Matthew Parris

The Birmingham ‘Trojan Horse plot’ is — like WMD — a neocon fantasy

It’s not enough to know what people would like to do. We need evidence they’ve done it

14 June 2014

9:00 AM

14 June 2014

9:00 AM

I can remember where I was when Colin Powell presented to the United Nations his evidence for the existence of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. I was taking a friend to an emergency medical consultation at Victoria station in London and while she saw the doctor I settled down in the waiting room to watch the presentation on TV.

I found it compelling. Trusting the then US Secretary of State and believing him to be a good man — as Michael Gove is a good man — I felt confident Mr Powell himself believed what he was assuring us as the camera moved to blurred high-altitude pictures of little dots, and roads, and lorries, and some of the sites that were (it was alleged) key to Saddam’s plot.

So it’s with a sense of deja vu that I listen to the conflict between those who suspect a ‘Trojan horse’ Islamist plot to pervert the education of British Muslim children, and those who insist that however damning inspectors’ strictures about Muslim teaching in some Birmingham schools may be, they do not suggest any kind of conspiracy.

This ‘Trojan horse’ business is the new WMD; and I won’t let British neocons mislead me a second time. I admire Michael Gove tremendously as well as liking him personally, but I honestly think that something in his brain flips when Islamic extremism is mentioned.

I don’t warm to Islam, any kind of Islam. I distinguish utterly between a faith and its adherents and have the greatest respect for many Muslims; but I find that in our age their religion is a generally regressive force, according to my own European liberal ideas of human progress; and I don’t like regressive forces. The more extreme or ‘fundamentalist’ the version of this faith, the more regressive the effect appears to be; and for me the same applies with Christianity or Judaism. I don’t like any religion or sect that oppresses the human spirit, relegates whole categories of human beings — such as women —  or crushes individual liberty.

It follows that I wish Muslims did not want their children to be encouraged in a culture that segregates girls, teaches that other faiths are blasphemies against God, believes homosexuality to be a sin, or wants women to cover their heads or faces. It follows too that where schools are being funded and supervised by the state, I would like a strict eye to be kept on possible departures from those values that we can agree should be at the core of a British state education.

Foremost among such values is what we might call ‘cultural relativism’ — the belief that up to a point individuals and communities are entitled to a measure of leeway for beliefs and practices that others may dislike or think wrong. As a political idea, cultural relativism teaches that rival claims to objective moral truth should not be adjudicated by the state, but suffered to live side by side. Neither Michael Gove nor Islam believes in cultural relativism. Michael takes a very Muslim position on the teaching of moral truth.

I don’t. That’s why, unlike Michael, I’m uncomfortable about taxpayer support for ‘faith’ schools, including some Christian and Jewish schools. Mosques and churches that want their adherents’ children encouraged towards a faith and its practices should pay for such schools themselves.

By his strong support for faith schools run by faiths of which he approves, Michael has got himself into a bit of a philosophical tangle. For the truth may be that all that has been happening in parts in Birmingham where British Muslims form the great majority, and where teachers and pupils are mostly from the same community, is that state schools have absorbed the cultural flavour of the locality they serve. Such a development, though natural, needs to be watched closely: I wrote above, and italicised, that we British rub along with different value-systems ‘up to a point’. But in Michael Gove’s mind I suspect this has got muddled up with fears that long pre-date his involvement with education: his fears about Islamism as a political and potentially terrorist force.

Believing that we can win this battle without taking emergency measures, I part company from the Education Secretary. I don’t think the law could in practice (even should we wish it to) define ‘religious extremism’ in language tight and objective enough to justify interfering with the liberties of citizens who have done nothing wrong beyond attesting to and recommending personal beliefs that Michael and I might think objectionable. It follows that, rather than ‘draining the swamp’ (Michael’s curiously ayatollah-like approach), you do have to wait for those who (to you) may resemble crocodiles, to show their teeth. Watch them. But wait.

And the evidence so far of any kind of plot is flimsy. It’s not enough to know that an attempt to hijack state schools is just the sort of thing certain people would love to do: we must also have evidence that they’re conspiring to do it. Stockpiling weapons of mass destruction was just the sort of thing Saddam Hussein would have loved to do. I regret that too many of us found that observation sufficient.

None of the reports and interviews we’ve heard so far from Birmingham strike me as demonstrating anything more than that some teachers with strong Muslim beliefs may have attested to those beliefs in the presence of schoolchildren, and indicated that it would please them to see such beliefs followed. Before non-Muslim readers recoil from even that possibility, they might try substituting ‘Christian’ for ‘Muslim’ in the preceding sentence, and see how it strikes them.

