Ofsted criticises Dewsbury school after finding anti-homosexuality book in library

Ofsted. Editorial credit: chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com

The schools watchdog Ofsted has criticised a Muslim school in Dewsbury for stocking a book in its library which called for the punishment of homosexuals.

Ofsted inspected the Institute of Islamic Education in Dewsbury on May 18/19 and concluded that the school does not meet all of the national minimum standards or the overall outcome independent school standards that were checked during the inspection.

The school was heavily criticised in many areas – such as quality of education, safeguarding and site maintenance – but the inspection also found that “fundamental British values” were being undermined by leaders’ failings as they had not ensured that all texts in the school’s library were suitable for pupils.

Markazi Masjid in Dewsbury where the school is located. Pic: Wikimedia Commons license.

“Inspectors found a book called ‘Islam on Homosexuality’,” the report noted. “This book had been stamped by the school as a library book. It included inappropriate content which does not encourage respect for those who share one of the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010.

“The text included sections on punishment of individuals because of their sexuality and views which contradict the rule of law. For example, the book included ‘…the participants of the homosexual act should be slained (wording in the text) whether they are married or unmarried because in filth and mischief of this act surpasses adultery.’ There is also a paragraph in the book entitled ‘putting to death’. In this paragraph, there is a statement ‘…the evil doers should be put to death’.”

When inspectors talked to school leaders about the book, the headteacher was clear that it should not be in the school library while other leaders stated that it was for “research purposes.”

The Ofsted report concluded: “The new headteacher recognises the school’s failings and has plans in place to improve the quality of education at the school. However, leaders are not addressing safeguarding failings and issues with site maintenance with sufficient urgency or rigour. There remains a lax attitude towards safeguarding. There is an urgent need for staff, including senior leaders, to attend safeguarding training.”

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