U.K.: At least three Islamic schools enforce compulsory niqab for girls as young as 11

“It is a desert practice which belongs to another century and another world.”

The professional “moderate” Muslim Ed Husain said that.

Spencer:   If the media were quoting us, we’d be pilloried as “Islamophobes” (and somehow, “racist” as well). The OIC would accuse us of “incitement” and demand someone stop us.

British schools where girls must wear the Islamic veil

Quick! “Baroness ” Warsi to the front!  Lets have her give the Brits another lecture on Britishness:

‘No Country has the Right to Tell a Woman What She Should Wear and What She should Not Wear…; If She Wants to Wear … [a] Trouser Suit or She Wants to Wear a Burqa This is Her Individual Choice, and That’s Britishness’  … (Source)

Hundreds of girls are being forced by British schools to wear the Islamic veil in a move which has been heavily criticised by mainstream Muslims. (WTF is a “mainstream” Muslim? It sure is not in the Koran!)

Critics warned that the spectacle of burka-clad pupils entering and leaving the schools could damage relations between Muslim and non-Muslim communities

Islamic schools have introduced uniform policies which force girls to wear the burka or a full headscarf and veil known as the niqab.

Moderate followers of Islam said yesterday that enforcement of the veil was a “dangerous precedent” and that children attending such schools were being “brainwashed”.   (Telegraph UK) Continued below the fold>>>>

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Continued:

The Sunday Telegraph has established that three UK institutions have introduced a compulsory veil policy when girls are walking to or from school. They are:

  • Madani Girls’ School in east London;
  • Jamea Al Kauthar in Lancaster;
  • Jameah Girls’ Academy in Leicester.

All three are independent, fee-paying, single-sex schools for girls aged 11 to 18. Critics warned that the spectacle of burka-clad pupils entering and leaving the schools at the start and end of the day could damage relations between Muslim and non-Muslim communities.

Ed Husain, co-director of Quilliam, the counter-extremist think-tank, said: “It is absurd that schools are enforcing this outdated ritual – one that which sends out a damaging message that Muslims do not want to fully partake in British society.

“Although it is not the government’s job to dictate how its citizens dress, it should nonetheless ensure that such schools are not bankrolled or subsidised by the British taxpayer.”

He added: “The enforcing of the niqab on young girls is not a mainstream Islamic practice – either in Britain or in most Muslim-majority countries.

“It is a desert practice which belongs to another century and another world.”

Dr Taj Hargey, an imam and chairman of the Muslim Educational Trust of Oxford, said: “This is very disturbing and sets a dangerous precedent.

“It means that Muslim children are being brainwashed into thinking they must segregate and separate themselves from mainstream society.

“The use of taxpayers’ money for such institutions should be absolutely opposed. The wearing of the burka or niqab is a tribal custom and these garments are not even mentioned in the Koran.”

Philip Hollobone, the Tory MP who has attempted to bring in a Private Members’ Bill to ban wearing of the burka in public, also condemned the schools’ uniform policies.

“It is very sad in 21st century Britain that three schools are effectively forcing girls as young as 11 to hide their faces,” he said.

“How on earth are these young ladies going to grow up as part of a fully integrated society if they are made to regard themselves as objects at such a young age?”

Conservative councillors have accused Labour-controlled Tower Hamlets council of subsidising Madani Girls’ School by selling the school its current premises for £320,000 below market value.

In late 2008 the council agreed to sell the Victorian building, previously Grenfell Primary School, to Madani’s trustees for £1.33 million even though a valuation at the time said it was worth £1.65 million.

At the time there were plans to turn Madani into a state-funded Muslim school, one of only a handful in Britain.

The sale of the site was presented to councillors as the “next significant step” towards the school obtaining voluntary aided status. These plans have now stalled, according to the council.

Councillors were advised to allow the sale at a loss because the price had been agreed in 2004 when it represented a fair market value.

The deal had been delayed by four years because the school needed to raise funds, but council chiefs wanted to honour the originally-agreed figure.

However, council minutes from December 2008 show that Tim Archer, a Tory councillor, warned that “a council asset was being sold below market value and public money was being used to subsidise the purchase”.

He also suggested the school was in breach of the council’s inclusiveness policy.

Madani, which has 260 pupils, charges fees of £1,900 a year. Its website states: “All payments should be made in cash. We do not accept cheques.”

School uniform rules listed on the website have been deleted but an earlier version, seen by this newspaper, stated: “The present uniform conforms to the Islamic Code of dressing. Outside the school, this comprises of the black Burka and Niqab.”

The admission application form warns girls will be “appropriately punished” for failing to wear the correct uniform, and its website adds: “If parents are approached by the Education Department regarding their child’s education, they should not disclose any information without discussing it with the committee.”

Madani Girls’ School, which is a listed as a private limited company and was removed from the Charity Commission’s records at the end of last year, was visited by Ofsted in 2008 but the inspectorate’s report makes no mention of the strict uniform code.

It rated the school’s overall performance as “satisfactory” but noted that “the history curriculum is limited to Islamic history in Key Stage 3”. A number of aspects of school life were praised, including pupil behaviour.