Michael Gove, were he to read this, would murmur that there’s more going on than I begin to know. But that’s what they said about WMD. I’ve come to prefer the view that, even with suspected crocodiles, we must wait for them to act, then prosecute the action. The jurisprudence in which this view is rooted is (if Michael will forgive me) British to its core. It should be taught in schools.

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  • Benedict

    ‘ Before non-Muslim readers recoil from even that possibility, they might try substituting ‘Christian’ for ‘Muslim’ in the preceding sentence, and see how it strikes them.’

    I know of Christian teachers in trouble because of their traditional views about marriage. I cannot say that I am aware of any Muslim teachers in the same boat.

    • Kaine

      What trouble? Even if a student asks, “Can two men or two women get married?” All a teacher need say is, “In Britain they can, though some religions do not recognise it, just as some religions do not recognise divorce”.

      If these teachers of yours are lying to children about the law of the land then of course they’ll get in trouble. And if anyone can demonstrate the same about a Muslim teacher, they should get in trouble too. You don’t have to endorse it, but equal marriage is a fact in Britain.

      • Benedict

        And if one makes the following central to one’s teaching?

        Marriage is
        ‘……to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of Saint Paul to be honourable among all men: and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men’s carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.’
        Book of Common Prayer.

        • Kaine

          What of it? Teachers aren’t paid to teach their own idiosyncratic views.

          • Benedict

            That was the accusation levelled against Socrates and he was put to death. And he did not even charge for his lessons.

            And that was the charge levelled against Galileo. And the world has generally condemned the church for having punished Galileo for his unorthodox view.

          • Kaine

            No, that wasn’t the charge levelled at either man. Further, I’m not sure why you think two instances where the religious authorities persecuted someone strengthens your argument about letting a religious teacher persecute someone. And it is persecution, because statistically one young person in that class of 30 will be lesbian, gay or bisexual, and having their teacher pontificate about how they aren’t equal is rather damaging for kids.

          • Benedict

            ‘No, that wasn’t the charge levelled at either man.’
            Socrates was prosecuted inter alia because of his unorthodox attitude to the gods.
            He was prosecuted by the state.

            Galileo was prosecuted because of his unorthodox teaching about the relationship of the sun and the earth.

            You have failed to address the original and central issue.

          • Kaine

            Yeah, neither of which has anything to do with what I wrote. Teachers are free to recite whatever nonsense they want in their own time, but they are not free to persecute children in their care. The only two subjects this could conceivably arise in are RE and Politics, neither of which are subjects where good teachers proselytise. If your acquaintances are doing so they should be corrected because they are bad teachers.

            You’re the one spinning off on tangential issues to try and make yourself look clever. However this is the internet, your ability to copy and paste does not impress.

          • Benedict

            ‘but they are not free to persecute children in their care’

            And you are going to be the arbiter of what constitutes persecution.
            Your form of PC is precisely the same as the PC of the Athenian State and the Catholic church in the 17th century.
            In an Enlightment world that subscribes to the Voltairean principles of free speech, the right to hold views requires defence.

          • Kaine

            Telling a child under your power they don’t deserve equal rights because your Bronze Age desert god decrees it is persecution, yes. It is an abuse of authority, because the child can neither leave nor challenge the teacher except by his leave. In your deeply troubled mind you can’t see that it is the proselytising teacher who is Athens and Rome. He is after all the paid officer of the state.

            The teacher can hold any view he wishes. He can shout it with the rest of the fanatics from his soap box in the street, or he can hold a private lecture for anyone who wishes to go along. But if you object the curriculum of the state, then don’t take their money, because it makes you a hypocrite.

          • Benedict

            Hypocrisy is saying the opposite of what one believes.

          • Kaine

            If you’re a ‘godly’ person then taking a job with an organisation putting out ‘ungodly’ teaching is doing the opposite of what one believes.

            I notice you were unable to dispute anything else I said.

          • Bob339

            Galileo was a shit who put his daughters into a nunnery and left them there to rot. No amount of theorizing about planets etc. can make up for that. Kepler beat him to it anyway.

      • Bob339

        Same sex couples have no right to call themselves married. They are perverts. End of.

        • Kaine

          The law of this land disagrees with you. Feel free to find somewhere that better fits your worldview. Saudi Arabia perhaps, or Nigeria.

    • Kaine

      What trouble? Even if a student asks, “Can two men or two women get married?” All a teacher need say is, “In Britain they can, though some religions do not recognise it, just as some religions do not recognise divorce”.

      If these teachers of yours are lying to children about the law of the land then of course they’ll get in trouble. And if anyone can demonstrate the same about a Muslim teacher, they should get in trouble too. You don’t have to endorse it, but equal marriage is a fact in Britain.

