UK Schools Inspector: Gender Segregation OK for Muslim Children

Britain’s school inspection organisation Ofsted has told its inspectors that segregating boys and girls in the classroom is acceptable in Muslim schools and need not be criticised.

The Times reports that inspectors have been sent instructions saying that boys and girls “may well” be seated separately in classrooms in Islamic faith schools and that this should not be seen as discrimination – a claim that should doubtlessly anger equal rights campaigners, though may indeed be ignored by cultural relativists. 

Music and art classes may also be “restricted”, it said, even though they are requirements in the national curriculum. The guidance also says that girls being required to wear headscarves should be an expression of their identity, rather than oppression.

The revelations come after the Department for Education criticised the separate seating of boys and girls in one of the schools investigated under the “Trojan horse” enquiry into alleged Islamist takeovers of secular schools in Birmingham.

The government told Oldknow Academy to “eliminate” the practice.

Ofsted also criticised a school for using the practice last year when it rated “pupil safety” at Al-Madinah Academy as inadequate, one of its reasons being that older boys and girls sat at opposite ends of the classroom and ate lunch separately.

The guidance approving of segregation was updated only three months ago, and applies to inspectors visiting faith schools.

The advice says: “Boys and girls may well be taught or seated separately according to the specific context, particularly during collective acts of worship. This should not be taken as a sign of inequality between genders.”

“Girls will cover their head with the ‘hijab’ or scarf. On occasions this is not a requirement of the school but at the pupil’s own request. Inspectors should be mindful to not misinterpret this as a sign of repression but instead to understand that Muslim females see this as a part of their identity and a commitment to their beliefs within Islam,” it adds.

The guidance also tells male inspectors not to shake hands with female staff unless invited, and before entering a classroom they may need to give a female teacher time to put on a headscarf or full veil.

A spokeswoman for Ofsted said: “Our guidance is designed to assist inspectors and to understand what they may expect to see in faith schools of various designation.

“However, as the chief inspector has made clear, it is really important that all our schools promote the values of wider British society.”




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We Aren’t the World: Why America Resists Soccer Imperialism

Demonstrative enthusiasm for European football stands as a popular passive-aggressive way that Americans announce their superiority vis-à-vis the rubes next door.

Like smallpox, Nazism, and Cliff Richard, soccer is something that Europeans should have kept to themselves. We’ll instead take The Beatles, Cervantes, Sophia Lauren, Heineken, Samantha Fox on Page 2, and your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Please don’t hate us for asking for Posh Spice’s autograph instead of her husband’s.

From Alexander the Great to King Leopold II to FIFA, continentals exude a mania to make the world Europe. Faced with this sports imperialism, American quislings from across the ocean cry “conquer me.”

The World Europe Cup resumes Thursday after a merciful four-year respite. Labeling the “World Cup” the “Europe Cup” may unfairly exclude South Americans. But labeling it the “World Cup” unfairly ropes North Americans into something only a few of them pretend to care about. Americans celebrate the World Europe Cup the way many Englishmen celebrate Easter. It’s a perfunctory ritual in which the pressure to go along comes from getting along. Englishmen may say the prayers, and Americans may say “the pitch,” but it’s a rote performance that doesn’t come from the soul.

People play and watch soccer just about everywhere. But people play and watch basketball and baseball all around the world, too. Unlike baseball’s World Series—a true global melting pot that—which has featured players from Venezuela, Japan, Canada, Australia, Korea, and points beyond, in the World Europe Cup only teams from Europe and South America really challenge for the championship. Since the tournament’s 1930 launch, just eight countries—Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, France, Germany, England, and Spain—have captured the World Europe Cup. No finals has featured teams from outside Europe or South America. Just once in the history of the tournament, in 2002, has even the third-place match featured a team from another continent. And just three venues outside of Europe and South America have hosted a World Europe Cup. From Buenos Aires to Brussels, Lisbon to Lima, Rio to Rotterdam, Planet Futbol sings “We Are the World.” Must the soccer-indifferent outposts play along to their collective delusion?

The sport’s pace makes baseball look seizure-inducing in comparison and its players score about as much as Andrew Dice Clay in a lesbian bar. European football, as the geographic modifier suggests, does not permeate the American cultural consciousness. The New York Times, heretofore not known for speaking as the voice of the ‘Muricans, recognized this when it published a look at well-behaved wannabe football hooligans transplanting the folkways of overflowing stadiums across the Atlantic to half-empty ones here. The Times identified them as “the ones wearing European-style fake-wool team scarves, even though it was sweltering outside. They were the ones behaving as if they were a single din-producing organism whose job was to surge, shout and sing themselves silly with European-style chants. They were the ones talking about the pitch (field) and the kit (jerseys) and the supporters (themselves) and who, when compelled to use the word soccer, were putting it in invisible quotation marks.”

There’s something terribly inauthentic about Americans earnestly impersonating Spaniards and Frenchmen. Why stop at the lingo? Why not adopt an Antonio Banderas accent or don a Parisian beret? The Americans who normally are loathe to participate in collective demonstrations of patriotism zealously indulge in the stadium spectacles of nationalism, but only in deference to the internationalist spirit of the World Europe Cup. The Europeans who imagine the game as a global common denominator do so from a parochial cosmopolitanism that imagines the universality of the local passion. Perhaps the U.S.’s World Cup indifference exemplifies the true meaning of American exceptionalism.

From my earliest memories, the soccer quislings have insisted that the kicking sport would soon overtake baseball and football. Like the intricacies of the metric system, Americans had best brush up on corner kicks and the misbehavior leading to a yellow card if they hoped to remain relevant in the Brave New Soccer-Ball-Shaped World. Someday soon Americans would become like everyone else—only more so. I drank the Kool Aid, figuratively (and literally on the sidelines), one season prior to reaching the age of discretion.  

