The first taxpayer-funded Muslim school in Great Britain has allegedly banned fairy tales because they are “non-Islamic.” The school also forces all female teachers — including teachers who are not adherents of Islam — to wear headscarves.
The hardline Muslims who run al Madinah School in Derby have also outlawed all stringed instruments (which are forbidden in the Islamic faith) and won’t allow students to sing any songs except for Islamic faith songs, reports the Daily Mail.
A former head teacher, Andrew Cutts-McKay, and another former school official, Suzanne Southerland, have made the allegations. They say they were “bullied and sidelined” by the school’s Muslim leadership.
Both resigned over the summer. They said they were forced out.
Officials at the school have squarely rejected the accusations.
More recently, teachers at the school have since complained that they are required to wear hijabs regardless of their religious beliefs. This new rule was apparently instituted this summer.
Female teachers and staffers say they are also prohibited from wearing jewelry.
There are still more allegations.
The school allegedly forces female students — as young as four — to sit in the back of the class away, behind and away from the boys. Girls must also wait for all the boys to get their lunches before they can eat.
Also, all non-halal food is reportedly outlawed at the school.
“When teaching children the alphabet, you could not associate the letter ‘p’ with pig,” charged a staffer, according to the Mail.
A woman who interviewed for a job at the school said she was instructed to avoid shaking hands with any male teachers to prevent “insult.”
Still another staffer with whom the Mail spoke compared the working conditions at al Madinah School to “being in Pakistan.”
The school opened in September 2012. It’s a “free school” in British parlance, which means it operates independently but its is eligible to receive money from the government.
Teachers at the school have asked Britain’s National Union of Teachers for help.
“We are very worried about the school and the education of the 200 children there,” union representative Nick Raine told the Mail. “There are worries over practices concerning the discrimination between male and female pupils in the school, with the girls being told to sit at the back of the class regardless of whether they can see the board properly.”