STOP OFSTED FROM QUIZING SCHOOL GIRLS IN HIJAB - SIGN SHARE NOW

2017-11-21 11:52:51 by Admin

Petition Details

SUPPORT TO STOP SCHOOL GIRLS WITH HIJAB BEING QUESTIONED. SHOCKING AND WORRYING BEHAVIOUR BY OFSTED.

 

PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE THIS WE NEED TO BRING IT TOO LIGHT. POSTED BY BBC.

 

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-42046371

 

 

Inspectors will question girls who wear hijab in primary school to find out why they do so, head of Ofsted Amanda Spielman has said. She said creating an environment where Muslim children are expected to wear the headscarf "could be interpreted as sexualisation of young girls". The hijab is traditionally worn as a sign of modesty once a girl reaches puberty. But the Muslim Council of Britain said Ofsted's policy was "deeply worrying".

 

 

The announcement comes after Ms Spielman met campaigners from the Social Action and Research Foundation think tank on Friday. In September, the foundation's head, Amina Lone, co-ordinated a letter to the Sunday Times from campaigners arguing that the hijab has "no place in our primary schools", and demanding action as Muslim girls as young as five were "increasingly veiled".

 

"This is an affront to the historical fight for gender equality in our secular democracy and is creating a two-tiered form of non-equality for young Muslim girls," the letter said. Explaining her decision to act, Ms Spielman said: "While respecting parents' choice to bring up their children according to their cultural norms, creating an environment where primary school children are expected to wear the hijab could be interpreted as sexualisation of young girls. "In seeking to address these concerns, and in line with our current practice in terms of assessing whether the school promotes equality for their children, inspectors will talk to girls who wear such garments to ascertain why they do so in the school." She urged parents concerned about fundamentalist groups influencing school policy or breaching equality law to complain to the school or to Ofsted. 'Second-class citizens' But Muslim Council of Britain secretary general Harun Khan said: "It is deeply worrying that Ofsted has announced it will be specifically targeting and quizzing young Muslim girls who choose to wear the headscarf. "It sends a clear message to all British women who adopt this that they are second-class citizens, that while they are free to wear the headscarf, the establishment would prefer that they do not." He said many British Muslims who wear the headscarf have done "extremely well" in education. "It is disappointing that this is becoming policy without even engaging with a diverse set of mainstream Muslim voices on the topic," he said. Mr Khan urged Ms Spielman to reverse the decision and said it risked being "counter-productive" to Ofsted's promise to uphold British values.

 

Asim Qureshi In light of the decision by Ofsted to question Muslim girls about their covering, it is worth reflecting on some history provided by Matthew Carr in his 'Blood & Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain' (a book that I cannot help returning to again and again): "Another decree subsequently prohibited Granadan tailors from making “Moorish” clothing. Such legislation was particularly concerned with female attire. On July 29, 1513, a decree condemned the fact that Morisca women continued to “walk with their faces covered” and gave the female population a two-year grace period to allow their almalafas to wear out. After that, any woman seen with her face covered would be subject to an escalating series of punishments, from the confiscation of the offending garment at the first offense, to flogging and banishment." I think in light Amanda Spielman's suggestion that the hijab presents a form of hypersexualisation for young girls, again Carr's reflections provide similar references to the period of the Inquisition: "

 

As in the sixteenth century, the depiction of Europe’s Muslims as “suspect communities” tends to interpret cultural and religious difference – whether real or simply imagined – as an expression of willful defiance of the majority. The covered female face has become a particular object of such suspicions, even if the meanings associated with it have changed. Where Spanish clerics once associated the almalafa with female sexuality and saw it as a threat to Catholic morality and virtue, the Muslim veil has been variously interpreted in recent years as a threat to European secularism, as a symbol of the oppression of women, or eve as a terrorist threat, as the Dutch cabinet described the burqa in November 2006 during a discussion that resulted in a decision to ban it from public spaces." Finally Sara Farris provides some further useful information in her excellent 'In the Name of Women's Rights' "In his description of the French colonial brutality in Algeria, Frantz Fanon also captured the sexualized character of racism, or the ways in which images of the Othered sexualized body as a competitor (male) or a possession (female) shape racist nationalist ideologies. Fanon foregrounded in particular the sexual metaphor underpinning the obsession the French colonizers had for unveiling the Muslim woman, which revealed itself more vividly during the "emancipation strategy" that the French regime carried out in the late 1950s.

 

One of the main features of the "emancipation strategy" was the unveiling of Muslim women, which was also used by psychological warfare experts to humiliate the Algerian liberation army. As Fanon put it, "After each success the authorities were strengthened in their conviction that the Algerian woman would support western penetration into the native society. Every rejected veil disclosed to the eyes of the colonialists horizons until then forbidden, and revealed to them, piece by piece, the flesh of Algeria laid bare." As noted by Meyda Yegenoglu, who draws on Fanon, the sexual fantasy of penetrating the territory and mysteries of the colonies through the unveiling of the women was thus also a rape fantasy." Discussions around the appropriate age for families to introduce the idea of the hijab to their daughters as an inter-community dialogue is important and completely within the boundaries of what is acceptable or indeed needed. What needs to be understood, is that these plans, such as that of Ofsted, do not exist in vacuum, they form as part of the structural Islamophobia of the state, which, in Brian Klug's words, seeks to discipline Islam itself.

 

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