim is ridiculous,” she told the BBC Asian Network.

Vlogger and mother, Nilly Dahlia agreed. She started wearing hijab aged 22.

“Hijab is not about sexualisation. It is a sign of submission to our faith,” she said.

“I do feel like the government are trying to control Muslims.”

But blogger Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal said the issue was simply a school uniform one.

“If schools do not want young children in primary education to wear hijabs in school, this needs to be made explicitly clear within the school uniform policy.

“This is not about racism, being islamophobic or discriminatory. It is common sense,” the mother-of-three wrote. “To subject a young child to questioning about why they are dressed in a particular way is ludicrous as it will always warrant the same response, ‘because my mother dresses me’.”

Then maybe the parents will need to asked why they are not following their faiths rules?

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Is segregation in UK schools acceptable?

It surprises me that in the 21st century in the United Kingdom that a school of whatever religious persuasion chooses to segregate. Of course the Al-Hijrah school an Islamic faith school has a policy of segregating boys and girls in lessons, breaks in fact in every aspect of school clubs and has been found to be ‘unlawful sex discrimination’ a court has now ruled ruled.

alThe case was heard at the Court of Appeal as Ofsted challenged a High Court ruling clearing the  in Birmingham of discrimination. Ofsted’s lawyers argued the segregation left girls “unprepared for life in modern Britain” and I tend to agree. It is society and that includes both parents and schools to help shape our children for life living in a modern industrial country and to be able to look after themselves and understand the complex world ahead of them.

Appeal judges ruled the school was discriminating against its pupils contrary to the Equality Act.

Ofstead have known about this for about 20 years but appear to have only now decided to challenge this discrimination. Our children, our boys and girls need to learn how to interact with each other, to be aware of the differences. This is modern Britain and if that is not to your liking then I would suggest that one may relocate to a place where this is still practiced.

The case came to court after Ofsted produced a summer 2016 report that found there was discrimination under equality laws.

At an earlier hearing, judge Mr Justice Jay said books discovered in the school library clearly treated women “as subordinate to men” and this is not acceptable at any level, school or otherwise.

Councillar Bennett said: “The school has, to say the least, a tarnished reputation and, with it once again having been rated inadequate, it is beyond dispute that the council’s efforts have failed to bring about the necessary improvements.

“It really would be in the best interests of all concerned, not least the pupils who have been failed by the school and the council, if the school were closed down in a managed and orderly fashion.”

And I tend to agree. We cannot and shall not treat our children differently because of their gender.

Chief inspector Amanda Spielman said: “Educational institutions should never treat pupils less favourably because of their sex, or for any other reason.

“The school is teaching boys and girls entirely separately, making them walk down separate corridors, and keeping them apart at all times.

“This is discrimination and is wrong.

“It places these boys and girls at a disadvantage for life beyond the classroom and the workplace, and fails to prepare them for life in modern Britain.