Explaining the school’s ethos, Madani’s website says: “If we oppose the lifestyle of the west then it does not seem sensible that the teachers and the system, which represents that lifestyle, should educate our children.”

Jamea Al Kauthar is a £2,500-a-year girls’ boarding school, which accommodates 400 pupils in the grounds of Lancaster’s former Royal Albert Hospital.

It states on its website: “Black Jubbah [smock-like outer garment] and dopatta [shawl] is compulsory as well as purdah (veil) when leaving and returning to Jamea. Scarves are strictly not permitted.”

The website also lists a wide range of banned items, including family photographs, and warns: “Students must not cut their hair, nor remove hair from between their eyebrows. Doing so will lead to suspention (sic).”

Jamea Al Kauthar was rated “outstanding” by Ofsted earlier this year.

In Leicester, Jameah Girls Academy, which charges £1,750 a year for primary-age pupils and £1,850 for secondary, states in its rules: “Uniform, as set out in the pupil/parent handbook, which comprises of headscarf and habaya for all pupils, and niqab for girls attending the secondary years, to be worn during journeys to and from The Academy.”

Anastasia de Waal, deputy director of think-tank Civitas, said: “We now have a scenario where schools such as these will be able to apply to become free schools, under the Government’s policy, and therefore receive state funding. We need absolute clarity on what the position is going to be on such applications.”

None of the schools responded to questions posed by The Sunday Telegraph.

A spokeswoman for Tower Hamlets said of Madani: “The local authority is not currently in talks with the school to enable it to become voluntary aided but we were in talks previously.

“With regards to sale of the site, it was agreed by Cabinet in 2004 to sell the freehold of the property to the Madani Girls School for £1.33m, which represented the market value at that time.

“The sale was delayed due to the need for the school to raise funds. The school managed to secure the money in 2008 where it was agreed at a Cabinet meeting in November 2008 the sale would be honoured at the previously agreed price of £1.33 million as the proposed sale would raise capital to invest in new projects and benefit the community.

“A local authority has the discretion to sell at an ‘undervalue’ of up to £2,000,000.”

Update:

The Bunglawussi blog goes into damage control:

As for causing divisions between non-Muslims and Muslims, scaremongering articles like this – and irresponsible comments by malicious and unrepresentative attention-seekers like Ed Husain and Taj Hargey – have a far more damaging impact than the sight of veil-wearing pupils entering the gates of a few socially and religiously conservative Muslim schools.

2 thoughts on “U.K.: At least three Islamic schools enforce compulsory niqab for girls as young as 11”

  1. Curiouser and curiouser – the Jamea Al Kauthar changed their web page to remove the references to wearing “Black Jubbah” and “dopatta”, plus “purdah (veil)” when leaving and returning to Jamea.

    “Disappeared” version:

    http://www.jamea.co.uk/admissions.htm

    [Dress Code

    Uniform

    1. Dress – Plain navy blue.
    Length – more than halfway down the shin.
    Sleeve – wrist length.
    Material for the uniform and black and blue dupattas is available at the Jamea.
    2. Shalwar – Navy blue without flares.]

    Google cache version:

    [Dress Code

    Uniform

    1. Dress – Plain navy blue.
    Length – more than halfway down the shin.
    Sleeve – wrist length.
    Material for the uniform and black and blue dupattas is available at the Jamea.
    2. Shalwar – Navy blue without flares. They should not be more than 8 inches wide. Culottes are not allowed.

    Casual wear

    1. Any colour dress. Length – more than halfway below the shin. Knee length clothing is strictly banned. Sleeve – wrist length. A dopatta must be worn at all times in the uniformal manner. The length must be until the elbows and must cover the back. Coloured bandanas are not permitted. A jabbah, apparent designer tops, nor trainers can be worn as casual wear in the Jamea. The clothing that does not adhere to the above rulings will be confiscated and the Jamea will not be responsible for its safeguarding.
    2. Black Jubbah and dopatta is compulsory as well as purdah (veil) when leaving and returning to Jamea. Scarves are strictly not permitted.
    3. Shoes – Flat heeled, no high-heeled shoes allowed.
    4. No kind of make-up is allowed.
    5. For PE grey shalwar kamees must be worn which should be below the knees and pumps as footwear.
    6. All items of clothing and kit are to be kept in a clean and tidy condition.
    7. No coloured contact lenses are allowed.
    8. Jalsa’ takes place twice annually where all girls are expected to wear white shalwar kamees. No more than 8” wide. The Kamees has to be below the shins. All Jalsa clothes strictly have to be white. No coloured embroidery, sequins or beads are allowed except for white.]

  2. This bit is still on the Madani Girls School site:

    [As Muslims living in the west, we need to give this serious thought. Having taken the decision to live here some of this exposure cannot be controlled, but we do have the choice to decide who and which system will educate our children. If we oppose the lifestyle of the west then it does not seem sensible that the teachers and the system, which represents that lifestyle, should educate our children. ]

    The school uniform page is … completely blank:

    http://www.madani-school.co.uk/schoolrules.php?on=rules&sub=uni

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