  • AbuOmar

    An Islamist ‘Trojan Horse’ conspiracy in schools? Where’s the real evidence?
    IN MICHAL Gove’s neocon imagination

  • BillRees

    This is surely one of the most naive articles Matthew has ever written.

    What is important to remember is that most of our values, however we define them, have come from our Judaeo-Christian heritage, which is quite different from the Islamic heritage that characterises many other parts of the world today.

    Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, Islam is a proselytising religion, unlike Judaism, for example. And it is looking to consolidate its position both within and beyond Birmingham.

    Whether there is an actual ‘Trojan Horse’ conspiracy in this context is therefore irrelevant.

    Islam unfortunately has values that conflict with those of our society as a whole, and we have to face up to this problem.

    Matthew seems to want to wait until we have more 7/7 type incidents before we then prosecute the perpetrators. I would much rather we take on Islamic ideology head on, and argue against some of its more violent, misogynistic and homophobic elements.

    On this basis, to say that if we can’t have Islamic schools, we therefore shouldn’t have Christian or Jewish schools is faulty logic.


      Surely one of the most effective ways to prevent extremism from turning violent is to allow the School to reflect local expectations. So you allow the school to develop an Islamic ethos whilst at the same time making allowances for non-Muslims (as is normally the case where you have the same situation but in reverse) This will enable the School to project an Islamic ethos which supports hard work, honesty, charity, integrity, decency, challenges violent extremism and encourages cohesion and tolerance of others. Educational achievement in some of these Schools is actually very high – I think largely because of this important linkage. Low achievement and failure coupled with alienation and ignorance are the fertile grounds from which extremism flourishes.
      Failure to do so would open the door for indoctrination by unregulated and in some cases malignant institutions that advocate solutions that are violent and extreme.

      • ilpugliese

        Religion, of any sort, is incompatible with modern systems of governance, commerce and social interaction. We don’t need religion because we have politics, science and organisation. Education is available to all. People are free to believe in imaginary concepts, but they have no role to play outside their own minds.

    • Terry Field

      So can – in your view – Islamic personages be allowed to remain in the Island?

  • alabenn

    It seems the column can be changed and comment removed if they do not confirm Matthews naïve musings.

    • Icebow

      I long ago wearied of his incessant Matthew-Parrisness, in whatever exactly it may consist.

  • Aberrant_Apostrophe

    What’s happened to the original comments? Did the Mod press the DELETE ALL button by mistake, or even design?

    • Andy

      Probably ‘by design’. You are not allowed to be critical of Islam !

  • Ray Veysey

    This is the typical bleeding heart liberal attitude that will be allowed to leave us in complete subjegation to muslims sooner that it may happen anyway as things are going. Hopefully people will see this for what it is, attempts to get noticed on the way down the list of journalists that people listen to, and heading for the door hopefully.

    • Bob339

      Hear Hear!

  • gerronwithit

    Matthew it is people like yourself who caused this mess and are still in complete denial of everything their eyes and ears can tell them. My wife, who actually likes a little multiculturalism, told me that when she went into town this morning she walked several hundred yards before she heard any English spoken, and this is not Tower Hamlets I assure you. There was even a disjointed conversation between two disparate immigrants in pidgin English as to how the parking meter worked.

  • Peter Stroud

    I am sorry but I cannot agree with Mathew Pariss’s analysis. He takes a for too liberal view of the affects of Islam on this country. The attempted Islamisation of some of the schools in Birmingham has been exposed. No doubt these are, by no means, the only examples. Islam is a religion of armed evangelical conquest: no amount of denial by our politicians will alter this. Though, luckily, the majority of Muslims reject violence; but this could easily change if their children become indoctrinated. There is danger out there, and we must take action to remove that danger.

  • Lamia

    Matthew, I provided you with a link to an article by Andrew Gilligan in the Telegraph that answers your challenge. It has been deleted. It is not on to demand proof and then to ignore or delete it when it is provided.

    Here it is again.

  • Advocatus_Diaboli_69

    I don’t think Mr Parris understands Islam well, nor what’s happening within mosques and behind closed doors in the UK today. Innes Bowen seems to have a better idea. At least she’s been out and about investigating.

    The largest single group — the one which arguably gives Islam in Britain much of its character — is the Deobandi……………………. the Taleban movement grew out of the Deobandi madrassas of Pakistan. Tony Blair justified to the Muslim world the post-9/11 attacks on Afghanistan on the basis that driving out the Taleban would be an act of liberation: ‘I don’t believe,’ he said, ‘that anybody seriously wants to live under that kind of regime.’ Did he realise that the rules enforced by law in Afghanistan were being adopted, voluntarily, in parts of Leicester, Dewsbury and Blackburn?

