‘Sign anti-LGBT petition or go to hell’: Birmingham protests escalate

‘Sign anti-LGBT petition or go to hell’: Birmingham protests escalate March 22, 2019

BIRMINGHAM’S  ‘ignorance is bliss’ brigade, made up almost entirely of Muslims, stands accused of threatening parents with hell unless they sign a petition calling for a halt to inclusive sex education lessons at several of the city’s schools.

Local councillor Kerry Jenkins said in a tweet this week:

I have learnt tonight about ‘intimidating protests’ held today outside Anderton Park School with parents being harassed and told they will go to hell if they do not sign a petition … This behaviour is not acceptable & will be challenged.

Protests began at Parkfield Community School, which introduced a highly praised “No Outsiders” programme, but have spread to other schools, including Anderdon Park in Moseley which does NOT have the programme – and Parkfield, faced with threats and intimidation, was forced to suspend “No Outsiders”.

Birmingham Live screenshot

But Shakeel Afsar, above, on behalf of the parents, said the demos will continue at least the end of the week until their demands are met by headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson.

Afsar, who has no children at Anderton Park, says the protesting parents are not homophobic or against the transgender community, but complained that:

The school is not willing to listen to the parents. We want these lessons about over-promoting homosexuality suspended until a collective dialogue with the local community can be made. There are children who can’t use the toilet properly, yet they are being taught homosexual or transsexual relationships.

We also feel once our children are slightly older in secondary school, they will be in a position to decide what they are being taught is correct. We have no confidence in Mrs Clarkson’s ability to lead our children.

One mother, who did not wish to be named, said:

Our kids are too small to understand about LGBT. I’ve got an older son in Year Six and I’ve no problem about him learning about LGBT – it’s fine. But the rest are five and six and too young to understand this. I want to be involved in my kids’ education.

Councillor John Cotton, cabinet member for community safety and equalities , said:

Birmingham City Council has for many years championed programmes such as ‘No Outsiders’ as a way of promoting the values of the 2010 Equality Act. Equality is the law of the land and a right for all, and people can’t pick and choose which parts of the Act they support.

We will always as a council stand up for the rights of all our children, whoever they are and whatever kind of family they are from.

Update: I have just discovered the the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain weighed into this row earlier this month.

Beneath the provocative photo above, Sadia Hameed, of the CEMB, wrote:

Let’s call this what it is, it is religiously charged homophobia. When the issue of religious homophobia cropped up, some of the mothers leading the charge stated that it was nothing to do with their homophobia or religion, that they simply feel that their children are too young and that the contents of the lessons are inappropriate and leading their children to feeling confused.

This is a convenient excuse for parents to cover up their religiously charged homophobia. Unfortunately, due to the space allowed to these Muslim fundamentalist parents, Christian and far right homophobic fundamentalists have also crawled out of the woodwork to join in solidarity with these bigoted parents.

Regrettably, the actions of these parents worst effect those young Muslims that are LGBT in the community, instilling within them self-loathing, shame and embarrassment, which is further encouraged by the likes of Labour MP, Shabana Mahmood, who fully supports and condones the homophobia of their parents.

If the ‘No Outsiders’ program is scrapped and parents are permitted to have their way, how long before other elements of the Equalities Act are attacked and undermined? Tomorrow, far right groups might start campaigning outside schools, shouting that they don’t want their children being exposed to Islamic or Jewish ideas, as it “confuses their children”. This is a very slippery road that we are on, if we bend the law for one group, others will demand the same. That was exactly what the Equalities Act was created to prevent.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Tawreos

    If you teach our kids acceptance before we can teach hate then how will they grow up to be properly religious?

  • barriejohn

    What the bloody hell does he mean by “over-promoting homosexuality”, and what has that to do with the “No Outsiders” programme? He’s just another myopic, bigoted religiot – and not even a parent at that!

  • Broga

    These ignoramuses have decided that their God is a petty tyrant, concerning himself with trivial sexual preferences, and worthy only of contempt. Their imaginations, it seems clear, cannot stretch to the magnificence of a God who rules the cosmos. Or, more worthy of reverence, the stunning nature of a cosmos which we are are far from understanding and in which there could be no place for their petty tyrant. We are a group of biological organisms, clinging precariously and temporarily, to a speck of dust in a vast cosmos.

    There is a place for the numinous but you will not find it with these people.

  • barriejohn
  • Anthrotheist

    I once had a friendly argument with a coworker that went something like this:
    Him: “I don’t hate gay people, I just don’t understand why they always have to throw it in my face.”
    Me: “What, like a gay couple holding hands at the mall?”
    H: “Yeah, why can’t they just keep it to themselves? They can do that stuff at home all they want.”
    M: “So you don’t hate gays, as long as you never have to see it, hear about it, think about it, or otherwise know that it exists?”
    H: “There you go, trying to make me look like a bigot.”

