Muslim Hate of Western Dress

 

Counter terrorism police investigate fears of a 'Trojan Horse-style' plot at a primary school where the headteacher is forced to work from home because of threats from Muslim parents

    Trish O'Donnell, of Clarksfield Primary School in Oldham, has been threatened

    She has endured 'harassment and intimidation' by conservative Muslim parents
    It is feared they are making a 'Trojan Horse' attempt to Islamicise the school
    Furious parents have complained that the way she dresses is 'unsuitable'

By Charlie Moore For Mailonline

19 February 2017

Counter-terrorism police are investigating claims a primary school headteacher has been forced to work from home after death threats from Muslim parents who hate her western values.


Trish O'Donnell, head of Clarksfield Primary School in Oldham, has endured 'harassment and intimidation' in the form of 'aggressive verbal abuse' and 'threats to blow up her car' from parents pushing conservative Muslim ideals.


It is feared they are making a 'Trojan Horse' attempt to Islamicise the school.


Parents have complained the way she dresses is 'unsuitable' and that pictures of her daughters in her office are 'offensive'.


The school is mostly filled with Pakistani pupils who do not speak English as a first language. A section of its website titled British values only read: 'coming soon'.


Since becoming head in 2006, Mrs O'Donnell has taken the school Ofsted rating from needing improvement to good.


But now she feels her position is untenable due to the pressure from Muslim parents trying to change the school from within and may be working from home.


Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, said the duty placed on teachers to carry out the Government's counter-terrorism Prevent strategy was 'fraught with difficulties.'


Speaking to the Manchester Evening News she said: 'I understand that investigations into harassment of the headteacher at Clarksfield Primary School have been undertaken by Oldham Council and also Greater Manchester Police (GMP).


'I also understand that allegations that this amounted to a 'Trojan horse' plot have been investigated by Oldham Council, linking in with GMP's Counter Terrorism Unit, and the Department for Education's Compliance Unit, who concluded that there was no evidence to support this claim.


'We must, of course, be vigilant to any issues that could conflate community tensions.


'This is why, along with the council, other Oldham MPs, organisations and leaders, we continually work across our diverse communities whilst tackling underlying inequalities which ultimately fuel these tensions.


'Unfortunately the new Prevent duty placed on educators to report people at risk of radicalisation is fraught with difficulties.'


A GMP spokesman said: 'GMP has received information obtained by partners regarding a school in Oldham. We have passed on information to the relevant authorities which are looking into the matter.'


According to an Oldham council report, seen by The Sunday Times, she wrote that she had a 'very strong reasons to believe that . . . a 'Trojan Horse' agenda [is] being played out'. 


And the head teachers' union, the NAHT, said it was 'supporting a number of members in the Oldham area with a variety of apparent Trojan Horse issues'.


The council report says the school's 2013 parent-governor Nasim Ashraf hosted 'Islamic teaching sessions' at the school while his wife, Hafizan Zaman, 'made remarks to Asian staff members that they should be wearing a veil and covering their heads'.


They took exception to Hindi music being played in class, were angered by sex education and were accused of intimidating staff and undermining the headteacher.


The report said they tried to mobilise parents to 'secure changes at the school to reflect their interpretation of Islam' but did not suggest they were involved in the violent threats.


Ashraf's sister Shasta Khan is serving eight years in jail for plotting to attack Jews in Manchester.


She's friends on Facebook with Tahir Alam, the architect of a similar 'Trojan Horse' plot on several schools in Birmingham in 2014.


In the plot activists launched a campaign to oust headteachers using dirty tricks such as spreading false allegations and packing governing bodies with their supporters. 


Tahir Alam and Razwan Faraz were part of the 'Park View Brotherhood' of teachers, which exchanged some 3,000 messages in a WhatsApp group, including offensive comments about British soldiers, the Boston Marathon bombings and the murder of soldier Lee Rigby.


Mr Faraz, a former deputy headteacher of the Trojan-Horse linked Nansen Primary School, is under an interim teaching ban, while Mr Alam was banned from any involvement with schools by the Department for Education (DfE).


Clarksfield Primary's Chairman of Governors Saima Kausar and Mrs O'Donnell declined to comment.


Ashraf denied any Trojan Horse plot but said he wanted to remove Mrs O'Donnell because the school was failing.