  • Ted Cunterblast

    Of course, Matthew, because it’s totally inconceivable that Muslims would infiltrate an organisation and proselytise for Islam.

  • anyfool

    It is unbelievable that Parris can come out with this unadulterated guff, all places with a significant Muslim populations are under investigation.
    He is like these witless women who convert after marrying one of these people, they immediately come out in support of the version of Islam that consigns their hard won rights to the dustbin of history.
    Does he really think that these people will give any thought to Gay rights like the ones Cameron put forward at great cost to the Conservative party.
    Does he like a lot of others, think they have left a golden legacy to the next generation, a legacy that could include, genital mutilation and death penalties as par for the course.
    That is but a small fraction of the horrors that could well befall our grandchildren, no one can be proud of what we have turned this country into, let alone anyone associated with the last few governments.
    A period of humility from them would not go amiss.

    • Loupervius

      Do you also feel that bible should be banned from schools too? This is what the Bible says about gays, For example, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Leviticus 20:13
      But Michael Gove signed and distributed 400,000 copies of the Bible to schools across England which also condones stoning to death… “But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin,21then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father’s house; thus you shall purge the evil from among you.22″If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.…Deuteronomy 22:20

      • mandelson

        Christian countries are not hanging gays muslim ones are and the muslim world appears to becoming more “islamic” not less.. See the difference in threat level?

        • Loupervius

          No Sorry I don’t see the threat level, only the one which our Orwellian media seems to tell us. No ‘country’ is hanging any gays. Individual idiots or groups with their own interpretation on life are, including say in Jamaica. There are 76 countries in the world where homosexuality is illegal. Russia is also tough on gays. Many Christian countries across Africa and South America have laws against Homosexuality.

          • mandelson

            A level of denial that is impossible to argue with.

          • Paul S HK

            Not at all, Loupervius has the threat awareness exactly right.
            It is almost non-existent and easily dealt with under existing laws.
            As for Mr Arthur’s suggestion that we move on the set up thought crimes- unless he is being sarky- I think that speaks for itself, though it seems a little like what Michael Gove seems to be saying…

  • mustafa

    Naive and ignorant. Your failure to comprehend the truth shows that you are part of the problem. You obviously don’t know that the country is dividing into two factions. Decide whose side you wish to be on.

  • MissDemeanor

    surely this article must be some sort of bad joke…

  • Mr Arthur Cook

    “It’s not enough to know what people would like to do. We need evidence they’ve done it”
    Not so. Thinking thoughts which do not align to “British values” should be enough, surely.
    Is not the thinking itself a thought crime? These people’s thoughts should be exposed ….in secret courts.
    Sometimes totalitarianism comes from absolute power. More often it comes from a weak grip on it.

  • edlancey

    Rarely has it taken so many words, even by the preposterous Parris, to say so little.

    ps anyone who didn’t know Colin Powell was lying through his teeth simply wasn’t paying attention. Just like then, Parris has his head in the clouds.

  • Liz

    The threat of terrorism doesn’t scare me nearly as much as the reality of spreading sexism.

    If adult women “choose” to buy into the bogus virtue of sexual “modesty” (aka sleeping with who they’re told to) then that’s their look out, but kids should be off the menu.

    • Simon Fay

      Rape is worse than murder etc etc.

  • No1important

    Matthew you are an idiot if you believe the tosh you have just written, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Stop peddling the lie that Islam is peaceful and will integrate or at least co-exist alongside Britain’s predominant and historic culture, it will not, it will bide it’s time extend it’s tendrils corrupt, control and assert it’s authority whilst fools like you live in denial, you will only take off your blinkers when it erupts in civil war for the control of the British Isles and Islamic ideology tries to supplant our own culture by violence, Islam is the cuckoo in the nest and you are the gullible reed warbler feeding it.

  • Sean Grainger

    Wets who do not realise we are in world war three do not help.

  • Trofim

    Excuse me if I repeat myself, Spectator regulars:

    Mr Parris: Well over 10 years ago, a colleague of mine came to work in tears. Her children’s school (east Birmingham) had sent out a circular saying that children would not be allowed to draw human figures during art lessons because it was offensive to Muslims. She was afraid to complain, lest she was accused of racism. It’s been going on for years with barely a mention, because people are afraid to challenge it. I sort of assumed that all schools in that part of Birmingham were similarly Islamicised, as part of government willingness to look the other way.
    You are well insulated from our reality.

    • Loupervius

      What was the name of the school?

