Teaching children about LGBT values and lifestyles can prevent terrorism, according to a teacher at the centre of a gay rights row with parents.
Andrew Moffat, who is the assistant headteacher of Parkfield Community School in Birmingham, said getting children to appreciate “diversity and difference” could prevent terrorist attacks stemming from “extreme” ideologies.
He said such classes could stop atrocities against minority communities, such as the mosque terror attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday 15 March, where 50 worshippers were killed.
The pro-LGBT teacher added: “The rise of the far-right is very worrying – terrorist attacks. Look at Christchurch. Why did that happen?
“That happened because someone doesn’t understand about diversity and difference. Someone is frightened of people who are different-skinned, a different religion.”
Mr Moffat has been facing protests from parents because of his ‘No Outsiders’ curriculum, which he says he put together to teach pupils about different backgrounds.
However, the vast majority of Muslim parents at the school said the lessons were not appropriate because homosexuality is against Islam.
Parkfield School said it had stopped the No Outsiders lessons, but it was revealed last week that the school was still teaching same-sex classes, hence parent-led protests restarted.
In response to whether he thinks the No Outsiders programme could stop future terror attacks, Mr Moffat said: “When I wrote it, that wasn’t my aim, but now I absolutely believe that.”
No Outsiders and anti-radicalisation
Amir Ahmed, who is one of the leaders of the Parkfield parents’ protests, said he had seen PowerPoint slides on the scheme that was to be presented to the government as part of the school’s Prevent strategy – which claims tackle “radicalisation”.
5Pillars have seen the No Outsiders presentation and countering radicalisation and extremism was integrated within the curriculum.
Mr Ahmed told the BBC: “I think that’s outrageous.
“It’s quite disgusting that the school has presented our children as potential radicals.”
A Parkfield Community School spokesperson said: “The PowerPoint was written four years ago in line with Prevent duty at that time.
“No Outsiders is all about tolerance, accepting difference and respect, which are all key aspects of community cohesion and our fundamental British values.”