2013-10-08

The Al-Madinah Free School in Derby

Before we start, here's a picture of Jessica Ennis (from Yorkshire) winning the Olympics in "tight-fitted indecent" clothing - did I mention she's from Yorkshire?





The Al-Madinah Free School in Derby has just reopened almost a week after it was closed during an Ofsted inspection.

In its own words:

(from the school prospectus on the reopened school website today pp13-14)

Introduction

Al-Madinah School is a Muslim faith school serving Derby and the surrounding areas. Through a team of dedicated and skilled staff, the school endeavours to provide excellent education in a surrounding shaped by the teachings of Allah Almighty and His Final Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
At the heart of Al-Madinah School is the Quranic and Islamic Studies department, supported by a team of experienced and dedicated servants of Islam. This team is not only responsible for teaching Islam, but to ensure the values, morals and philosophy of Islam is reflected in each and every aspect of the school. The following sections aim to indicate in detail how this has been achieved.
Your input, questions and queries are welcome; please direct them to the Director of Islamic Studies at Al-Madinah School. Thank you.

1.0 Books and Teaching Resources.

In each and every department, all efforts will be geared towards ensuring the books and resources conform to the teachings of Islam.
Sensitive, inaccurate and potentially blasphemous material will be censored or removed completely. If and when teachers are required by the curriculum to convey teachings that are totally against Islam [1], the Director of Islamic Studies will brief the relevant teachers and advise accordingly.

With regards to songs and music, we acknowledge that it can be an aid for learning, in particular in primary school. Under the guidance of the Director, it shall only be used as a learning aid, not for entertainment and amusement purposes.
Muslims are encouraged to reflect on Allah’s beauty in his creations. The art lessons will be used as a platform to fulfill this religious duty. At the same time however, great care will be taken to ensure artwork produced or shown in lessons conform with the specific teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
[1] Darwinism, for example

2.0 School Uniform.

Al-Madinah School is committed to the principle of a school uniform for both male and female pupils. This smart and affordable uniform will instill a sense of pride and identity in the students, as well as implicitly teach the values of equality and brotherhood in the school. The school uniform is:
Key Stage 1: Children of age 4-7.
• Black trousers.
• White polo shirt.
• Al-Madinah school jumper.
• Black shoes (not trainers).
Key Stage 2, 3 and 4: Children of 8-16.
• Black trousers.
• White shirt/blouse.
• School tie.
• Al-Madinah jumper with logo.
• Charcoal & blue blazer.
• Black shoes (not trainers).
PE Kit.
• White tops (long sleeve only).
• Long black bottoms (loose).
• The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) instructed Muslims to display modesty and decency in clothing. In light of these teachings, pupils will not be permitted to wear clothing that is transparent, tight-fitted or indecent.

2.1 The Attire of Teachers and Staff Members.

All staff members will also express decency and modesty in their clothing and appearance. Female members of staff – irrespective of their religious beliefs – will cover their heads and bodies appropriately in light of the teachings of Islam. Provocative and revealing clothing will not be permitted. Male members of staff are expected to dress so they create an example for their pupils. In short, the school will adhere to Qur’anic teachings when it comes to clothing. ‘And clothes of piety, that is better’, Allah Almighty states (7: 26).

3.0 Employment of Staff and Teachers.

The employment of staff and teachers will be strictly governed to ensure the most dedicated, competent and skilled individuals are selected to work at the school.
Additionally, the vigorous process will ensure that the Muslim staff that are recruited are suitable to teach the faith elements of the School to the highest standards. The Director of Islamic Studies will be directly involved in the recruitment process to ensure this is the case.