      • Trofim

        Sorry, can’t remember. My colleague lived in Sheldon.

        • Loupervius

          There’s alot of hearsay and its difficult to filter it from the genuine stuff. For example, this is the response from one of the schools that is being accused, but after reading their response, I have to think that our media is really on a witch hunt:

          • Simon Fay

            Good to see the kids are learning Arabic in school. I was afraid the curriculum was unbalanced and that they’d leave school unable to understand the verses they’d rocked back & forth so hard to memorise,

          • Loupervius

            I am English and went to an 80% English school, Arabic was a language option we also had.

  • Loupervius

    This is the response from Oldknow Academy answering the allegations the Ofsted put against them:

  • Ahobz

    Normally I find sense in Matthew Parris’s writing, but this is weapons grade nonsense. At the heart of of Christian teaching is Mark 12 28-31; namely love God and love thy neighbour as thyself. The humanism of Parris is simply this teaching shorn of the first part. Of course Christian churches and Individual Christians have struggled to apply this teaching correctly. That does not take away the fact that the core of the Christian message is wholly benign. Humanism is simply this message shorn of the “invisible friend” religion haters like to use to bait believers (so showing that they lack tolerance in exactly the same measure they criticise in believers).

    To equate schools set up to teach the Christian message with attempts to subvert schools to teach jihadi Islam (whether or not part of a conspiracy) suggests that Parris antipathy to religion overrides his reason. Funny that, presumably his “reason ” tells him belief in the sky fairy is unreasonable (he is too polite to put it in such terms)

    • Loupervius

      Really? This is one of many verses from the Bible, which you refer to as benign, also search for verses relating stoning to death in the Bible, and verses referring to gays in the Bible, This from the Bible, relating to ‘Jihad’:

      Luke 19:27
      But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”

      • Ahobz

        No, read what I said. I said nothing about the Bible being benign. It is a fact that those verses of Mark are the central tenet of Christianity. The words are read out in every Communion service in the Church of England. As it goes on to say, all the law rests on those two propositions. No serious Christian scholar (I am not one) takes every word of the Bible literally. No Church school advocates stoning or slaughter at all.

        • Loupervius

          You say no ‘serious’ Christian scholar takes every word of the Bible literally, similarly I don’t know any ‘Serious’ Muslim Scholar that takes words of the Koran literally, however the few idiots that do take these words literally are the ones given airtime in the media. Our entire media is owned by only 6 corporations who hand pick our ‘news’ for us. For example last year in Yorkshire 53 people were convicted and sentenced on child grooming offences and guess which 6 were given air time on the media and even discussed in our parliament. Lastly you say ‘No Church school advocates stoning or slaughter at all’ similarly I don’t know any mosque that advocates stoning or slaughter either. I think we have to be balanced in our judgement of other cultures and religions and must bear in mind that our Orwellian media is very tightly controlled and have their own agenda which will come to light in the near future.

          • stag

            Er… how many serious muslim scholars do you know? Literalism is the rule of mainstream islamic interpretation, always has been, at least, as I understand it, since the decline of the Mutazilite school in the 11th century.

          • Loupervius

            Er… how many serious muslim scholars do you know? about as many as the Christian scholars I know.

          • stag

            The point is not how many I know. It is how many *you* know, since it was you who said you “don’t know any serious Muslim scholars who take the Qu’ran literally”.

            If you don’t know any serious Muslim scholars, then your statement would be true, but irrelevant, since it would tell us nothing about the prevalence of literalism in Qu’ranic interpretation. It would merely tell us about your ignorance of the subject.

            If you must know, I have not read any Muslim scholars. I have read people – Muslims and non-Muslims – who quote from them, no doubt selectively; and have read historians who can tell me a bit about them. From what I have read, literalism with regard to the Qu’ran does seem to be the dominant trend in mainstream Islam.

            Now it’s your turn. What is your knowledge of the history of Qu’ranic interpretation?

          • Loupervius

            I told you I know as many Muslim ‘Scholars’ as I know Christian ones, I thought that pretty clear from my reply.

            Again not sure what your point is, there are people throughout the world who will read an article/book/quote and make up their own minds, some will take whats being said literally and some wont. It’s the same with Bible and no doubt the same with the Qur’an.

          • stag

            …which is *how* many? 100? 10? 0?

  • Duke_Bouvier

    Andrew Gilligan’s article as others point out, is utterly devastating to your argument. I particularly noted the reports of Muslim parents opposition to the “Islamisation” of their schools. But I want to comment on the underlying “liberal” model from a liberal perspective.

    It seems to me naïve to argue that entrists be they cultural, political or whatever can be defeated without some organised effort. They are good at using liberalism against itself.

