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Trojan Horse debate: We were wrong, all cultures are not equal

Trojan Horse debate: We were wrong, all cultures are not equal

Date Published: 
Tuesday, 7 March, 2017
Summary: 

I think the battle we must fight now really has very little to do with sincere religious belief. It’s about social control, repression, misogyny and cruelty. The battle is about Kamaljit, a 14-year-old girl I once taught, who chided me when I read the class a story about snakes in India, like the good, clueless multiculturalist that I was. “Please, Miss, we don’t like that stuff,” she said. “We’re English. We like ice skating.”

We have to expose Muslim children to as wide a range of experiences as possible so they will feel the gravitational pull of British values. If a Devon primary school recently criticised by Ofsted for not being multicultural enough (yes, really) can arrange a horizon-broadening trip to the inner city, then surely it’s time that Birmingham and Bradford came to Hereford and Hampshire. It was Rodgers and Hammerstein who observed in South Pacific: “You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear / You’ve got to be taught from year to year / It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear / You’ve got to be carefully taught. / You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late / Before you are six or seven or eight / To hate all the people your relatives hate / You’ve got to be carefully taught.”