Saturday, December 02, 2006

Cracking down on classroom terror

The fastest U-turn in history, seems to have made a few heads spin. The government went from demanding 25% pupils in any faith school be from other faiths or non-faith, to caving in and accepting a voluntary agreement. Catholic schools pointed out that they already take 30% of their pupils from non-catholic families. However, the mutterers in government have confirmed that the real target was not the catholic schools at all. They were actually targetting the eight state-funded muslim schools, rather than the 2000+ catholic schools. This BBC article in true BBC style, does not neglect to mention the London bombings of 7/7 or the alleged controversy cooked by ministers over the non-issue of the veil. The muslim schools are quite open to the idea of non-muslims attending the schools, but with the rest of the community rather reluctant to expose their children to this ‘alien’ [i.e. non-white and non-christian] faith with its strange bearded teachers, things are not going quite to plan. The power of the catholic lobby was strong enough to resist the imposition of actual legislation. Apparently the problem is enforcing the integration of muslim and non-muslim pupils rather than pupils of any faith with pupils from atheist families. Quite where the evidence is, to suggest that muslim pupils are not integrated or that integration is more desirable for them, because they are rather more prone to terrrorism, I am not sure. That is the sort of question, we can trust the BBC to not consider, because of it’s simply not cricket to imply that the basic assumptions are racist and bigoted assumptions. That issue is conveniently and firmly swept under the carpet. In Challinoresque terms, the excess muslimity is deemed a threat to integration and this premise must not be questioned. “Like it or not, faith groups retain a considerable grip on schools” says the Beeb forgetting to mention which faith in particular. Strangely they also forgot to mention Jewish schools at all. But then again they are not prone to the exploding of suicide bombs on school premises, unlike muslim schools. We must ensure somehow that the bearded ones are not giving direct instructions on bomb-making or aircraft hijacking in class, contrary to the national curriculum.


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