A Test for the Unholy Alliance

BY FRANK HAVILAND

It’s a well-known fact that heavyweight encounters rarely live up to the hype. Promoters are often guilty of allowing things to marinate until both sides are well past their sell-by dates. The long-awaited clash between Islam and gay rights however, may prove to be the exception; provided the rainbow corner comes to fight of course.

I always suspected we’d get there with the erection of a gay bar opposite the mosque, but it turns out a Birmingham primary school has been chosen as the venue for the Victimhood Olympic final. The weigh-in was held at Parkfield Community School in Saltley last week, with the two prime victim statuses finally squaring off against each other.

For the past few weeks Muslim parents have been protesting outside the school, objecting to assistant headteacher, Andrew Moffat’s ‘No Outsiders’ lessons, which aim to counter homophobia in schools. Concerned parents have objected to the lessons, claiming they promote homosexuality rather than merely educate about it. The protest culminated in around 600 children being removed from school last Friday, faster than you can say ‘double-standard’.

Moffat himself is a heavy-hitter. He was awarded an MBE for services to equality and diversity in 2017, is currently shortlisted for the rather impressive ‘world’s best teacher award’ and presides over a school rated outstanding by Ofsted. Nonetheless, he has bowed to the pressure, and agreed to resume lessons only after a full consultation. I guess the judges will score it round one to Islam then.

The power of the ‘Islamophobia’ card should never be underestimated. Whether it’s Sarah Champion fired by Corbyn for daring to speak out against rape gangs; Tommy Robinson jailed for daring to expose rape gangs, or Sebastian Walsh, suspended from University of Central Lancashire for daring to complain about the Islamisation of Britain, it’s a dangerous force to cross swords with.

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And of course it’s a good job too. What exactly is wrong with FGM, honour killings, and sabbaticals for jihadi brides, for whom the beheadings may have got a bit samey? No wonder Baroness Warsi has recently played the victim card on her own party – get in while the going’s good.

LGBTQwerty meanwhile, is usually the favourite in any field. Refuse to bake a gay cake for instance and you’ll soon find yourself charged with discrimination. Think free speech extends to Bible preaching, and you’re likely to be convicted of homophobia. If you’re in the porn industry, you must now sleep with those having the highest incidence of HIV, otherwise you’re a blatant homophobe, and you’ll be hounded to your death.

The hierarchy of victimhood is a complex mechanism though, and you can’t help thinking Moffat is promoting the wrong kind of gayness. As well-intentioned as he no doubt is, to his detractors Moffat is promoting western gayness, white gayness, and privileged gayness. Had he been a vegan, transgender lesbian from Syria, things might be different.

Reverse the roles, and the outcome would have been totally different. If it was toxic, privileged white parents protesting the compulsory mosque visit outside the school gates, the Old Bill would have been in their element. A convoy of rainbow cars would have been dispatched at 100mph, eager to fill their morning’s hate crime quotas; high heels sparkling and nail varnish agleam, naturally.

Just how far the state should go in controlling children’s education is actually quite an interesting topic, and one in which both sides have a case. That case is not being made here however. While Muslim parents may stand outside the school, waving their ‘stop exploiting children’s innocence’ placards, we all know why they really object to these lessons.

The fact is, Islam doesn’t do gayness. More than half of British Muslims think that homosexuality should be illegal, while almost the same number do not believe it is acceptable for a gay person to be a teacher. That’s the real issue that is being skirted here.

It will be interesting to see how much the government is inclined to pursue the matter. On the one hand, they’ve just declared that sex education will be compulsory for all pupils. On the other hand, Westminster’s record of enforcing English Law when it comes to Islam remains pitiful.

In the meanwhile, it’s a bit of squeaky bum time for our customary oppression pundits, who oscillate between Islam and LGBTQwerty as their go-to victims. Both Peter Tatchell and Owen Jones are vociferous in their campaigning for LGBT rights, but so too have they both linked banners with Islam in the past.

I’m curious to see how they decide to play this one. Will it be arm-in-arm outside the school gates, calling out Islam’s obvious problem with homosexuality? Or will it be the usual preference for opposing straw men who don’t fight back? Don’t go away, folks – one hate incident could end it.

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