Equality and Mutual Respect

Today’s Daily Telegraph has a very worrying article as one of the headline. I read this paper on line, principally because I think it is important to read news coverage and comment from sources I don’t agree with normally.

So I don’t know where in the print copy this article appeared; but on the e-mail I get from the DT every day, it featured very high up on the list of key articles.

The headline read: State schools isolate non-Muslimsthe story is essentially about an as yet unpublished report relating to three schools in Birmingham. The report was compiled by Department of Education Inspectors (according to the DT); it is in draft, the schools in question have not yet had an opportunity to respond to it and they still have a certain amount of time to do this. It was leaked to the press.

There is a danger with such leaked reports because they may not be accurate; anyone who has ever been in a position to have an audit done on an organisation they are responsible for will understand that sometimes the initial draft report contains errors and misunderstandings which make the report more alarming than it needs to be. But on the face of it, and if the findings in the report are accurate, the things that appear to be happening are pretty appalling.

Incidentally, all three schools are run by Park View Education Trust, an Academy. So the school is not under direct local authority control.

But what really frightens me is the comments which many readers have left on the website of the DT in response to this piece. When I last looked, there were over 3000 comments many with responses to the comments on the piece less than 24 hours after it was published.

I commented myself on the piece, trying to sound a voice of reason because there were so many comments which were talking about war, about taking up arms against ‘these people’ and so on.

Within minutes, I had loads of responses to my comment. What I said in my comment was:

I am appalled by what seems to be happening in these three schools in Birmingham; I am, for the moment, assuming that this report is accurate. However, the level of hate speech revealed in some of the comments below are also less than edifying. It is entirely wrong from a small minority (and I am sure that this is a minority) to try to take over state funded schools and impose specific cultural and religious views on them. No argument there. But, it is not the same a declaring war on one part of the population. It has to be said that the creation of Academies and so-called ‘free’ schools is opening the door to this kind of abuse from many a quarter. I think the only appropriate response is one that challenges these actions in court and that gets control of these schools back into public hands. What we need is to bring schools back under democratic control.

Here are some of the responses I got:

  • Hate speech! I take it you mean opinions you don’t agree with, and you use that Orwellian sounding label to disguise your own intolerance towards those who hold opposing opinions to your own.
  • Martina, you have been deceived, when Muslims were asked last December in Austria Belgium France Holland Germany and Sweden whether they wanted to live under Sharia Law OR Democracy, 65% voted for Sharia, extrapolated from the EU’s Muslim pop that’s 36 million out of 54 million. No-one can live with Islam, it has to be crushed and or driven out. Don.t believe me, well listen to this brave Syrian refugee from Islam, You Tube, Wafa Sultan-palm beach florida or this one, Ann Barnhardt – Koran.

  • Take a long holiday in Saudi and report back to us all with your liberalism.
  • Oh God, not the ‘it’s just a few bad apples’ speech. Islam is incompatible with Western values. There’s no such thing as moderate Muslims.

  • We English never asked for racially and ethnically alien populations to establish themselves among us. They have been imposed upon us. Why should we accept them?
  • We have the right to live sovereign and free on our own land, and not be ethnocided by our own political class, using migrated populations to that end. Sorry you are mixed up in this, but we have to live.

  • You are living in cloud cuckoo land!

Actually, I wish I did live in cloud cuckoo land; but alas, I live – like the rest of us – in the real world where we have to ensure that we can live peacefully even with people we don’t like, we disagree with and whose values are completely counter to our own.

But we cannot go around and tell people (like one commentator did): ‘Send the buggers back. I don’t care if they are being sent back to certain death; to hell with these people.’ (please note this is a quote from the comments, not my view!!!!)

For evil to triumph all that is necessary is for good people to do nothing. Let us get up and do what is required: challenge discrimination, challenge hate speech, challenge intolerance.


About martinaweitsch

I'm interested in politics and rational political debate which isn't afraid of the facts or the complexities and contradictions inherent in most important issues.
This entry was posted in Behind the Headlines, Equality, Peace, Politics in context and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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