    Basically, they seem to honestly believe that they really do love people who are LGBTQ, and also simultaneously believe that those people should never “come out of the closet”, and somehow they don’t see how those two beliefs are mutually exclusive.

  • Broga

    An interesting question is why it is apparently repressed religiots, RC priests being one example, who cannot leave the subject of sex, in all its forms, alone. I suppose a fair analogy would be the starving man who is obsessed with food and cannot stop thinking about it.

  • larry parker

    Sign anti-LGBT petition or go to hell’

    I choose hell.

  • Anthrotheist

    It has been my experience that much of it comes down to a single question: Do you accept or reject the conclusions of the sexual revolution? Atheists pretty much unanimously accept the notion that sex is not an inherently moral act, but that the morality of sex derives from the active and persistent consent of all participants; theists are more likely to view sex as being inherently moral by its very character, and its morality is derived from traditional rules and restrictions (ideally they still value consent, but consent by itself is not sufficient for a sex act to be permissible; too often, it seems that their rules also allow the overriding of consent, particularly in marriage).

    So theists are more likely to see the current culture of sexuality, post-sexual revolution, as being one giant fall from righteousness; whether they believe it to be a widely accepted social mistake or a villainous plot by some deep and powerful corrupter, they feel that it is a situation that needs to be reversed. It doesn’t hurt that America in particular suffers from our puritanical roots, so any mention of sex makes parishioners sit up straight in the pews and pay attention for a bit.

  • larry parker

    Bingo!

  • Raymond Metcalfe

    Ser you there first to arrive gets the beer in

  • Richard B

    Hell? Really. Silliest thing I ever heard of.

  • Vanity Unfair

    It’s a nice thought but if the actions of God include inspiring his creations to actions:
    “Paul’s” travels took him to Greece (Athens and Corinth), Rome and, probably, Malta- although this has been disputed but not in Malta.
    Several of the epistles were written in Rome. (Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Timothy)
    The Queen of Sheba probably hailed from Ethiopia or Southern Arabia (or somewhere else entirely)
    Mohammed’s main haunts were Mecca and Medina.
    If the Flood covered the whole world (obviously, it didn’t) that would need a very large circle.
    All these are outside the circle. There is not enough detail to be certain about Babylon and Nineveh so I shall give them the benefit of the doubt. However, I concede your point that these books are evidence of purely local religions.
    I love a quibble.

  • barriejohn

    Yes – you are quibbling! I didn’t devise it myself, but I couldn’t reject it on the basis that it didn’t include Rome, Babylon, Nineveh and the whole of Saudi Arabia. As you say, it makes the point.

  • Broga

    If you behaved in the most vile and cruel way for a lifetime, that would still not justify an eternity being burned by the flames of hell. The punishment would grotesquely outweigh the offence. I agree with you – “silliest thing” – and used to terrify the ignorant and extract servile obedience, and shed loads of cash, for the priests.

  • I love to ask evangelicals/fundamentals; If you believe your god meant for human marriages to be only between a person with a penis and a woman with a vagina, then what to you believe about intersexuals? Virtually all that I’ve asked that had no clue as to what an intersexual is. When I tell them that it is a person born with both a penis and a vagina, I then ask; Should such a person be denied the right to seek happiness in marriage? The fundis often bend themselves into a pretzel trying to worm out of thinking about it. That’s okay. At least I’ve planted a seed of reason in their minds. Hopefully, some germinated.

  • barriejohn

    I used to be an evangelical Christian, and I’m amazed that none of the believers whom you questioned used their “Get Out of Jail Free” card: “It’s the result of The Fall.” (“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Rom. 8:22). Whenever “awkward” questions like yours were raised (and young Christians like myself were strongly discouraged from doing so) this was the standard response, and closed down all further discussion. It wasn’t what God planned or intended, and is all the fault of the Devil and man’s “sinful nature”. They have two other convenient methods of bypassing rational argument; (1) We don’t know now, but God will show us in Heaven; and (2) When Jesus returns he will put everything right. So that’s OK then. Another exhortation often used was : “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Phil. 4:8). A total cop-out, but then what do you expect?

  • Sau Peih

    “This is a very slippery road that we are on, if we bend the law for one group, others will demand the same. “

    Too late mate. The law(s) have been twisted, bent and ignored for religions since… well I’m guessing since the Magna Carta was sealed. All Western countries have abandoned the rule of law in favour of the rule of multiculturalism to some extent or another.