Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

George Galloway Compares Birmingham Ofsted Report to Iraq War.

with 9 comments

Galloway in New Anti-War Campaign?

G · 49m

I know it’s a different league but; the Trojan Horse-shit is running out of the same stable as Iraq war. Pols/media/agencies zero in- BOOM

The “Trojan horse” hoax has morphed into an anti-Muslim witch-hunt in Birmingham which risks spreading further. Shame on those responsible

1:17 PM – 9 Jun 2014


Who will line up with George Galloway?

Salma Yaqoob makes this bold, but more reasonable,  claim,

She has called on Mr Gove to “listen to the voices of the children, parents and community in Birmingham”.

“We are standing up for multicultural education in this diverse city which is inclusive of all our children,” she said.

“We totally reject Ofsted’s actions and conclusions.”

There is indeed little doubt that Gove’s motivations (he supports the institutions which allow faith to intrude ever closer into education) are suspect.

He is no friend of secular freedom.


Even the Guardian’s John Harris admits,

Much as it may not have amounted to an exercise in so-called radicalisation, there are certainly questions to be asked about “an extended Islamic assembly” held at Park View in November 2013. Publicised in the school’s official literature, it was addressed by Sheikh Shady al-Suleiman, a Muslim cleric who has views running from adultery to geopolitics that a lot of people would find offensive, let alone if he was speaking at a school funded from general taxation – something politely summed up in Ofsted’s finding that “external speakers have not been vetted properly”.

And at Oldknow Primary School – another academy run by a charitable trust, the EFA found that classrooms had been segregated, with girls sitting behind boys, that there was “no evidence that governors have been chosen based on their skills”, and that “staff told us that during Friday assembly occasionally words have been used such as ‘white prostitute’ which they felt were inappropriate for young children”.

At the risk of reopening old wounds on the liberal left, for all the noise from those on the right of culture and politics, it is no good crying “witch hunt” and averting your eyes from this stuff. It should have no place in any state school, and most of it is an offence to any halfway liberal principles. It’s right to point out that there are other state-funded schools which engage in comparable philosophies and practices most of them clustered in the so-called faith sector, but that should not absolve the state schools currently under the spotlight.

The flaw in official  ‘multiculturalism’ is that is that is based on an uncritical acceptance of  ‘difference’.

Such as the views of Sheikh Shady al-Suleiman and gender segregation.

In this context far from being liberal or left-wing it is an apology for reinforcing fixed cultural and religious identities.

We might say no tolerance for the intolerant!

The Guardian Editorial contains one good section,

This is not to say that the problems Ofsted uncovered in Birmingham were not potentially serious, only to dispute the notion that they are uniquely Muslim. Indeed, if the most damning individual details from across all 21 schools inspected are picked out and lumped together – youngsters hearing about “white prostitutes” in assemblies, private investigators snooping on staff emails – it is possible to paint a very frightening picture indeed, as Mr Gove did in the House. But if what the Guardian saw on the inside of the now infamous Park View academy last month is any guide, the overall picture is different.

It then descends into the habitual Guardian liberal meandering: on the one hand….. on the other…

Faith schools have been a fact on the ground since the Victorian beginnings of state education. Education with a religious flavour is sometimes very good, but disputes between clerics and pious parents on the one hand and politicians and academics on the other about what teachers should teach are inevitable. What seems to be emerging in Birmingham is not a plot to instil jihadist values, but a more familiar tussle between “rational” and religious teaching, in the novel context of non-Christian faith. But where politicians could set boundaries and guide communities calmly through a new form of a familiar dilemma, they scream in panic.

Charges of ‘extremism’ have muddied the waters: the real issue is the role of religion in education.

Instead of British values and any faith whatsoever, education should be based on universal values, of freedom, critical thinking, and the development of every student’s abilities.

If that sounds a bit goody-two-shoes, than Cameron’s call for schools to teach respect for British “institutions” sounds frankly idiotic.


9 Responses

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  1. The awful irony is that anarchist and radical free schools were developed specifically to counter the kind of indoctrination of national values and institutions that Cameron and Gove are so eager to promote now.

    Igor Belanov

    June 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm

  2. For that very reason the use of the term ‘free schools’ rankled Igor.

    Here incidentally is another case coming up: A Muslim school found to have books suggesting stoning and lashing as appropriate punishments says it is the victim of “hostility”.

    Ofsted said some of the library books at Olive Tree Primary School in Luton contained fundamentalist views which had “no place in British society”.


    Andrew Coates

    June 10, 2014 at 12:12 pm

  3. Anybody wishing to follow George Galloway’s lead can keep up with him here: http://www.respectparty.org/

    Andrew Coates

    June 10, 2014 at 4:53 pm

  4. Each day I seem to see half-a-dozen reports in the media confirming or denying the ‘trojan horse’ letter and reports putting forward contradictory assertions about these Birmingham schools; I am utterly confused as to the veracity or falsity of anything in respect of this.

    One thing, however, is certain: if we had a genuinely secular education system whereby religious organisations did not run schools, then we would not have this sort of bother. If one permits religious bodies to run schools, then this is opening the door for frummers of all denominations to run riot.

    Dr Paul

    June 10, 2014 at 5:39 pm

  5. The problem with stories such as the one with the BBC is context – there are numerous similar verses within the Old Testament, is there a story about virtually every school in the land having such books?
    Leviticus 24:16 – “And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, [and] all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name [of the LORD], shall be put to death.”
    The problem is religious schools and the active promotion of particular religions in schools.


    June 10, 2014 at 8:48 pm

  6. […] Source: George Galloway Compares Birmingham Ofsted Report to Iraq War. […]

  7. There is also no Western system of law like the Shariah, which is practices these punishments. Far from being the sigh of the oppressed the ideology that backs the Sharia comes from the very real oppressors in many countries, from Saudi to Iran.

    Andrew Coates

    June 11, 2014 at 12:07 pm

  8. “George Galloway Compares Birmingham Ofsted Report to Iraq War”

    Only if you are a person predisposed to distorting what others have said. I notice the same trait in those pro Israeli supporters who take video clips from Galloway and edit them in a way that totally changes the argument Galloway was making. I am not surprised you ape your stable mates.

    Galloway is surely correct to link the Birmingham school story to the whole war on terror narrative, a legacy of Bushism that the left should be fighting, not reinforcing as the drone supporting leftists do.

    “Charges of ‘extremism’ have muddied the waters”

    So says the muddier in chief!

    We should beware all liberal secularists, as we see in Egypt when push comes to shove, they deliver a murderous military junta that imprisons it’s opponents.

    When criticising religious dogma in schools, we should show clear opposition to ruling class indoctrination via state schools, which is nothing more than a low quality fodder factory for capitalist production.

    Socialism in One Bedroom

    June 11, 2014 at 6:55 pm

  9. I’ve posted this in several other places, so you may have seen it already. I’ve been retired (as psychiatric nurse) for nearly 10 years now. 2 or 3 years before I retired, a colleague of mine came to work in tears.
    Her children’s school (east Birmingham) had sent out a circular saying that children would not be allowed to draw human figures during art lessons out of respect for the feelings of Muslims. She was afraid to complain, lest she was accused of racism. It’s been going on for years with barely a mention, because people are afraid to challenge it. Already fatalistic with respect to the growing muscle of Islam, I sort of assumed that all schools in that part of Birmingham were similarly Islamicised, as part of a willingness to look the other way on the part of those who decide what’s what in our society.


    June 15, 2014 at 6:03 pm

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