An investigation by Erdington Academy into a lesson where a “gay Muslim” told pupils that the Quran does not prohibit same-sex relations has concluded that the speaker “strayed off topic.”
In a letter to parents, the headteacher of the Birmingham secondary school apologised for any offence caused but said this was not “my or any member of staff’s intention.”
But sources connected with the school have told 5Pillars that the investigation is a whitewash and the school have tried to cover for their failings by pinning the blame on an external speaker.
In his letter, Principal Simon Mallet admitted that parents/carers were not informed about the LGBTQ+ session which “is a mistake which cannot occur again.”
He also said that:
- Parents/carers should henceforth be fully informed about events which take place on Enrichment Days.
- Enrichment Day activities need to be better communicated to staff so they can prepare more effectively.
- More effective oversight is needed when external speakers are invited to address students and staff should terminate the session if needed.
- Elements of the LGBTQ+ session planning and communication was not of the expected standard.
Following the conclusion of the investigation parents told 5Pillars that the school is refusing to take any responsibility and accountability for their part in serious negligence.
A source told 5Pillars: “I believe the school deliberately misinformed parents about the LGBTQ+ session that was planned and about the ‘gay Muslim’ invited to speak to Muslim children. They failed to do any checks or any regulation and supervising of sessions. He was able to speak as he wanted and they let him. It was a free-for-all.
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“There have been multiple failings in safeguarding and protecting the rights of Muslim children, as well as a lack of communication with staff, students and parents.”
The controversy erupted last week when Erdington Academy invited a “gay Muslim” called Ash to do an online power point presentation and speech during an Enrichment Day session with Year 7 and 8 pupils.
Parents told 5Pillars that Ash, who said he was a Bengali Muslim from Birmingham, announced that he was a Muslim and gay and said he had read the Quran and hadiths and it is “ok to be gay.”
There is nothing in the Quran that says you can’t be gay, he said, adding that it’s up to interpretation and you have old Muslims and new modern Muslims who interpret it differently.
But when questioned by students about how he could be Muslim and gay given Islam’s strict prohibition on same-sex sexual relations, Ash replied that he lost his faith years ago but still knows lots of “gay Muslims.”
Sources told 5Pillars that the online session took place without Muslim pupils or staff knowing that a “gay Muslim” would address the students.
The presentation included images of two men kissing and other images and captions promoting homosexuality, which, if acted upon, is considered a major sin by a consensus of Islamic scholars.
The controversy led to a student protest the following day during which around 20-30 pupils challenged staff and the headteacher over the LGBTQ session.