Staff at Al-Madinah School, in Derbyshire, say that they have been told to sign new contracts agreeing to wear hijabs and make girls sit at the back of classes.Now whilst I'm mostly of the opinion that it's their gaff, their rules I feel that this is very different from the failure of that Birmingham college to try and ensure that faces will be uncovered for security (and honesty) reasons. This is a deliberate attempt to get staff to comply to a dress code foreign to this country and not islamic in any way shape or form.
The Muslim faith school, which caters for 200 students aged four to 16, also forbids the teachers from bringing in non-Halal food or wearing unacceptable jewellery, it is claimed.
Non-Asian staff have been seen removing the headgear immediately when leaving the building, but refused to reveal the extent of the school's demands.
Nick Raine, regional NUT officer, said: "We are very worried about the school and the education of the 200 children there.
"It's one thing to have a dress code which we can challenge and quite another to build it into a contract.
"The school is publicly accountable so there needs to be greater transparency."
As an imam Dr T Hargey who is the Director, Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford put it in a letter to the Times (paywalled)
For Muslims to claim that the niqab/burka is Islamic is not only deceitful, but disingenuous. At best it is an outmoded cultural convention and a primitive tribal habit. Many ill-informed Muslims have, however, been conditioned to conflate culture with religion and befuddle liberal Britain that this is a principle of religious freedom and human rights when it is neither. In fact, it is illegal for masked women to undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca or to perform their daily prayers. If women are prevented from hiding their identity at Islam's holiest shrine, why do they need to do so in the UK?And as an imam, he would know.
No, this is yet another example of islamics trying to set themselves and keep themselves apart from society and enforce their weird and inappropriate dress sense on the rest of us. I suppose the staff could simply hand their notice in or refuse to wear medieval tribal clothing, but the point is as non islamics not in a religious building is that they simply have no need too.
Sue Arguile, branch secretary of Derby National Union of Teachers, said: "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.Perhaps we should simply close it down as they can't seem to follow civilised patterns of behaviour so that even the left wing NUT are concerned...