Tuesday, August 14, 2012
How Political Correctness Is Transforming British Education
by Soeren Kern
In Cheshire, two students at the Alsager High School were punished by their teacher for refusing to pray to Allah as part of their religious education class.
In Scotland, 30 non-Muslim children from the Parkview Primary School recently were required to visit the Bait ur Rehman Ahmadiyya mosque in the Yorkhill district of Glasgow (videos here and here). At the mosque, the children were instructed to recite the shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith which states: "There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger." Muslims are also demanding that Islamic preachers be sent to every school in Scotland to teach children about Islam, ostensibly in an effort to end negative attitudes about Muslims.
British schools are increasingly dropping the Jewish Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, according to a report entitled, Teaching Emotive and Controversial History, commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills.
British teachers are also reluctant to discuss the medieval Crusades, in which Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem: lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.
In an effort to counter "Islamophobia" in British schools, teachers now are required to teach "key Muslim contributions such as Algebra and the number zero" in math and science courses, even though the concept of zero originated in India.
In the East London district of Tower Hamlets, four Muslims were recently jailed for attacking a local white teacher who gave religious studies lessons to Muslim girls; and 85 out of 90 schools have implemented "no pork" policies.
Schools across Britain are, in fact, increasingly banning pork from lunch menus to avoid offending Muslim students. Hundreds of schools have adopted a "no pork" policy, according to a recent report by the London-based Daily Telegraph.
The culinary restrictions join a long list of politically correct changes that gradually are bringing hundreds of British primary and secondary education into conformity with Islamic Sharia law.
The London Borough of Haringey, a heavily Muslim district in North London, is the latest school district to switch to a menu that is fully halal (religiously permissible for Muslims).
The Haringey Town Council recently issued "best practice" advice to all schools in its area to "ban all pork products in order to cater for the needs of staff and pupils who are not permitted contact with these for religious reasons."
Local politicians have criticized the new policy as pandering to Muslims, and local farmers, who have pointed out that all schools in Britain already offer vegetarian options, have accused school administrators of depriving non-Muslim children of a choice.
Following an outcry from non-Muslim parents, the town council removed the guidance from its website, although the new policy remains in place.
At the Cypress Junior School, in Croydon, south London, school administrators announced in the school newsletter dated June 1, 2012 that the school has opted for a pork-free menu "as a result of pupil and parental feedback."
The announcement states: "Whilst beef, chicken, turkey and fish will all feature, as well as the daily vegetarian and jacket potato or pasta option, the sausages served will now be chicken rather than pork."
In Luton, an industrial city some 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of London where more than 15% of the population is now Muslim, 23 out of 57 schools have banned pork.
In the City of Bradford, a borough of West Yorkshire in Northern England where there are now twice as many practicing Muslims that there are practicing Anglicans, 24 out of 160 schools have eliminated pork from their menus. In Newham (East London), 25 out of 75 schools have banned pork.
Other pork-free schools include Cranford Park Primary School in Hayes (Middlesex), and Dog Kennel Hill Primary in East Dulwich (South London).
The Borough of Harrow in northwest London was among the first in Britain to encourage halal menus. In 2010, Harrow Council announced plans to ban pork in the borough's 52 state primary schools, following a switch by ten secondary schools to offer halal-only menus.
According to the UK-based National Pig Association, which represents commercial pork producers, "It is disappointing that schools cannot be sufficiently organized to give children a choice of meat. Sausages and roast pork are staples of a British diet and children enjoy eating them. If products can be labeled with warnings that they contain nuts and vegetarian dishes can be made and kept separate from meat dishes, [we] don't see why the same can't apply to pork."
Lunch menus are not the only area in which "cultural sensitivity" is escalating in British schools.
In West Yorkshire, the Park Road Junior Infant and Nursery School in Batley has banned stories featuring pigs, including "The Three Little Pigs," in case they offend Muslim children.
In Nottingham, the Greenwood Primary School cancelled a Christmas nativity play; it interfered with the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. In Scarborough, the Yorkshire Coast College removed the words Christmas and Easter from their calendar not to offend Muslims.
Also in Cheshire, a 14-year-old Roman Catholic girl who attends Ellesmere Port Catholic High School was branded a truant by teachers for refusing to dress like a Muslim and visit a mosque.
In Stoke-on-Trent, schools have been ordered to rearrange exams, cancel swimming lessons and stop sex education during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. In Norwich, the Knowland Grove Community First School has axed the traditional Christmas play to "look at some of the other great cultural festivals of the world."
Meanwhile, the politically correct ban on pigs in Britain also extends to toys for children. A toy farm set called HappyLand Goosefeather Farm recently removed pigs in order to avoid offending Muslims.
The pig removal came to public attention after a British mother bought the toy as a present for her daughter's first birthday. Although the set contained a model of a cow, sheep, chicken, horse and dog, there was no pig, despite there being a sty and a button which generated an "oink" sound.
After the mother complained, the Early Learning Centre (ELC), which manufactures the toy, responded: "Previously the pig was part of the Goosefeather Farm. However due to customer feedback and religious reasons this is no longer part of the farm."
After a public outcry, however, ELC later reversed its decision: "We recognize that pigs are familiar farm animals, especially for our UK customers. We have taken the decision to reinstate the pig and to no longer sell the set in international markets where it might create an issue."