Government Take Over Birmingham School ‘That Was Stricter Than Most Islamic Countries’
The Government has ordered the takeover of a state-funded Muslim school in Birmingham where a boy died in March.
Ofsted visited the Al-Hijrah School after nine-year-old Mohammed Ismaeel Ashraf reportedly suffered an allergic reaction and collapsed while at school. He was taken to hospital, but died shortly afterwards.
An earlier inspection found books in the library that said husbands were allowed to beat their wives and could force them to have sex.
A June report said the school was “inadequate”, saying pupils were not “sufficiently” safe and staff were not prepared for medical emergencies.
The school is currently embroiled in a long legal battle to allow it to segregate girls and boys.
Amanda Spielman, chief inspector at Ofsted, told The Sunday Times: “I am deeply concerned about the idea that total segregation of children within a mixed school is acceptable.”
In November, the High Court ruled that Ofsted inspectors were wrong to punish the school on the basis of the “erroneous” assumption that segregation amounted to unlawful discrimination.
The judge said: “There is no evidence in this case that segregation particularly disadvantages women.”
But Ofsted is appealing the decision and a Court of Appeal has been asked to give a final ruling on the issue.
Unlike some of the UK schools that follow a strict Saudi style ‘Wahabi’ or ‘Salafi’ interpretation of Islam, many majority Islamic countries do not segregate boys and girls, even at senior school level. In Morocco the sexes mix freely and in Jordan decisions are left up to individual schools, with many allowing a mixed approach. Lebanon also allows mixed classrooms, whilst in the GCC countries (except Saudi Arabia) in the Middle East, most schools have a more relaxed approach, particularly in relation to the many ex-pats that live and work in the Gulf countries.
It is noticeable, then, that schools such as Al-Hijrah are implementing regimes in the UK that are far stricter than anything seen outside of the most extreme Muslim governments.
Westmonster Dave is the editor of alt-politics.com