    And I believe we underestimate and fail to appreciate the extent to which our existing state and other institutions are engaged in actively defending our society. As has been said in various forms by various people: We can sleep soundly in our beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf. With a bit less violence this is as true of the battle for our liberal values.

  • amicus

    What complacent rot.

  • Marissa

    Parris: Trojan Horse or Quisling Arse?

    • Mr Arthur Cook

      What about Trojan Arse or Quisling Horse?
      Possibly Trojan Quisling………….
      Leading us inevitably to Horse Arse.

  • stag

    Oh dear. Never read such complacent tripe in my life. Sorry Matthew, but you really need to wise up a bit. And all because you backed the wrong horse with Iraq and the WMDs. Sad.

  • stag

    Oh dear. Never read such complacent tripe in my life. Sorry Matthew, but you really need to wise up a bit. And all because you backed the wrong horse with Iraq and the WMDs. Sad.

  • Terry Field

    Faith schools and indeed any schools seem to be fine as long as the local moderators are of culturally acceptable faith variants.
    If they are not, who decides?
    The answer
    Scrap them.
    Have no faith schools. But where hordes of Moslems or Jews or Zorastrians live together, then bus in a load of white, rational, well-brought up, middle class English children to correct the barbaric imbalance.
    Sorry Jews, you have to be lumped in with the moslem lot for the sake of ‘fairness’
    Ofsted should be populated by white, Christian folk – no exceptions – to make sure fair play is observed as the little tykes have their minds warped and wrecked.
    All hail Govey-baby
    Mushy Peas be upon him.

    • serguei_p

      Terry, the schools in question are not faith schools.
      Closing all faith schools would not change anything at all.
      It is been afraid of forcing the same rules in schools with predominantly Muslim children and teachers as exist in schools (faith or not faith) across the country that is the problem.

      • Terry Field

        Yes you are quite right.
        A non faith school in an area populated entirely by moslems will result in religious, bigoted Islamic indoctrination.
        How is it possible for Britain to continue with this alien and very antipathetic sub-culture that is growing by the day by deliberate out-breeding.
        I was only referring to faith schools as a problem, but the real problem is the separatist Islamic culture the country has not just tolerated, but encouraged.As I feared the rage British people feel against this alien invasion is starting to poison relationships with other minorities.
        It makes my blood run cold that Jewish people are experiencing an element of discrimination as the groups separate and take up fixed positions. They are intellectually inquisitive, with a the Talmud and the Torah as a living testament to eternal inquiry into the right way to live, and an eternal concern about the contemporary meaning of the original texts.
        Utterly and completely different to the intellectual tradition of Islam, where the Koran is untouchable, and is the last word. This produces a rigidity and super-sensitivity, as the reality makes the rules appear foolish.
        I fear Powell was quite correct, and there will be an explosion of violence. The deranged and perverse leaders of the country who acted as if it were a colony are entirely to blame.

  • whs1954

    What an incredibly naïve article.

    “None of the reports and interviews we’ve heard so far from Birmingham strike me as demonstrating anything more than that some teachers with strong Muslim beliefs may have attested to those beliefs in the presence of schoolchildren, and indicated that it would please them to see such beliefs followed. Before non-Muslim readers recoil from even that possibility, they might try substituting ‘Christian’ for ‘Muslim’ in the preceding sentence, and see how it strikes them.”
    I suppose “strong Muslim belief”, then, consists of calling white people pigs and monkeys, forcing little girls to wear “modest clothing” (sic), calling white women whores, and forcing boys and girls to sit separately. This is but “strong Muslim belief”, according to the article, and is nothing different from “strong Christian belief”… yeah right!

    • Paul S HK

      Well, whs1954, if you went to an English public school, you might have found segregation by sex; my cambridge college did not then admit women; some Christian sects believed in sex segregation; then there’s the priesthood; there are those who declare all muslims to be terrorists in waiting … slightly nastier than pig or monkey… it is not only Islam that has its extremists, we have too.
      Matthew Parris is spot on. We should not give up, or attack, freedom of expression or belief based on fears of what is different, but should apply laws equally to all.
      If a Christian were to kill a gay guy, then, trial and jail; if a Muslim were to kill a westerner, same treatment; and similarly where hate speech is concerned.

  • friendshatehim

    ” I’ve come to prefer the view that, even with suspected crocodiles, we must wait for them to act, then prosecute the action.”

    Because in this stupid little bleeding hearts mind, 7/7 never actually happened.

    • Paul S HK

      Because to be provoked by 7/7, which was a relatively minor loss compared to what we have gone through in our various wars, to be provoked by that into abandoning our traditions of openness and fairness would be a very poor exchange indeed.

