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Secret Teacher on "Safeguarding", Lies & Terrorism

https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2017/sep/30/secret-teacher-muslim-students-support-guidance-negative-media

Secret Teacher: we must play our part in giving Muslim students a voice

Terrorist attacks and negative media portrayals of Islam make it hard for young British Muslims to find their place in society, but teachers can help

‘What happens when they see their religion being hijacked by terrorists and represented in a way that is unrecognisable to them?’
 ‘What happens when they see their religion being hijacked by terrorists and represented in a way that is unrecognisable to them?’ Photograph: Alamy

Each time I turn on the news and see another Islamist terrorist attack being reported, I worry for my students. Not for their physical safety but for their sense of identity and belonging as British schoolchildren. Like many schools in east London, the majority of my students are Muslim. The school is home to many different cultures and religions, and students unconsciously demonstrate a level of tolerance that rivals any adult organisation I know of. Yet this is put at risk because of the intolerant values held by some parts of society and spread by certain elements of the media.

With the rise of Islamic State over the past few years, the word terrorism has become almost synonymous with Islam for some people. And this has presented a real existential problem for a number of our students. On the one hand they identify as being British – they were born here, as were their parents; they have British passports; they speak English as their first language; they read Harry Potter; they watch superhero movies and play football on the weekends.

On the other hand, they identify as being Muslim – they attend mosque on a Friday; they go to Islamic school in the evenings; they can recite verses of the Qur’an; they wear headscarves; and they visit the prayer room during lunchtime. They live happily in balance with these two identities, until the next terrorist attack. And suddenly, yet again, they see part of their identity thrust negatively into the media spotlight.

It’s confusing for them. Teenagers have, historically, always struggled to find their place in society, to carve out an identity for themselves. They crave the feeling of belonging. So what happens when they see their religion being hijacked by terrorists and represented in a way that is unrecognisable to them? It’s up to us, as educators, to help them feel confident in their identity and their sense of belonging.

What does that look like in reality? In my school, we are taught how to have direct and challenging conversations with students – Muslim and non-Muslim – on the religious and political aspects of terrorist attacks. After each major terrorist attack in the UK, the safeguarding officer at our school meets with safeguarding leaders at the other local schools as well as the police and local religious leaders. They then brief us on the facts of the attack and talk us through the key messages that we are to share with the students. Namely: how the attacks are, actually, un-Islamic, sometimes with specific reference to parts of the Qur’an to demonstrate how the attackers have directly contravened the peaceful message of Islam. It’s important that students receive this alternative message.

Of course, issues around terrorism need to be handled with sensitivity by schools. The government’s Prevent strategy recently drew fresh criticism for stigmatising Muslim pupils – in particular due to concerns that promoting “fundamental British values” undermines efforts to promote shared values. But if the topic is approached with care, I believe teachers can play an important role and be proactive in addressing prejudice and misunderstandings.

Students need to understand that it’s safe to explore these links between their faith and the attacks. It’s also important for them to see us – whether we are Muslim ourselves or otherwise – stand up in front of them and openly discuss and condemn the terrorist attacks through the lens of Islam rather than side-stepping the subject, which is what many non-Muslim colleagues have openly admitted to doing previously.

One of the most important strands of our work has been building ties with the local community. The fear of radicalisation is a very real issue for many of the parents at our school. Those airport security images of the three girls from Bethnal Green in London who went to Syria in 2015 still trouble parents and we are often asked how they can stop it happening to their own children. It’s a community effort – teachers, parents, police and religious leaders – and it’s working because the children are receiving the same message wherever they go.

Beyond the immediate community, we’ve seen that humour is also having an interesting impact. There’s obviously nothing funny about terrorist attacks but Muslim comedians and satirical memes and blogs are opening up another avenue of response for the students – suddenly the enemy doesn’t seem so scary any more.

Over time, I’ve seen my students become much more well-informed and at ease discussing the issues. Now when there’s a terrorist attack, it’s the Muslim children in our classes who are the first to speak out, condemning the attacks (rather receiving their opinions from the teachers). And the non-Muslim students are right by their side, confident in articulating their support with the Muslim community and aware of the negative impact such attacks can have on social perceptions of Islam.

More broadly, it’s no coincidence that social media campaigns such as #NotInMyName and ‘You ain’t no Muslim, bruv’ have gone global; young British Muslims are looking for ways to find their voice and are speak out together, promoting the alternative but accurate message of what being a British Muslim really means. As educators, we’re in a position to help them do that.

Why Muslims Kill For Islam

The book has now been re-printed and customers all over the world can now buy Mohammed's Koran (the No.1 best-seller banned by Amazon).

 

If you wonder if the book Mohammed's Koran is for you, read the 100s of five-star reviews the book received in its first few months on sale.

Amazon banned the sale of the only book on Islam that proves Islam has been a terrorist ideology since Year 1 of the Islamic calendar.  The book denounces violence and hatred, yet has been described as offensive by Amazon.  Meanwhile Amazon still sell copies of "Mein Kampf" (which advocates gassing Jews) and Amazon still sell books like "The Anarchist Cookbook" which (a bomb-making manual, the possession of which has led to terrorism charges in the UK).  Ebay has even banned the sale of used copies of Mohammed's Koran.  And from day one Google banned adverts for the book (instead the UK government spent a small fortune buying the top advertising slot to push their video begging people not to read the book).  Amazon staff are on record as saying that the order to ban the book came "from above Amazon". The propaganda from the state and the censorship from their tax-avoiding chums confirms the argument of Mohammed's Koran - the elite have knowingly invited this terrorist ideology into the West and they have sided with the terrorist ideology against the victims of terrorism.

With all this censorship you may not have heard of my new book (co-authored with Tommy Robinson). It was published at the end of July 2017.  The book went straight to No.1 on Amazon, and stayed there until the initial print-run of 5000 books sold out a few days later. For most of the following 18 months it was the No.1 best-selling Koran.  Muslims hated this fact.

The British media never reported on the book going straight to No.1.  They only reported on the book once sales of it had been banned.  

`The Koran, Decoded

Contact Peter McLoughlin

Email pmclauth a t gmail . com


Considering that Twitter and Facebook have banned me, YouTube has removed entire channels, and Google deliberately promotes Islam in discussions of Islam and terrorism, it's only right to do my social networking on a site that really seems to stand by the concept of freedom of speech. You can find me at http://gab.ai/pmcl .