4.0 The School Building.

Our aim is to ensure the school premises are kept clean, not least because ‘Allah loves the ones who repent often and the ones who keep clean’ (2:222). The displays, settings and posters in and around the school will be ascetically-pleasing as well as informative and educational. Utmost care will be taken to ensure all displays conform to Islamic teachings and in fact, encourage adopting the ideals of the Final Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

5.0 Physical Education.

A strong moral and spiritual character requires a strong physical body. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught us to care for our bodies through good, physical exercise.
Al-Madinah School is wholly committed to ensuring both male and females get opportunities to pursue sports and games at the local sports facilities.
Male staff members will not actively teach female students, but will merely co-ordinate them, through communicating with female members of staff. During the actual lesson, no male member of Al-Madinah School staff will be present.
All topped off with a supporting quotation from a Mr Abdurrahman:
I love the family atmosphere
So there you have it. In the UK in the 21st century our government is funding a children's school which:
  • Censors books and resources which do not conform to the teachings of Islam
  • Does not allow songs and music for entertainment and amusement
  • Forces female staff-members (but not male staff-members) to cover their heads and bodies
  • Discriminates on religious grounds when recruiting staff
  • Prevents children from drawing pictures that do not meet the specific teachings of Prophet Muhammad
  • Segregates staff and pupils on the basis of gender
  • Forces children to wear long baggy clothing for games
and last but not least
  • Teaches children that Darwin's theory of evolution is totally against Islam.
All this may well please Allah Almighty, His Final Messenger, Mr Abdurrahman, and Michael Gove, but I find it all extremely disturbing.

Addendum:
Lord Nash Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools has written to the school and raised some of the above issues. There is, however, no specific mention of the teaching of evolutionary theory - something which is mandated by Lord Nash's department here.

9 comments:

  1. Remind me, it is 2013 and not the Middle Ages.

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  2. Middle ages, without a doubt!

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  3. well done for highlighting this story - appalling and disgraceful that such inequality is promoted and allowed by this govt - the governors and leadership team should be sacked. We should all be grateful to Darwin for annihilating religion.

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  4. The school is in a mess right from very beginning by employing a non-Muslim head and a couple of non-Muslim female teachers. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.

    In 1987, I was invited by a couple of Muslims from Derby for a lecture to set up an Islamic school. This means the Muslim community of Derby wanted a Muslim school for a long time. At last an Islamic free school was set up last year. Muslim community of Derby needs more than one school. There are couple of state and church schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be opted out as Muslim Academies. It is a crime against Humanity to send Muslim children to state schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers. Majority of parents were happy with the school because they find state and church schools are homes of institutional racism with non-Muslim teachers as chicken racist. They are not role model for their children during their developmental periods.

    Studying the Qur'an will certainly help towards these children becoming fully integrated citizens of the UK.

    Human Rights Act - Article 9: Freedom of conscience
    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
    (2) Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

    Article 14: Discrimination
    The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.

    A study claims that Black and Asian pupils are being held back in the classroom because schools are "intuitionally racist". Now a race relations campaigner has called for the creation of "black schools "to stem the avalanche of educational failure and descent into violent gang culture. It is high time that the black community runs its own schools with black teachers and black governors.

    Let the minority communities educate their own children and you better educate your children for the well being of the British society.
    IA
    London School of Islamics Trust
    www://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

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  5. It’s Muslim school. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. Most jobs have a dress code. If you do not like it, you need not apply. You will never be happy with what Muslims do, you don't even appreciate the act that non Muslims were invited to work in a Muslim school. The dress code is hijab, no one is forcing you to work there take it or leave it. It's a non story yet again. More propaganda that all you middle class moaners fall for every single time. For example, I once had a job in a cafe. The manager didn't want me to wear wrist bands from several festivals I had been to, we disagreed and I stood my ground and quit. That is the EXACT same situation as this, why didn't my story get in the DM? Because it doesn't fit with this(and many other) newspapers agenda of keeping us in a society of fear and hate. You people fall for it over and over again.

    No other school / free school has been inspected with this rigour - the reality is because of the headscarf issue the school has been subject to a witch hunt! Not sure if Mr Williamson is aware there are schools under Derby City council in special measures also ? Maybe he does not read the local press? The truth is most MP's send their kids to private schools so it does not matter about state schools for them”

    How can it be called a failed school when it has only been opened a year, when it has been open 5 years and students have completed their GCSE's that's when you can pass judgement. Maybe our local MP should look at some at schools under the LEA and the **** results they are producing before he goes asking for closures.