Soccer inspired at six the alien phenomenon of not reflexively wanting to hang out with my much older teammates, who, uniformly bereft of siblings, lacked basic social skills. At this age, older automatically meant cooler—but not on the soccer field. The players who excelled seemed to be announcing their aversion to baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. The ones who struggled viewed practice and even games as terrible intrusions on time better spent playing Dungeons & Dragons. More grating than the child participants in the sport were their parents, who gave soccer field parking lots the appearance of Saab dealerships and methodically dictated orange-slice duties to other parents as they monitored their equitable distribution at halftime.

Had I been born a century sooner, I would have realized that the advance party for the soccer invasion understood their countrymen as poorly as they understood themselves. European football stormed American campuses in the years following the Civil War. American college kids added uprights to the goalposts after liking the idea of kicking the ball over rather than into the net. They squished the orb into a prolate spheroid. They quite rationally picked up the ball and ran with it. The name remained the same but the game didn’t, which puzzles Europeans. Their football prohibited violence on the field but demanded it in the grandstand, which puzzles Americans. The postbellum college students loved European football so much that they combined it with rugby and turned it into our national obsession.

The best thing about soccer as a kid was playing. It offers fun, a great cardiovascular workout, and footwork skills that other sports reward but don’t instill. It requires little in the way of equipment. Their football isn’t as complicated as our football, so kids pick up the game on day one of practice rather than in the final game of the season. In its simplicity lies its popularity. And it’s better than being fat, a feat American children excel at accomplishing.

So, yes, fellow Americans, if only for the next month: watch soccer, cheer soccer, play soccer. Just don’t play a European.

Daniel J. Flynn, the author of The War on Football: Saving America’s Game (Regnery, 2013), edits Breitbart Sports.

Photo credit: Getty Images




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Rand Paul: Let’s Compromise on Amnesty

A day after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) lost his primary after Dave Brat hammered him on amnesty, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) embraced “immigration reform” on a conference call with Michael Bloomberg’s pro-amnesty group and Grover Norquist.

Paul, a potential 2016 contender, reportedly said that “amnesty is a word that’s trapped us,” and, according to CNN, emphasized, “If you want immigration reform, there has to be openness to compromise.” Earlier on Wednesday, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh declared that when politicians in Washington say “immigration reform” what they really mean is “amnesty.”

“I say everywhere I go, ‘I am for immigration reform,'” Paul said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This is not the first time Paul has embraced amnesty. As Breitbart News reported, Paul spoke at the University of Chicago earlier this year and told David Axelrod, the director of the school’s Institute for Politics, that he would “expand the work visa program to include” all of the country’s illegal immigrants. Hispanic groups were still not satisfied, calling Paul “offensive” even after he said he favored allowing all of the country’s illegal immigrants to remain in the country.

Paul participated in a monthly call with Bloomberg’s Partnership for a New American Economy and Norquist that seeks to push Congress to pass amnesty legislation this year. Paul diminished the role that amnesty had in Brat’s victory, but Brat only made amnesty the focus of his campaign in the final month. Brat’s attacks even compelled Cantor to send deceptive anti-amnesty mailers to voters in his district.

“The central policy issue in this race has become Cantor’s absolute determination to pass an amnesty bill. Cantor is the No. 1 cheerleader in Congress for amnesty,” Brat declared in an op-ed for the Richmond Times-Dispatch during the last week of the primary. “This is not the Republican way to fix our economy and labor markets.”




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Barbra Streisand Stumps for More Research on Women’s Heart Disease

When Barbra Streisand talks in public, it usually means she’s pushing a pet liberal cause or new project.

This week, the famed Funny Girl is in Washington, D.C. to promote a cause with the potential for bipartisan support.

The singer visited D.C. today to raise awareness about women’s heart disease and rally politicians to increase funding to fight it.

It isn’t the first time Streisand threw her celebrity–and cash–behind the cause. Two years ago she cut a check for more than $20 million to Cedars-Sinai Hospital to fund research against women’s heart disease. She thinks Congress can do more on the issue.

She’s pointed out that the U.S. spends about $246 million on women’s heart disease research each year, compared to the $1 billion spent annually on women’s cancer research.

“Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, killing more women than all cancers combined,” Streisand said. “Since 1984, more women than men have died every year from heart disease. It’s time for more funding, more research, and more attention for women’s heart disease.”

Streisand became an advocate for heart disease prevention, education, and treatment a number of years ago when she found out that the disease presents itself differently in women than men, yet most heart disease research is performed on men.

The singer met with several politicians including Sens. John McCain and Dick Durbin.




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Failed Senate Gun Bill Would Not Have Stopped Oregon High School Gunman

The expanded background check bill that failed to pass in the Senate last year would not have stopped or even hindered the gunman who shot one then himself at Reynolds High School on June 10.

This is because the gunman was too young to buy a gun; thus he took one from a “secure storage place” where his family kept the gun.

According to Oregon Live, the gunman’s name was Jared Michael Padgett. He was fifteen years old.

Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) gun control bill would have extended retail background checks to even private purchases so that every gun purchase included a background check. He offered this bill in the wake of the heinous crime at Sandy Hook Elementary and admitted that it would not have stopped the crime at Sandy Hook.

That is because Adam Lanza, like Jared Michael Padgett, took his guns rather than purchased them.

Yet President Obama and Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) both called for the passage of expanded background checks in the wake of the heinous crime at Reynolds High School.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.




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