A spokesman for Oldham council, cabinet member for education Amanda Chadderton, said: 'We take any allegations about our schools very seriously. The report into an Oldham primary school found no basis to the 'Trojan Horse' allegations.'



Beyonce won't be 'naughty girl' at Malaysia show

By SEAN YOONG (AP)
September 24, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Beyonce Knowles has sung about partying like a "naughty girl," but Malaysians can expect her to be on her best behavior for a concert in this Muslim-majority country next month, the event's organizer said Thursday.

The R&B superstar has attracted criticism in recent days from the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, the country's largest opposition group, which wants authorities to scrap the Oct. 25 show because it would promote "Western sexy performances."

Knowles, who is well-known for her provocative clothes and concert choreography, backed out of a concert in Malaysia two years ago after the Islamic party threatened to protest the show. Party officials have not planned any demonstrations for next month's event.

Entertainment company Marctensia, the concert's Malaysian organizer, said Knowles should be regarded as a "role model" and "embodiment of success" because of her heavy involvement in philanthropy work, including campaigns against poverty and domestic violence.

The company also allayed concerns that Knowles would wear inappropriate outfits, saying "all parties have come to an amicable understanding" about stage costumes at the stadium concert in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's largest city.

"We are confident that (the concert) will once and for all silence international critics and put Malaysia back on track ... in presenting A-list international pop concerts in this region," Marctensia said in a statement.

Other pop stars such as Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani have performed in Malaysia under similar protest threats by conservative Muslims in recent years, forcing the artists to don attire that revealed little skin.

In another recent concert controversy, the government at first barred, then reversed an order forbidding Muslims from attending a Black Eyed Peas concert Friday because it is being sponsored by a beer company.


Girl loses legal bid to wear full Islamic dress in school

By Robert Verkaik, Legal Affairs Correspondent

Published: 23 March 2006

A Muslim girl has lost her three-year legal battle to wear full Islamic dress in class after the House of Lords upheld the headteacher's right to exclude pupils who refuse to comply with school uniform policy on religious grounds.

The law lords' ruling overturns an earlier decision that Shabina Begum's human rights had been violated when her school banned her from wearing a head-to-toe jilbab.

Ms Begum, 17, had argued that her religious convictions meant she must be allowed to wear full Islamic dress. Her counsel, Cherie Booth QC, told the court that the school uniform was no longer suitable for her because she had reached sexual maturity and it did not sufficiently protect her modesty.

But yesterday Lord Bingham, the senior law lord, said that the uniform had been adapted to meet the interests of Muslim culture and had been accepted by the majority of the local Islamic community.

Lord Bingham said that the school, Denbigh High School in Luton, Bedfordshire, was fully justified in its policy and so reversed the ruling by the Court of Appeal. "It had taken immense pains to devise a uniform policy which respected Muslim beliefs but did so in an inclusive, unthreatening and uncompetitive way," he said. He added: "It would, in my opinion, be irresponsible for any court, lacking the experience, background and detailed knowledge of the headteacher, staff and governors, to overrule their judgement on a matter as sensitive as this."

Ms Begum said after the judgment was handed down: "Obviously I am saddened and disappointed about this, but I am quite glad it is all over and I can move on now. I had to make a stand against this and I am just happy it is all over now. Even though I lost, I have made a stand. Many women will not speak up about what they want."

She had worn the shalwar kameez (trousers and tunic) and headscarf from the time she started at the school at the age of 12 until September 2002, when she announced that the rules of her religion required her in future to wear the head-to-toe jilbab .

Ms Begum was sent home to change. She did not return to the school and later enrolled at another school where the jilbab was permitted. She is now considering taking her appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "This is a good judgment for schools. It shows that where a school is sensitive to local issues and has a good consultative process, its judgment will be upheld in law."

