I SEE more trouble looming in Birmingham where mainly Muslims parents have been protesting for months against a ‘No Outsiders’ programme that teaches, among other things, respect for LGBT communities.
Why? Because Birmingham City Council has brought in a mediator – a Muslim mediator who supports the programme – to try to end the protests.
Nazir Afzal, regarded as one of Britain’s top lawyers, said last month that students:
Don’t become gay because they learn about the fact there are gay people.
The protests led to the suspension of “No Outsiders”, a move the former public prosecutor described as “scandalous.”
After a conference in Bradford on the sexual exploitation of children, Afzal said cancelling the LGBT lessons does children “no service at all and no good at all” and school environments should be used:
As somewhere they can learn things that they wouldn’t learn anywhere else.
Claiming that failure to teach kids about sex could lead to grooming by sex traffickers, Afzal said:
Today I’ve been talking about how British Pakistani men are disproportionately involved in some of the street grooming.
He said this was because they had no “relationship education” in the younger years.
Our families, sadly, are averse to allowing their children to understand relationship education. And relationship education is a real way of protecting them in future.
Afzal confirmed that he has spoken with parents of Birmingham students, tweeting on May 5:
I can confirm that the city council and parents have asked me to mediate in this matter. I don’t want payment. I don’t propose to give a running commentary. I would prefer if nobody did so that we can try and make progress for the children at the heart of this.
Protesters also demanded the resignation of Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, head teacher of Anderton Park primary school, which offers an LGBTQ curriculum and books.
Openly gay teacher Andrew Moffat, above, who started the “No Outsiders” lessons at Parkfield, will lead the annual gay pride march in the city. According to the BBC, Moffat is “overjoyed” by the invitation to lead the parade on May 25.
The message I want to give is that it’s not a case of Muslims versus LGBT or different cultures not getting along, The great thing about Birmingham is its diversity and that we can all get along.
Festival director Lawrence Barton said Moffat had been asked to lead the parade in light of:
The division which the controversy over ‘No Outsiders’ lessons has created.
He said the programme:
Was doing excellent work in helping children to learn about and understand the world around them.
Last month it was reported that Moffat had received a death threat. He told Sky News:
I had a message saying, ‘You won’t last long’.
He rejects claims by protesters that his teaching is “intolerant” of their religion because he tells children it’s OK to be gay.
I would say that I am very clearly following British law. The equality act is very clear that you can have different race, religion, disability and sexual orientation. We can’t pick and choose bits of the equality act that we are comfortable with.