UK media guilty of misrepresenting Muslims in LGBT schools disputes

Islamic Human Rights Commission

2 April 2019

IHRC has issued a statement condemning the media misrepresentation of Muslims over the issue of LGBT instruction in schools.

The statement by IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh castigates the press for turning what is a principled stand against LGBT teaching in schools and twisting it into another example of intolerance and backwardness.

The statement comes on the back of media coverage of protests mainly but not exclusively by Muslim parents in Birmingham and Manchester that schools are exposing their children to teaching, often without parental consultation, that conflicts with their own moral stand on LGBT.

For Muslims the issue of LGBT instruction in schooling is simply about the right of parents to have their children educated in line with their own moral values in line with international conventions and domestic law.

However, “the manner in which the Muslim community is portrayed in these media representations draws heavily on classical Islamophobic tropes of intolerance and rebelliousness, reinforcing its otherness and outsider status vis a vis the rest of society,” says the statement.

“It is absurd to think that Muslims are intolerant of people they come across in everyday life who drink, gamble, or who are adulterous or engage in extra-marital sex, all activities that are considered morally objectionable in the Islamic faith. To therefore suppose that Muslims are intolerant of individuals who are LGBT is equally ridiculous.”

The statement also notes the disproportionate coverage given to the Muslim community relative to Christians and Jews who have also objected strongly to government efforts to introduce LGBT instruction into primary and secondary schools.

The full statement can be read here:

For more information or comment please contact the Press Office on (+44) 20 8904 4222 or (+44) 7958 607475[ENDS]

IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
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