    About the scarf issue - it is a Muslim school so what is a the biggy - I was made to wear a tie and a skirt (when boys could wear trousers) because it was school policy??? I do not recall any local MP trying to close our school down???”

    There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This mean the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam’s teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society.
    IA
    London School of Islamics Trust
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

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  6. @IftikharA

    On your first comment, all I can say is that I find your views repugnant.

    The segregation of children along religious and/or racial lines is simply evil and wrong. If you can't see that for yourself, I'm not sure what basis there is for dialogue between us. I can only suggest that you speak to someone who lived in Apartheid South Africa.

    I also think that there is no place is state education for the teaching of any particular set of supernatural beliefs as true. One of them may by (though I rather doubt it) but efforts to persuade us that one of them is should be left to religious organizations outside state education. The facts (cf values which is a more complex subject) we teach in state education should be ones based on evidence.

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  7. @IftikharA

    On your second comment, I agree the enforcement of dress codes is a complex subject.

    Personally I think school boys should be allowed to wear skirts (think Scotland and/or Burma) girls should be able to wear trousers and we all should be able to walk down the street naked if we choose.

    I also think there is a place for national rules on dress in certain contexts - eg no face covering in post offices, schools, courts and other public institutions - and for local rules within a specific institution - eg an airline or school uniform.

    Such rules should not discriminate against men or women or against any religious or non-religious group but nor should they allow exceptions for people just because they happen to believe in a particular god.

    Reconciling such principles is often tricky. IMHO this school (and many other institutions) got it wrong.

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  8. and now we have the truth about the Kings Science Academy another new Free school...a DfE report flagged up Funds were mismanaged and the fact that a number of Mr Raza's (Head Teacher) family members were hired to work at the school. His brother was on the board of governors, his sister was a senior teacher at the school, his wife also worked there and his father drove the school bus...

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  9. A good school is not just a knowledge factory or a conveyor belt for churning out exam passes - it is a community, a family. A community is held together by common values and principles.

    According to Lord Macaulay speech in the houses of Parliament on 2nd Feb 1835 “I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief, such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre that I don’t think we would ever conquer this country unless we break the very backbone of this nation which is her spiritual and cultural heritage and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation”.




    Pakistani establishment still follows the same policy, making sure that Muslim children could not develop their self-confidence and self-esteem and lose their cultural, linguistic and Islamic Identities, crucial for mental, emotional and personality development. English language is not only a lingua franca but also lingua frankensteinia. Human right also covers linguistic right. Cultural and linguistic genocide are very common. English is today the world killer language. Linguistic genocide is a crime against humanity. The medium of instruction in all schools should be Urdu/English. Language is not just a language. It defines one's culture, identity and consciousness. It defines how we think, communicate and express ourselves. The fact is the most South Asian Muslims have come to know Islam by way of Urdu, the children's alienation from the language that connects them the heritage of their parents and grand parents is disturbing. As a matter of fact, one has to get to know his mother tongue well if one is to master any other language. Human diversity is a part of God’s plan of creation. It is something to be encouraged as a social good, not something to be annihilated in a melting pot of national cohesion. If we force the whole world to speak only one language, we are forcing the whole world to lose its own identity and culture. Languages make the world a better place. It helps us to realize that we are all different and hopefully to be more tolerant with our differences.




    English and Arabic should be taught as foreign languages right from nursery level. English should be taught as an economic language while Arabic should be taught as a religious language. A Pakistani child must learn and be well versed in Urdu to enjoy the beauty of his/her literature and poetry. He/she must learn and be well versed in English as an international language. He/she must learn and be well versed in Arabic to recite and understand the Holly Quran. A Pakistani is supposed to be a citizen of this tiny global village because he could speak, read and write three languages. For higher studies and research, the medium of instruction should be English and Urdu.
    IA
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

    ReplyDelete

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