Begum's court battle

* September, 2002: Shabina Begum is sent home after she arrives at Denbigh High School, Luton, in the jilbab

* 13 February 2004: Papers are lodged at the Royal Courts of Justice in London asking for a judicial review of the decision to exclude her from school

* 23 February 2004: A judge finds that she does have an arguable case to seek judicial review

* 3 March 2004: Governors at Icknield High School in Luton decide to rescind their ban on Islamic headscarves

* 27 May 2004: A full hearing at the High Court is told the ban denies Ms Begum's right to practise her religious beliefs

* 15 June 2004: The High Court rules against Ms Begum and dismisses her application for a judicial review

* 20 December 2004: The legal row heads back to the Court of Appeal

* 2 March 2005: The Court of Appeal reverses the High Court ruling

* 25 August 2005: Ms Begum achieves five GCSE passes at another school, completing three years of study in one year

* 3 September 2005: A conference is held in London to mark International Hijab Solidarity Day

* 6 February 2006: Ms Begum's former school takes the case to the House of Lords

* 22 March 2006: Law lords overturn Appeal Court ruling

A Muslim girl has lost her three-year legal battle to wear full Islamic dress in class after the House of Lords upheld the headteacher's right to exclude pupils who refuse to comply with school uniform policy on religious grounds.

The law lords' ruling overturns an earlier decision that Shabina Begum's human rights had been violated when her school banned her from wearing a head-to-toe jilbab.

Ms Begum, 17, had argued that her religious convictions meant she must be allowed to wear full Islamic dress. Her counsel, Cherie Booth QC, told the court that the school uniform was no longer suitable for her because she had reached sexual maturity and it did not sufficiently protect her modesty.

But yesterday Lord Bingham, the senior law lord, said that the uniform had been adapted to meet the interests of Muslim culture and had been accepted by the majority of the local Islamic community.

Lord Bingham said that the school, Denbigh High School in Luton, Bedfordshire, was fully justified in its policy and so reversed the ruling by the Court of Appeal. "It had taken immense pains to devise a uniform policy which respected Muslim beliefs but did so in an inclusive, unthreatening and uncompetitive way," he said. He added: "It would, in my opinion, be irresponsible for any court, lacking the experience, background and detailed knowledge of the headteacher, staff and governors, to overrule their judgement on a matter as sensitive as this."

Ms Begum said after the judgment was handed down: "Obviously I am saddened and disappointed about this, but I am quite glad it is all over and I can move on now. I had to make a stand against this and I am just happy it is all over now. Even though I lost, I have made a stand. Many women will not speak up about what they want."

She had worn the shalwar kameez (trousers and tunic) and headscarf from the time she started at the school at the age of 12 until September 2002, when she announced that the rules of her religion required her in future to wear the head-to-toe jilbab .

Ms Begum was sent home to change. She did not return to the school and later enrolled at another school where the jilbab was permitted. She is now considering taking her appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "This is a good judgment for schools. It shows that where a school is sensitive to local issues and has a good consultative process, its judgment will be upheld in law."

Begum's court battle

* September, 2002: Shabina Begum is sent home after she arrives at Denbigh High School, Luton, in the jilbab

* 13 February 2004: Papers are lodged at the Royal Courts of Justice in London asking for a judicial review of the decision to exclude her from school

* 23 February 2004: A judge finds that she does have an arguable case to seek judicial review

* 3 March 2004: Governors at Icknield High School in Luton decide to rescind their ban on Islamic headscarves

* 27 May 2004: A full hearing at the High Court is told the ban denies Ms Begum's right to practise her religious beliefs

* 15 June 2004: The High Court rules against Ms Begum and dismisses her application for a judicial review

* 20 December 2004: The legal row heads back to the Court of Appeal

* 2 March 2005: The Court of Appeal reverses the High Court ruling

* 25 August 2005: Ms Begum achieves five GCSE passes at another school, completing three years of study in one year

* 3 September 2005: A conference is held in London to mark International Hijab Solidarity Day

* 6 February 2006: Ms Begum's former school takes the case to the House of Lords

* 22 March 2006: Law lords overturn Appeal Court ruling

 

Islamic Attire Debate Continues Around the World

By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com International Editor
April 06, 2006

(CNSNews.com) - A police union in New Zealand has called for a driving ban on Muslim women wearing the all-encompassing burqa, adding fuel to a widening debate over how Western societies should deal with the issue of strict Islamic dress.

A row erupted after the small country's police force announced a new policy on how to deal with drivers wearing the burqa -- head-to-toe apparel that incorporates a head covering and veil (niqab) hiding the face apart from the area around the eyes.

