Note: there is an update to this story focussing on the artist Rizwan Ul Haq himself and his extensive Islamic evangelism activities in British schools. See: http://www.fahrenheit211.net/2014/01/24/rizwan-ul-haq-promoting-islam-to-your-children-possibly-without-your-knowledge/
I have heard it once said, and I cannot recall by whom, that: ‘The education of a child is far, far too important a matter to leave to schools’. This is because it should be parents and the general society which set up a child’s moral compass, and not those ‘professionals’ who may have agendas of their own, or who may not even be very good educators.
The blogger Kafircrusader has discovered a very worrying example of a school ceasing to educate and instead getting itself involved in propaganda for Islam. St. Marks C of E School in Worsley, Greater Manchester, are not only using school-time to push a grossly distorted and untrue version of Islam onto primary school children, but also are asking parents to pay for their own children to be propagandised. A concerned parent contacted the Kafircrusader blog and said:
“Hi my * children go to the same CofE School. After picking them up tonight all the Parents of the School received the following email. None of us were told this was planned, normally we get advance notice and are asked to pay up front for any event the School puts on. To be blunt, this is blatant Lefty indoctrination and needs stopping ASAP.
Dear Parents and Carers, We have been very fortunate to welcome Islamic artist and author Razwan Ul-Haq into our school today to work with the children. Our day started with a very interesting and entertaining assembly where Raz talked about the five Pillars of Islam, and informed the children that Allah is the one God we Christians worship. Using examples of his own art work, and those of Arabic artists around the world, Raz showed how the four arabic letters of Allah can be used to create some beautiful calligraphy. The children spent the morning creating their own pictures using the word Allah in many creative ways and produced some very thoughtful pieces of art. To link with our week’s theme of Hippo Time is OK, where we are helping the children to understand that it is ok to feel sad sometimes as long as we don’t ‘wallow’ too long, Raz spent the afternoon teaching the children some meditation exercises to help them relax and find peace and calm when they are stressed or upset. The day has been such a success and the children have expressed how much they have learned about Spiritual art, and reflecting on God. It is for this reason that I hope you will be able to send a contribution of £1 per child to school this week. This will help school cover the cost of having Raz with us today. Thank you for your ongoing support to school and our work”
The most concerning aspect of this story in my view is the snidey way the school has behaved. To invite into a Church school someone who is basically a religious evangelist, from a different religion, and not inform the parents or seek their permission is wrong. There must be a reason why they didn’t ask permission in advance? The suspicion is that the school may have deliberately not asked for parental permission, because they knew, or were concerned, that there would be rightful objections to this quite shoddy piece of indoctrination.
It is bad practice for a school to put on an event, any sort of special event, to not tell parents about it and then to demand money for it after it has happened. This would be wrong whether it event was a day out, or a museum outreach visit or what have you. It is especially wrong to bring into a school someone, who is not an unbiased expert on Islam, or an artist who just happens to work with Arabic calligraphy, but someone who is promoting Islam.
It should be the right of every parent to decide their child’s spiritual, moral and ethical education, when left to the schools you get rubbish like this being done, by teachers who really should know better.
Somebody in this school must have agreed to this policy of hiding the nature of this artist from the parents, someone must be ultimately responsible for bringing this person into the school? In a school the buck stops with those with administrative control over the school, in this case, the Headteacher, Ms Jill Johnson. Because of the appallingly dishonest way that this matter has been dealt with, and the schools blatant appeasement of Islam, Ms Johnson is well on the way to winning this blog’s ‘British Neville Chamberlain Award’ for January 2014. It is to be assumed that parents at a school run for the benefit of Church of England member, chose this school because of its Christian ethos, and inviting in an Islamic Evangelist would in many people’s minds go against that Christian ethos.
As Kafircrusader says, the deity of the Muslims is not the same as the God of the Christians and the Jews. Although Mohammed and his gang of 7th century robbers and perverts, borrowed heavily, and perverted the texts of the Christian New Testament and the Jewish Tanakh and Talmud, the deity of Allah comes straight out of pre-Islamic Arabian polytheism. The God of the Christians and the Jews has many names and descriptions, Hashem, Jehovah, The Lord, the Father, and is not the same deity as that worshipped by Muslims. The history and nature of Allah is very much different and it is dishonest to pretend otherwise. If you don’t believe me on that just do a websearch on the history of Islam.
At the very least, hiding the nature and timing of this artist’s visit is unprofessional and unethical, at worst it looks like a malevolent attempt to circumvent a parent’s right to stop their children being indoctrinated by members of a religious and ideological path that they may find highly objectionable.
This case shows exactly why schools often cannot be trusted with a child’s moral and ethical education, and it also shows just why it is so important that parents keep on top of what their children’s heads are being filled with whilst they are at school. I’ve written before about bias towards teaching a very sanitised version of Islam in the British education system and this is short-changing our school pupils by telling them lies, instead of the truth.
Parents must learn to keep a closer eye on just what is being taught because incidents like this one are yet more evidence that schools cannot be trusted with the future of our children. That schools cannot be trusted to impart useful skills and knowledge to children is now well established, but they are also working to promote an ideology that so often sets itself against cultures based on, openness, democracy, free speech and gender equality. A school would quite rightly not invite onto their premises a neo-Nazi or a Stalinist and let them impart their views onto children, so why are they inviting in those who promote an ideology that holds a lot of the world, and especially the female bit of the world, in thrall to terrible oppression?
This school has behaved in a disgustingly underhand way and parents at this school and others who are concerned about what they’ve done should complain to both the school and the local Church of England Diocese about tricking the parents into letting their children be subjected to this blatant piece of pro-Islamic propaganda. It goes without saying that the correct response to the school demanding money from parents for the cost of this educational travesty should be to refuse to pay the sums demanded. Although £1 is not a great deal of money, it is the principle of the thing that matters here and the school has shown considerable Chutzpah in making this demand that the parents of St Mark’s children pay for them to be lied to.
Links and addenda
Original story from Kafircrusader’s site.
Schools who do this sort of thing need to be told if you find such things unacceptable. If you wish to write a polite letter or email to St Mark’s to complain about this here are the contact details for the headteacher and the school.
St Mark’s C of E Primary School
Telephone number: 0161 790 3423
Fax number: 0161 790 2590
School website: http://www.st-marks-worsley.salford.sch.uk/
If putting in a complaint about this school it may also be a good idea to contact the Chair of Governors of the school,one Ian Macdonald. If you are going to write to Mr Macdonald then please write to the school address.
If you want to read St Mark’s Ofsted report it’s available via the link below. As a school it cannot seem to rise above a ‘good’ rating and really could do better. As could be expected from the story above, this school seems to spend too much time on ‘social and cultural’ matters and not enough on trying to make the school an outstanding place to give a child a suitable general education. It’s schools like this one that make home-schooling look like a very good idea. I would not feel happy sending my child to this school. I would want my child to learn and grow and not be indoctrinated with the false belief that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’
St Mark’s Ofsted Report for September 2013.