      • friendshatehim

        Laughable. You’re a sitting duck, exactly what they know and want. Moral relativism is going to destroy you and everything you apparently love. ‘Openness’ and ‘fairness’, why don’t you go and ask a victims family member about that?

        When did ‘fairness’ include inviting in a culture that despises everything you stand for? That treats women like slaves? Is that fairness?

        You’re a pathetic little person. Here’s to hoping next time it’s you and yours that is personally affected.

        • Paul S HK

          Very charming…
          Last time anyone said that to any of my family was in Hitler’s time.
          As for your ignorant comments on Islam, it is as if i had denied the right to Christians to come to London, because the Christian leaders in some African countries wanted to hang gays.
          To ignore the hundreds of millions of decent muslims in, say, Indonesia is to display ignorance, xenophobia and intolerance.
          Not very British, friendshatehim, but you’re well-named.

          • friendshatehim

            Ah yes, that one predominantly christian African country known as Uganda who hang gays. Funny because I haven’t heard any Ugandans calling for the death of all infidels in foreign countries coupled with an international caliphate, just Muslims. Uganda for Ungandans I say.

            Let’s see, Nigeria? Hmmm, no they are not hanging gays. Namibia? No, they aren’t either. Oooh I have it! South Africa! No no, they actually have legalised gay marriage. Zimbabwe, no. Swaziland? No. Botswana? No. Zambia? No. Ivory Coast? No. Ghana? No. Mozambique? No.

            Wait wait! What about Sudan! Ah yes they do, but they’re muslims, go figure. Somalia! Muslims too.

            Lets go to Indonesia shall we?

            Enough said really.

            Paul, next time you try use moral relativism against somebody you are arguing with. Make sure you are not arguing with somebody from the continent you are accusing of heinous crimes against humanity, who travels the continent extensively for work. You just look silly.

            Comparisons to Hitler? What are you 13? It’s actually darkly comedic as the very religion you are defending thinks Hitler failed.

            Have fun though, your future is apparently bright and fair and open. Utopia so they say.

          • Paul S HK

            Poor silly ‘friendshatehim’, you make exactly my point.
            I said ‘it would be like’ my condemning all Christians because some Africans are murderously anti-gay. You rightly object to that, because you know Africa better than to tar them all with the same brush.
            The same applie to Islam and the difference between the fanatics and the normal.

          • friendshatehim

            Yes, all I see are ‘normal’ muslims rushing to defend England. Just like in Iraq, where they are rushing to defend themselves against extremists. A brave, proud people who absolutely will not stay silent when the Sh12 hits the fan.

            The grooming gangs will be the first to defend you I’m sure. They are certainly not going to bow down to the dominant culture, I mean, it’s not like they are led by dictators in practically every one of their countries. I’m also sure when your brothers return from fighting ‘the good’ fight in Syria things will be just dandy. I mean who the hell did Rigby think he was? Walking around sharia controlled areas like he was some kind of englishman in merry old england, the nerve!

            British muslims should absolutely be demonised until they are actively/loudly campaigning and fighting against the extremists within their own ranks. They won’t though, because they are muslims first and british second. Any person who elevates their religion over the countryman should be demonised. In fact, not only do they not actively fight extremism within their ranks, they actively campaign against anybody who dares speak out against a barbaric religion that actively enslaves women. How British!

            People like me fear the different? Again laughable, I live all across Africa, I encounter ‘different’ everyday in everything I do. The difference being the ‘different’ I encounter aren’t bloodthirsty religious freaks who can’t handle and ounce of criticism or deal with seriously needed introspection. They also aren’t ruled buy imams releasing fatwas on how to beat their wives properly.

            You can continue to paint anybody who opposes the cancer of islam as an islamaphobe all you want. Like I said you are a moral relativist, the worst kind of idiot there is.

            Believe it or not you can oppose barbaric female genital mutilation practices and still be a good old chap. In fact, if you do not oppose a religion that advocates such things, you need to take a good long hard look at yourself in the mirror.

            Neo-nazi comparisons? A sure sign you don’t have an argument, so resort to ad hominems. Both my grandfathers died in Egypt fighting for ‘your family’. Too bad you spit on their deaths while defending the indefensible.

