Search Donate

Show results for
  • News
  • Videos
  • Action Alerts
  • Events
  • Resources
  • MEND

Ilford school criticised for using Islamophobic material in lesson plan

Ilford school criticised for using Islamophobic material in lesson plan

Categories: Latest News

Thursday June 23 2016

The Ilford Recorder reports on a dispute that has arisen at a school in Ilford where material by the far right political party Liberty GB has been used in English classes for Year 8 pupils.

Headteacher of Oaks Park High School, Steve Wilks, defended the use of the material written by Dr George Whale, a member of the “radical patriotic conservative” political party Liberty GB, titled “Ten Reasons Why Britain Should Not Accept Syrian Refugees”.

The material by Dr Whale, cites among reasons to “not accept Syrian refugees” the following: “some Muslim children grow up to become terrorists” and “the more we allow in, the more will come”.

Headteacher Steve Wilks said the material was used for “empowering pupils” and to “show a point of view that was extremely biased”. The material was used as part of an exercise in which pupils write letters to the author arguing their views, challenging the author’s own.

In a statement issued by the school, Mr Wilks said: “The views contained within the article were not endorsed or supported by the teacher, but rather quoted as part of the lesson.”

The exercise has been lambasted by locals who have posted messages on social media criticising the school for making use of “Islamophobic” material.

Three of Liberty GB’s members, Chairman Paul Weston, Press Officer Enza Ferreri and Outreach Officer Jack Buckby, stood for the European Parliament election in 2014 in support of “the complete removal of Islam from Britain and Europe.” Among policies promoted in one of the party’s manifestos was to “Outlaw shariah-compliant financial instruments”; “Outlaw Islamic state ownership of sensitive Western assets such as stock exchanges, ports, security firms, defence contractors and others” and “Declare that Islam is incompatible with 21st century, secular, liberal democracy”.

Earlier this year, the former leader of the English Defence League, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, announced the launch of the UK branch of the far right German group Pegida with Paul Weston, former chairman of Liberty GB as joint leader with failed UKIP candidate and Sharia Watch founder, Anne Marie Waters.

Fellow Liberty GB member, Jack Buckby, last week declared his intention to stand in the by-election in Batley and Spen following the brutal murder of MP Jo Cox. In a statement announcing his decision Buckby said, “[T]he Labour Party is responsible for the demographic and cultural assault on Britain which has already done great damage in areas of Yorkshire.

“Too much is at stake to allow Labour to retake Batley and Spen unchallenged. The constituency is part of a region that has been turned upside down by mass immigration, with mosques sprouting like triffids, Islamic extremism proliferating, child-rape gangs still on the loose, and long-standing English communities under threat of demographic eradication.”

Little wonder locals in Ilford have challenged the school’s decision to make use of material by Liberty GB. One local resident told the paper, “If a similar article was cited in a school with the target being another faith community or if the teacher had decided to show the class an anti-Western piece from the likes of Daesh, there rightly would have been an uproar. How can one share such material with young, impressionable children as a responsible adult, let alone a teacher? We should be teaching kids about the dangers of anti-semitism, Islamophobia and all other forms of racism and discrimination, let alone giving airtime to such views.”


Find out more about MEND, sign up to our email newsletter

Get all the latest news from MEND straight to your inbox. Sign up to our email newsletter for regular updates and events information