The Al-Miftah Institute, based in Slough, Berkshire, has lost a contract to teach children from a local Muslim secondary school after it emerged that pupils were being exposed to misogynistic and homophobic views.
The Institute, which provided “IslamHood” Sunday school classes at the school, brought pupils into contact with speakers such as Shaykh Shams Ad-Duha Muhammad, above, who insists that Muslim girls should have children rather than careers.
The Institute’s ousting followed complaints by a member of the public and the National Secular Society.
In one video – recently deleted from IslamHood’s YouTube page – Muhammad said:
Smart career women give it up to have children.
Speaking at Slough and Eton School in January 2015, he said career women:
Should say sorry because you’re not a mum, because you’re delaying that one thing that you would actually take fulfilment from.
Complainants also raised concerns that Islamhood was segregating children by gender after images in its prospectus showed girls inside the Langley Academy standing at the back of the class behind boys.
A spokesperson for Langley Academy said:
We fully support the government’s Prevent Strategy. Therefore we take any allegations that extremist views or ideology might be being promoted on our premises extremely seriously. We were deeply concerned when a complaint was first raised with the Trust about Islamhood’s Weekend School in December.
We have carried out an in-depth investigation and the lettings agreement with Islamhood has been terminated with immediate effect.
IslamHood has hosted speakers including Yusuf Chambers, who in an interview in 2013 described homosexuality as a “sin”. He spoke at an Islamhood event in 2015 alongside Imran Ibn Mansur. Better known as Dawah Man, he appeared in a video posted on Facebook in 2017 referring to non-Muslims as “kuffar” and “infidels” and “pigs”.
Shams Ad-Duha Muhammad, who also spoke at the event, described homosexuality as “a vice among vices” in 2013, adding that the spread of HIV and AIDS were down to “general moral decline”.Dr Paul Stott of the Henry Jackson Society said:
IslamHood’s teaching on the role of women is sexist and risks girls never achieving their full potential. Langley Academy should have conducted due diligence at the outset. This type of response needs to become the norm across the public sector.
Mohsin Ashraf, founder of Al-Miftah Institute and IslamHood, above, said the organisation “by and large” supported freedom of speech and criticised Langley Academy for not fully investigating “the circumstances surrounding how the speakers in question were invited” – and he questioned the extent of their investigation.
A number of inconsistent and malicious claims have been made against the speakers invited by IslamHood and by extension, against IslamHood itself.
Aside from single statements sensationally pulled out of context, we ensure a balanced viewpoint is always presented to our audience.
These comments are years old, some were made over a decade ago, and there have been consistent clarifications throughout the years.
On gender segregation he added:
We do not have any physical partitioning between the two genders, they sit in open class room although the females and males are more comfortable sitting amongst themselves. Importantly in breaktime they all play in a communal area.
Admitting they had taken down some videos, he added:
IslamHood prides itself on upholding the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs in all our endeavours.