Girls at UK Trojan Horse School Barred From Tennis
Mon, March 21, 2016
(Illustrative photo: @Tulane Public Relations/Creative Commons)
Park View, a school at the center of the infamous “Trojan Horse” scandal in Birmingham -- where Islamist administrators, teachers and parents covertly Islamisized public schools in the UK -- has long been cleaned up. Its governors and curriculum have been changed and it has reopened as Rockwood Academy.
Still, as more details emerge, it is clear how – in the secret effort to make the school “sharia compliant,” students – particularly, female students – were marginalized while secular staff was intimidated and subjected to vulgarity.
During a misconduct hearing about the school, Park View’s press officer Susan Packer testified that she complained to the principal, Monsoor Hussain, that the girls at the school had been forbidden to take tennis lessons.
Hussain remarked it was because the male teachers “did not want girls to be seen with their bits jumping up and down,” a retort Packer found “shocking” and “inappropriate.”
But that was just the tip of the iceberg. In hearings to disqualify the staff responsible for the "sharia compliance" at the school, the committee heard how 14- and 15-year-old boys at the school were told that Muslim wives must obey their husbands’ demands for sex.
“I couldn’t believe they could be told that, and felt they had empowerment over girls when it came to sex,” Packer said. “Many of the girls would say: ‘Miss, is this right, we are not allowed to say no to sex?’”
Boys and girls were often segregated, with the girls sitting in the back of the classroom and male teachers directing questions only to the boys.
Packer told how the girls had complained to her. “I tried to promote equality of treatment and the [then] headmaster, Mozz Hussain, called me in and talked to me like I was something on the sole of his shoe,” she said.
In general, females at the school – both students and staff -- were treated “without an inch of respect” by some of the male teachers, according to Packer.
Music was discouraged at the school since it could “promote immoral behavior” or include “unethical and un-Islamic lyrics.” A number of biology classes were cancelled as was sex education and dance instruction.
And in a move that made even many of the Muslim teachers uncomfortable, posters were hung saying that if students didn’t pray, they were worse than kaffirs (a derogatory term for non-Muslims).
A new chair of governors was appointed for the school as its executive principal: Adrian Packer (unrelated to Susan Packer) who is a former Mexican circus dancer who taught for 13 years at the BRIT performing arts school. His students include Jessie J and Amy Winehouse.
And in an ironic twist of fate, Rockwood has recently been named an official “UK School of Tennis,” one of 21 UK schools to be named as such by the Tennis Foundation charity.
The designation comes with a monetary grant and training for the teachers to be tennis coaches. The school’s new executive principal termed the project an “incredible opportunity” for students from low-income families to learn a sport that has traditionally been open only to Britain’s elite.
It’s a good start to begin the school’s transformation process, where education was ostensibly for only one “elite” gender and girls were left bereft of that “privilege.”
Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org