Good grief.... I agree with Gavin Williamson and the Telegraph

I took the main point of the article to be that the media and politicians all piled in before they really knew what happened or understood what it was all about (but having seen a chance to pursue a culture war) - but the same media and politicians were silent about the conclusions of the independent enquiry.

Since personally I don’t think academy trusts or their governance structure work at all well anyway, I wouldn’t expect them to come up with a good response - but that’s not the main point.

But from the little I have seen Geof the media and politicians were right and the thugs outside the school have not been vindicated, No matter what the loony Batley Multi Academy Trust investigation and executive (sic) summary says. The school seems to have just folded and thrown their teacher under the bus. A disgrace IMO, the muslim bullies won.

There should be no “culture war”. The culture in Saudi schools is Islamic, the culture in Europe schools is secular. At least we don’t chop off the heads of those that don’t understand that, but if they don’t like it they should make their own arrangements.

I think you’re missing the complexity John. You create (or accept a politically right-wing) false opposition between secular and muslim, Europe and Saudi. The real opposition is only that between the secular and religious. There is no need to have a go at a particular community in the UK - that in all probability has little or no connection with Saudi Arabia.

By presenting it - by seeing it - as a culture war between communities, and/or countries, rather than taking on board what I understand to be the enquiry’s main focus (was the teacher’s approach and materials the best way to explore the issues in terms of his educational objectives, and in this particular local situation) I think you’re playing the right-wing media/politicians game. The teacher is still in his job anyway, by the way.

I’m a total atheist, supporter of the French extreme secular conception of laïcité, and actually think religion is probably the greatest evil ever visited on humanity - but I still take off my hat when I go into a church. and my shoes when I go into a mosque.

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As I said Geof, I’m a simple soul. I think religion and multiculturalism are incompatible. In fact, religions were not designed for compatibility, they are designed to dominate, to subjugate and to force compliance. During the fifty plus trips I’ve made to Saudi (not to mention trips to that hellhole Pakistan and other less offensive Islamic countries) I played by their rules, as one should. Thus I have zero tolerance for those of them that come here (Europe) to benefit from society and yet seek to challenge or change our values.

Sure that might be the case, but after hundreds of years we’ve finally got the Christian church(s) under control (and I spent many years fighting the bastards in Ireland). It his not our job to now rehabilitate Islam, or any other headbanger sect. If you want to live here you accept our values, end of. I don’t think that’s rightwing (for heavens knows I am not) but I think it is sensible. Taking a wishy washy approach to Islam his not wise IMO.

I was in Munich a few years ago, retracing my late wife and my 1982 honeymoon and went to see the Glockenspiel in Marienplatz again. Unfortunately in the interim a large vulgar mosque (funded no doubt by the UAE or Saudi or some other country that has no concept of human rights) has been built close by. To top it off the bloody call to prayer drowned out the five o’clock chimes ricital. Try preaching the Gospels in Ryadh!

Do unto others as they would do unto us, to coin a phrase.


I agree with much of what you say John - probably because we (you and I) probably do have a lot of shared values.

In the old days (for example when I first worked in Sarajevo, just after the siege - the city was still full of ‘Sarajevo Roses’ - bullet and shell holes) the sound of the muezzin calling the adhan was atmospheric, beautiful - now, electronically amplified (for example when I was last in Pristina) it is harsh and intrusive.

But are the European values you mention really shared by all - well, by all what? Europeans of white christian heritage? Gavin Williamson? - who supported the Saudi invasion of Yemen - or who as education minister has refused to introduce secularism in schools. Refused, for example, to respond to Humanists UK’s campaign to stop discrimination in faith schools, or to follow the Welsh government’s moves to end ‘faith based’ religious education and replace it with a proper objective subject of ‘Religions and Worldviews’, including atheism.

I agree with you that the long fight against the influence of religions does represent social progress - but I don’t see this as a particularly European success. Non-religious beliefs are higher in many far-eastern countries, for example - and higher in France than in the UK, and much higher than in the US - where I certainly see christianity, rather than islam, as more of a danger to our values.

The long fight against the influence of religions in the UK has been, and is still pursued largely against the resistance of the Tory party - most of the muslims I have actually met and talked with in any depth are, I think, closer to my values than, I suspect, Gavin Williamson is.

I was once asked in a debate, if there was one thing I wished had never been invented and get rid of from the world, so I chose religion.
It’s been the cause of more deaths and suffering in this world down through the ages :frowning:


You’re right Geof, in its place there’s something quite comforting about the call to prayer, or the Angelus for that matter. Just it’s place isn’t in my secular backyard.

I’d be the last person to defend Gavin Williamson, I’m sure he hasn’t a decent bone in is body. I think the right approach to him and to his ilk is to try and minimise the damage they can do, across the board.

Certainly the acceptance of secularism isn’t uniform across the “West”, there are still many, many battles to be fought and we live with a constant threat of a resurgence. I can only repeat that, in Europe at least, the Christian Church is under control. Of course one can never be sure what those sneaky bastards the Jesuits (AKA, the Pope’s Schutzstaffe) and their cilice clad, secretive civilian wing, Opus Dei, are up to under the RADAR.

However, Islam is not under control, so despite the protestations of the many, many reasonable and moderate muslims (misguided as they may be) that it is a religion of peace, it is not (maybe a religion of peace is an oxymoron). It is another Church militant and we’ve had enough of that malarkey IMHO. Few Catholics (outside Ireland anyway) would try and recreate a theocracy, but I have no doubt that Sahria law is applied in parts of the UK (and perhaps here too) and that worries me.