In an exclusive interview, 5Pillars spoke to Muslim psychologist Dr Kate Godfrey-Faussett who has recently come under mainstream media attack over her opposition to the content of Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) in schools.
After being suspended without pay from her job after The British Psychological Society launched an investigation into her, she told us that she’s the victim of a witch hunt against the Muslim community, and has been “hung, drawn and quartered without trial” by the media.
An investigation carried by The Observer earlier this year found that the National Secular Society had written to the Health and Care Professions Council, the governing body for Godfrey-Faussett’s profession, over whether her role is compatible with the ethical standards of her professional body.
Muslim and non-Muslim parents across the country are increasingly concerned that Relationship and Sex Education is promoting LGBT lifestyles to children as young as four.
5Pillars: Could you explain what has happened since the mainstream media began targeting you?
Dr Godfrey-Faussett: Since the attacks began, my employers obviously saw the articles in the Daily Mail and elsewhere and now I have been suspended without pay, which is having a financial impact. I don’t know what the outcome will be, and I will have to wait to see what happens but the way it’s being portrayed in the media is as if I am being hanged, drawn and quartered without trial already.
The British Psychological Society (BPS) has approached me announcing they are launching an investigation. They wrote to me condemning me for a whole list of things but I still don’t know what I’ve done wrong and they have accused me of things that I haven’t done. The BPS has accused me of attempting to promote conversion therapy which is illegal in this country, but I have never said or made any reference to anything regarding conversion therapy, and I have never said anything discriminatory.
So it feels like a witch hunt is going on and no one has asked for my opinion or what has happened on my side.
5Pillars: Have the mainstream media contacted you for comment?
Dr Godfrey-Faussett: The Guardian did contact me for a comment, but I wasn’t sure what I was commenting about as I had not been informed, at that stage, what the investigation was about, so it was difficult for me to defend myself. The Daily Mail did not contact me at all, and they went with the most inflammatory headline, but this is what they do, they spread these allegations without any proof and then people read the headlines and it has an impact, leading to my suspension.
The mainstream media will say what they want, but I think most of the public know that they just live off lies anyway.
5Pillars: Some argue the “No Outsiders” programme isn’t about sex education and is therefore harmless. What’s your view on it?
Dr Godfrey-Faussett: I want to clarify that my focus has so far been on the (state-backed) Relationship and Sex Education. All I talk about is the RSE which is different from the No Outsiders dispute. However, I have noticed that when the media have approached me, they are trying to force the LGBT narrative on to me, specifically trying to make this whole dispute about LGBT vs radical Islam but it’s not like that at all.
The Stop RSE campaign is mostly about a wide variety of things including the erosion of parental rights and state attempts to take over the role of parents as well as attempts by the state to introduce children to sexual education at a very young age.
I have read the No Outsiders book and from what I can see it does admit it’s a de-radicalisation programme which seems to be pushing and promoting their views on children, not just to tolerate different sexual orientations but actually to accept and celebrate them. They want children from Muslim majority schools to celebrate the fact, which is going above and beyond what it is they claim to be doing. That boils down to a form of indoctrination and erosion on our religious rights as Muslims, Christians and Jews to bring up our children in line with our beliefs and values.
During the debate on RSE in schools, I was constantly asked about my position on LGBT rights, but my focus has always been on parental rights to educate their children how they want, but they are twisting all the alleged evidence to set me up.
5Pillars: You have been quoted as describing the LGBT lessons as an “assault on the family” and a “war on morality” where children’s innocence is being destroyed. Do you stand by those claims?
Dr Godfrey-Faussett: They have misquoted me, I never said LGBT lessons specifically, I was speaking generically about morality and sex education in a kind of liberal secular narrative. That is clearly what I was talking about.
So I never said LGBT is an assault on the family. That point could be argued: that this is an assault on the concept of the family, as it is clear that the traditional concept of the family is under attack. Even in the Gay Liberation Front manifesto they clearly state they want to abolish the traditional family, so I’m not saying anything that they haven’t said themselves.
But I do believe that the traditional family is under assault and that this secular ideology behind the RSE programme is a war against morality.
5Pillars: Have you received support from many Muslim parents?
Dr Godfrey-Faussett: Yes, I have been receiving regular messages from Muslim and non-Muslim parents who are concerned about what their children are being exposed to at school, saying that this is having a harmful effect already.
I am very grateful that this whole affair has raised awareness about what people’s children are learning in UK schools. The majority of the nation has been asleep on this issue, but now they are waking up. Even my RSE awareness speech from the Islamic Unity Conference (2018) which went viral, and which has been used to demonise me, has helped create so much awareness. So there is much support which I really appreciate.
5Pillars: “Muslim LGBT campaigner” Khakan Qureshi, who runs the Birmingham South Asians LGBT group, said: “The powerful words that (Kate) uses are incredibly dangerous.” What is your response to that?
Dr Godfrey-Faussett: I really don’t know what to make of him or his comments. I don’t know what I represent for him or why he feels threatened by me. Maybe because I am a revert or a professional, or that I can articulate my points, I just don’t know.
He obviously feels threatened by what I’m saying but I would have to sit with him and have a cup of coffee to find out exactly what he means or what he is so threatened by. All I am doing is creating awareness of a reality which exists, so if it’s dangerous to share the truth, then I don’t know what to say to that.
5Pillars: Do you have anything else you want to add?
Dr Godfrey-Faussett: I knew that I had to speak out about this stuff because, as a Muslim, I felt a sense of duty to the Muslim community. I knew that I might get targeted but I went into this willingly and if I lose my job and my reputation then so be it. At least I raised awareness to the community of what is going on and, as Muslims, we do things for God not for people in this world. God willing I will continue to spread awareness.
I never have instigated hatred or tried to discriminate, I have taught the opposite. In this society people can do whatever they want, and no one should face bullying in any way but people of faith – Muslims, Christians and Jews – are all speaking out on this issue. But it seems the media has honed in on the Muslims who speak out about this, but we have religious rights as well. We shouldn’t be forced into a position where we have to compromise our faith.