Friday, 20 February 2009

'Muslims ban our....' - part 1

Muslim schools ban our culture, screams the Daily Express (20 Feb 09) front page. Some Muslim schools 'make children despise the West': Ban on cricket and Harry Potter, echos the Mail.

'Shakespeare, Harry Potter, cricket, music, Ludo, Monopoly and chess are all forbidden', says the Express' sub-head.

Shocking indeed. But a not-very-careful reading of the report these articles are based on (from right-wing think tank Civitas) say that "only a small number [just for fun, tell us how many exactly?] of the more than 120 Muslim schools in Britain were involved" and that these Muslim schools have websites which link to other websites on which it has been said Harry Potter books should not be read and the like.

Which doesn't really amount to the schools banning 'our culture'. Whatever that means.

In fact, some of the wording of the article suggests these sites are linked to the school sites rather than the other way around, which is hardly something the school's can control.

(It could be added that ludo was basically an Indian invention, Monopoly designed by an American, and chess another Indian invention updated by the the Italians and Spanish, so not sure how British these lot are...)

The report, incidentally, was 'overseen' by an 'academic' in Islamic Studies, Dr Denis MacEoin. He is quoted at Jihadwatch as having said: 'I do not hold a brief for Islam. On the contrary, I have very negative feelings about it'.

He also wrote the Policy Exchange report that Newsnight revealed to be deeply flawed. Seems he has a little form on these insidious anti-Islam reports. But certain sections of the media lap this stuff up, and so on it goes...

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