          • Paul S HK

            What hate! What anger!
            Indeed the word Islamophobe has a use, and it is to describe people like you.
            I’m not sure you understand moral relativism, if you think it means a refusal to condemn the whole of a religion for the extremism of the few. Even Christianity has its very unpleasant parts, but no-one believes all Christians are bad. Well, Richard Dawkins, perhaps, but not me. I agree with you that the actions of extreme Muslims in the application of strict Sahri’a law, are immoral.
            It’s good that the ‘other’ is not something you are unfamiliar with, and (see above) I agree with you on genital mutilation, grooming, &c… I just think it un-British to condemn all British Muslims because of the fanatic few, mostly in backward countries overseas.
            As for neo Nazis, I said i didn’t think you were one. I just pointed out the hatred of groups, defined by race or religion, and the dehumanisation of their members, coupled with the desire to have them treated as a sick body, a cancer, reminded me of certain attitudes … perhaps something to be remembered when you remind us of the sacrifices of your grandparents. I’m not sure they’d like to hear hate-inspired rhetoric spouting from their grandchild’s lips; if i may be forgiven for being personal, since you accuse me of defending things i absolutely do not defend. I defend only the rights of innocent muslims in Britain not to be tarred with the extremist brush when they are not extremist.

          • friendshatehim

            Haha! You don’t know my grandfathers, they were real men who treated their women with respect and called evil by its name. Not pearl clutching morons who claim anything they don’t like as ‘hate’ speech. Woe is you right?

            I lived in London for 7 years. The only problem I ever had there was when I was attacked on the street at night by 6 ‘British’ Pakistanis who kept calling themselves ‘the Pakis’. Seems they wanted my phone and wallet. All they got was a friend with a broken nose. It’s amazing how they scatter at the first sign of a fightback.

            Like I said, show me the innocent british muslims actively and loudly combatting/condemning the extremists. You can’t because there really aren’t any. ‘Thinktanks’ don’t count. I agree with you, there are innocent muslims, lots of them, I’m friends with many (westernised however). But they do themselves a disservice by not speaking up and actively attacking those who would drag the name of their ‘peaceful’ religion through the mud.

            Keep your blinkers on, I’ll be proven right in time and you will only have regrets. You think because you are in England you are untouchable, I know you are not, I work throughout Africa and have seen civilisation fall to the most violent groups with no fightback due to ‘fairness’. You are the epitome of a coward and you do your future generations a disservice.

            There will be nobody left to defend you.

          • Paul S HK

            Well, I’m delighted that you do agree there exist and that you are friends with decent Muslims, and also agree that resistance is better than silence where extremism is concerned.
            I still disagree (a) that all the silent majority are to be condemned as if they were terrorists or supported terrorist acts; (b) that there is a present real and substantial threat of any kind, or that there will be ion the foreseeable future.
            Some of us are paranoid and worried (but this is not the 1930s, and there is no Hitler out there controlling the Muslim equivalent of Germany (there is Saudi, true).
            So you’ll worry and wish all Muslims condemned, and I am content to have our existing laws applied equally to all citizens.

  • Vija Pattison

    “This is surely one of the most naive articles Matthew has ever written”. Yes, absolutely! Mr Parris, You’ve briefly taken your head out of the sand, but I think you’d better stick it back in and speak not of that which you do not understand. Naive indeed!

    • Paul S HK

      To the contrary, it is a very sensible, very English article.
      It is not our way to lump all manner of believers in other religions into one pot and blame them all for the extreme views of the few.
      Otherwise, we would have to ban all Christian schooling because mad evangelicals exist in America…

  • serguei_p

    Matthew, you wrote ” some teachers with strong Muslim beliefs may have attested to those beliefs in the presence of schoolchildren”

    I believe you find out if a non-Muslim would “attest to their belief” of e.g. killing gay people in front of the children, they will soon find themselves unemployed.

    This relativism of left-wingers is really despicable.

  • Guest

    Oh dear. Matthew Parris should be careful what he wishes for. As a gay man, liberal moral relativism really wouldn’t do him any favours if push came to shove, I just don’t get his mentality on this issue.

  • Bob339

    Time Matthew was shown the door. He is about as well-informed as my cat.

    • Paul S HK

      But considerably better informed than you, Bob339 and, it seems, better able to deploy his education and understanding of the meaning of civilisation.

  • Xan Sillem

    Yeah good one, wait for it to happen and then act, great advice Matthew. Is that what you would say to the Rigbys or the families of the 7/7 victims?
    The difference with other faiths is that islam teaches that it is the answer to everything whereas the others teaches openness and tolerance to other beliefs, this is what came out from the report and it took “another neo con conspiracy” to bring it to our attention. This type of education is not something the state should sponsor

    • Paul S HK

      Many American evangelicals do not preach tolerance, they preach bigotry and hatred; as despicable as their muslim equivalents.

  • ilpugliese

    There is no comparison with the WMD fantasy and it doesn’t matter if there is a plot or not. We know that Islam is being preached and reinforced in schools. That is the problem.