Preston Muslim Girls High School in Lancashire was designated a member of the LGBT charity Stonewall’s “champions” programme after it sent teachers to a workshop run by the pro-gay lobby group.
Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme is a voluntary initiative which seeks to advance LGBT ideas and acceptance, including to UK students at faith schools.
After the initial discovery of the school’s relationship to Stonewall earlier this year, concerned Muslims from the local Preston community began to complain to the school. This led to the school issuing a statement explaining their relationship with Stonewall via a WhatsApp message.
5Pillars has seen a copy of the statement which was sent to parents on 2nd February this year. The message claims that two teachers from the school attended a workshop on “homophobic bullying” which was delivered by Stonewall three years earlier.
It also claims that the school was probably added to the champion’s subscriber list after the successful completion of the bullying course by the teachers.
As a “champion,” the school would have access to “membership benefits” including exclusive education resources including bespoke support from Stonewall’s education team.
However, the statement claimed that the school had contacted Stonewall and requested it be removed from the public record, which no longer lists them.
5Pillars attempted to contact the school’s Head Teacher, Mufti Javid Pathan, for his views on the issue but he did not respond.
Preston Muslim Girls High School’s website says that its vision is to provide an exceptional educational facility, whilst at the same time “developing the spiritual and social qualities of our pupils” and helping them become valued members of the community through the “guidance of Islam.”
Stonewall are one of the UK’s largest gay charity organisations which seek to empower institutions as “advocates and agents” of positive change towards acceptance of LGBT relationships.
The group also aims to ensure that institutions understand the “huge benefits” LGBT people bring to them.
Stonewall’s website explains how a school would qualify to become an LGBT champion.
“We deliver training, produce resources and develop membership programmes to empower teachers and education professionals to tackle homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in schools and colleges. When you complete a course, you’ll automatically become a Stonewall School Champion.”
Stonewall’s media officer, Rosalie Spawls, confirmed to 5Pillars that the school was only removed from the subscribers list as part of a website “update” because they “hadn’t worked with us for a while”.
Spawls also confirmed that the school had indeed worked with Stonewall but not since 2017.
Speaking anonymously to 5Pillars, one whistleblower from Preston’s Muslim community told us why they thought the school signed up with Stonewall.
“My hunch is that the school feels it can win points with Ofsted for being seen to be LGBT inclusive,” the parent said.
Ofsted is the UK’s school regulator which recently ruled that the controversial “No Outsiders” LBGT relationship education lessons are “appropriate” for children in UK schools.
The parent added: “How can a Muslim school, which states it has an Islamic ethos, associate with an LGBT organisation and allow that organisation to then use that fact to promote wider acceptance of LGBT in the Muslim community?”
The debate on LGBT lessons has been raging for months after news that Muslim-majority Parkfield Community School in Birmingham is teaching LGBT relationship lessons to children as young as five years old.
Hundreds of Muslim parents up and down the country have been protesting against what they claim is an “indoctrination” of children, specifically targeting children of faith.
One outspoken scholar, Shaykh Tauqir Ishaq, recently explained to 5Pillars that Islam’s view on homosexual relationships is clear cut.
He said: “Any Muslim who promotes such haraam as being permissible cannot call themselves a Muslim as they take themselves outside of the religion.”
At the height of the No Outsiders protests, Stonewall condemned Muslim parents as a “minority”.
Stonewall also said that “we had a vision that children would learn at school that people are different. Children of any age can have two mums. It’s not wrong for children to discuss and accept this.”
They continued: “we’ve worked closely with many faith schools and faith communities around the country to help the deliver LGBT inclusive education to children and young people. We clearly still have work to do.”