Officers were told that only female personnel should be involved in checking such drivers' identities, given Islamic sensitivities. The policy was established because of the growing number of Muslims behind the wheel and after consultation with the Muslim community.

But the police union, the Police Association, declared that a person should not be allowed to drive at all while wearing a burqa.

This was both for safety reasons and because criminals could wear the garb to conceal their identity, said association President Greg O'Connor.

"We should learn from Europe and make sure that if people come to this country, they have to integrate, and there's no better time and place than on the roads driving because that affects us all," he told Radio New Zealand.

The country's Federation of Islamic Associations said Muslims were happy to comply with police requests to identify themselves, but enforcing a driving ban on burqa-wearers -- of whom there were few in New Zealand -- was excessive.

Although the Muslim proportion of the population has been growing steadily over the past 25 years, Muslims still comprise less than 1 percent of the total.

Land Transport New Zealand, the government agency charged with promoting transport safety, said that as long as drivers can drive safely, they can wear what they please.

On the Islam Online website, fatwa scholars cite a prominent Muslim cleric as saying that covering the entire body -- including the face and hands -- is a "condition" in one school of Islamic jurisprudence and "recommended" in other schools.

"If the law governing a given country requires uncovering the face of the woman for genuine reasons, such as identification, the Muslim woman, like all other women, abides by the law," they write.

Outlawed

The issue of Islamic dress has exercised authorities and stirred debate in a number of countries.

The government of the Netherlands is considering whether a ban on wearing the burqa in public would violate European human rights legislation after Dutch lawmakers last December voted in favor of a ban.

Geert Wilders, an independent lawmaker who first proposed the move, described the burqa as "medieval" and "hostile to women," while critics of the move called it intolerant and racist.

Italy last July passed counter-terror legislation which, among other things, strengthened penalties for a preexisting offense of trying to hide one's features in public, whether with a burqa or niqab, or with a balaclava or ski mask.

Back in New Zealand, a judge ruled early last year that Muslim women giving evidence in a fraud case must take off their veils, although he allowed them to be screened from public view while doing so.

Defense lawyers had argued that the court would be unable to assess the witnesses' demeanor during their testimony if their faces were covered.

Earlier, one of the women had told the judge that she would rather kill herself than reveal her face, prompting lawmaker Winston Peters to suggest she might be better off living in a Muslim country.

"Most New Zealanders would be disturbed that a person prefers suicide to complying with reasonable court rules was living in their midst," he said.

In 2004, France banned Muslim headscarves -- and other religious paraphernalia -- in all public schools, sparking an angry reaction from many Muslims. Singapore (15 percent Muslim) has also banned the wearing of Islamic attire in public schools.

Even in predominantly Muslim Turkey, the government had instituted a ban in schools, universities, public offices and parliament.

Some campaigners for women's rights have argued that enforcing a ban could result in some Muslim men compelling their wives, sisters and daughters to halt all public interaction, thus setting back the modest gains made by such women.

Security worries

In Australia, an independent lawmaker stoked a debate in 2002 when he said Muslim women should not be allowed to wear traditional Islamic dress in public places for security reasons.

Speaking a month after 88 Australians were killed in a terror attack in Bali, Fred Nile warned that a terrorist could easily hide weapons or bombs beneath a burqa.

It could also conceal the wearer's identity or even gender, he added, noting that female Chechen terrorists involved in a 2002 hostage-taking in a Moscow theater had hidden explosives beneath their traditional dress.

Writing just months after U.S.-forces toppled the Taliban regime after 9/11, Middle East Quarterly editor Martin Kramer said that the ubiquitousness of Islamic dress in Afghanistan was "probably the greatest asset of al Qaeda's leaders who are still on the run.

"Afghanistan remains the perfect hideout because half of the people go about their public business in disguised anonymity," he said.

Last October, wire services quoted an Afghan provincial police chief as saying a Taliban commander suspected of armed attacks against coalition troops had tried to evade capture by dressing in female Islamic attire. Afghan and U.S. forces captured the man, named as Gafar, during a raid on a home in central Afghanistan.

Palestinian terrorist chief Yasser Arafat was reported to have escaped Israeli forces during an offensive after the 1967 Six Day War by crossing the Jordan River disguised as a woman.

Accounts of the alleged incident do not record whether he was wearing traditional Islamic dress.

 

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