Monday, 22 November 2010

You gotta have fai-fai-fai-fai-faith

An unusual alliance seems to have formed between the BBC and the Daily Mail this week, as the former has inadvertently added fuel to the latter’s ongoing fire again the Islamification of Britain. A new Panorama documentary due to screen tonight aims to expose how thousands of Muslim children are being educated in the fundamentals of Sharia law in ‘weekend schools’ across Britain.

All told there are around 40 of these schools, which are currently teaching the Saudi national curriculum. And since they’re part-time, weekend-only institutions, they fall outside of Ofsted’s remit. This means that the kids are free to learn about the sins of sodomy, the severing of thieves’ hands as punishment for theft, and the dangers posed by the Zionist plot to take over the world. Well, I suppose it’s more interesting than studying cross-sections of tundra soil anyway.

Unfortunately, as one might expect, the Mail’s coverage tends to fixate on the ‘otherness’ of the teachings, making clear their distaste for the indoctrination of children into profoundly non-British protocols. In fact, the real danger posed by schools like these, is highlighted in a throw-away quote at the end of the article.

Taken from a report by Conservative think tank ‘Policy Exchange’, the statement reads “The Government’s policy of opening up the education system to new academies and free schools programmes could be exploited unless urgent measures are taken to counter extremist influence.” Notice that this relates to all faith schools, and not just the ones that happen to observe Ramadan.

And given the Mail’s disdain for the Saudi curriculum, let’s take another look at the shocking subject matter being shared with impressionable Muslim youths. The notion of a Zionist plot to take over the world is both offensive and ridiculous. But not so far removed than the Mail’s own preaching about the Islamification of the west. It’s also hard to see how many of the Mail’s “hanging’s too good for ‘em” readers will be particularly upset by the idea of amputating a thief’s work-tools. They’re probably sharpening their electric carving knives even as I write this.

So what about the nasty homophobia that’s being taught in these schools? Or the fact that six year olds are being taught that those who refuse to convert to Islam will burn in “hellfire”? Forgive me if I point out that these are some of the same viewpoints regularly articulated whenever a Christian militant argues that their religious freedoms are being quashed by the PC brigade or the gay agenda.

Furthermore, it’s particularly galling to see Education Secretary Michael Gove wading into the debate to deplore the teaching of homophobia in our schools, when his own political party has such a woeful track record on the subject.

The real issue here is the dangerous precedent set by any ‘faith school’ with an agenda, irrespective of which God it happens to tell children to fear. The Mail may have a problem with Muslim women wanting to pull a veil over their face, but it’s even worse to willingly pull the wool over our eyes.

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