I well remember, during a previous life as a schoolteacher (see here and here) my first ever experience with a Muslim student. Despite being the only single freckle of brown in the otherwise pasty, albino-like face of her entire all-white year group, she appeared to expect the entire curriculum to revolve around her, like electrons around a nucleus. Having spotted a wall-display about Animal Farm in an adjoining English classroom, she marched up to my desk on the first day of the new term in September and arrogantly informed me – it was certainly not phrased as a request – that we would absolutely not be reading any books that contained pigs from hereon in, as it was against the tenets of her blessed religion. This was in a Catholic faith-school, by the way.
I told her none of the books our class would be reading that term contained pigs anyway, but, if they had done, then that was just a civilisational sausage she was going to have to swallow.
Lessons in Dictation
Another educationalist whom I imagine treats such request with similar disdain is Katharine Birbalsingh, the famously authoritarian headmistress of Michaela Community School, located in what is often described as “a deprived and highly diverse area” of London – which, these days, could be almost any of them.
Michaela School has attracted controversy recently due to banning public prayer rituals after a number of Muslim children began ostentatiously bowing down towards Mecca on prayer mats in the playground during lunch-hour breaktimes last year. This prohibition led the teenage girl who had instigated the prayer sessions to take the school to court for religious discrimination, an action ultimately funded by you, the dhimmified tax-payer, via legal aid – or jizya tax, if you prefer. This very same highly religious teen, it was reported, had also been suspended for allegedly threatening to stab someone with a knife: doubtless another blow against the girl’s precious human rights.
According to her lawyer, this allegedly discriminatory treatment had “fundamentally changed how she feels as a Muslim in this country”. Yes. For once, she hadn’t just been supinely pandered to. Despite the loud claims of religious discrimination, it turned out the prayer ban actually applied not only to Muslims, but to kids of all faiths, even Satanists. If Michaela School ‘discriminated’ against its pupils, then it discriminated against all of them on a fundamentally equal basis – which, as we shall see, is actually something of a double-edged sword.
In court, the school’s lawyer, Jason Coppel KC, furthermore argued that “peer pressure” was being placed on other Muslim pupils, who make up a large proportion of the school’s intake, to conform and begin praying during break-times too. This, he said, was feared likely to cause “unacceptable segregation or division” between not only the Muslim and non-Muslim pupils, but also between the praying and non-praying elements of the Muslim student body alike.
According to Headmistress Birbalsingh (whose own grandmother was herself a Mohammedan), “we believe it is wrong to separate children according to religion or race” – the problem being that certain of the children themselves apparently did not agree. Coppel told the court that, when ordered to put their prayer-mats away, the children involved had displayed “entitled behaviour”, feeling that “prayer somehow overrode the [secular] regime” at Michaela, which, after all, is not officially a faith-school of any kind at all.
So, Birbalsingh wants her ‘diverse’ pupils to live together in perfect harmony. Yet, quite clearly, a sizable proportion of the student body simply do not wish to live together peacefully and equitably in this manner at all. Neither, it would seem, do certain of their parents or other wider members of the local community, some of whom subsequently sent the school bomb-threats or put bricks through a teacher’s window.
As such, the only way Birbalsingh’s ambition of ‘harmony in diversity’ can be realistically pursued, as far as I can tell, is by her setting out to institute a disciplinary regime of almost comical harshness, restriction and regimentation upon the entire student body as a whole, whether each individual pupil happens to be a racially or religiously motivated troublemaker or not, thereby effectively punishing the innocent as well as the guilty. The scary thing is, such harsh methods are merely a school-based microcosm of what is increasingly coming for Britain’s wider adult population too.
Families at War
Michaela is often described as “Britain’s Strictest School”, due to its draconian policies, like its famed “family lunch” regime, where, in order to emphasise that they really are all part of one big happy school family, whether they like it or not, “teachers actively intervene in the socialising of the pupils to ensure that children are not left out and to encourage social integration” between different ethno-religious sub-groups, as KC Coppel put it in court.
Translated, this euphemistically named policy of “guided socialisation” actually appears to mean teachers choosing the children’s ‘friends’ for them, forcing them to sit beside one another, Muslim and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Sontaran and Rutan, Jedi and Sith, handing them out a single pre-agreed anodyne, non-controversial, permitted topic for each day’s shared mealtime conversation, and then squatting alongside them themselves as perpetual spies of the lunchtime Stasi, to ensure these rules are all slavishly adhered to.
Thus, in the name of ensuring racial ‘harmony’, kids are not only prevented from spending the entire lunch hour contentiously discussing how the Holocaust was all a lie, or slavery should never have been abolished, but also from chatting innocently about completely innocuous subjects like last night’s big football match, or who their favourite Pokémon is, like most normal, non-monitored kids would do. In other words, their traditional individual freedoms are severely curbed, in order to ensure that, collectively, the whole incoherent, balkanised multicultural ‘family’ doesn’t potentially collapse down into serious inter-ethnic strife to such an extent that they all start stabbing one another to death with forks.
Therefore, the Michaela inmates’ lunchbreak is “not free time in the usual sense”, KC Coppel argued, but instead “an integral part of the educational regime”. Hence, the litigating schoolgirl’s case that she should be allowed to pay obeisance on her knees to Allah during her own free time did not apply here, as prisoners in Cellblock Michaela H had no free time during school hours; rather, the entire building was one gigantic teacher-monitored panopticon (toilet cubicles apart, one hopes). This may sound somewhat dystopian, but by such means “the school’s community spirit is strengthened”.
The truly alarming thing about the logic of Birbalsingh’s iron discipline here is that it has distinct echoes of the likely modes of population control that will increasingly be placed upon the wider ‘multicultural’ adult population of the country by Governments of the future. In the name of a greater good, that of forcibly-maintained community cohesion, a strong, centralised governing force (here, adult teachers, not policemen, prosecutors and politicians armed with weapons like hate-speech laws and DEI policies, as exists outside the school gates) running Michaela School places severe restrictions upon pupils’ freedom of speech, action and association: it’s like Alawite Syria in miniature form.
“We believe it is wrong to separate children according to religion or race,” say the school’s governing body – but what this simultaneously also means in practice is, “We therefore believe it is right to force children to interact with one another according to religion or race instead.” Isn’t that also kind of a bad thing, too? I don’t want to have to be friends with a Salafist. And, to be fair, a Salafist probably doesn’t want to be friends with me.
You’ll Eat What You’re Given
In a statement later posted online, Headmistress Birbalsingh said the following:
The thing is, what Birbalsingh describes here isn’t actually multiculturalism at all, is it? It is actually the precise reverse, because in truth “multiculturalism can only succeed” when it is used as nothing more than an inverted Newspeak label for imposing a centrally mandated and centrally enforced monoculture upon all by force.
Multiculturism is a recipe for abject failure, as different cultures, surprisingly enough, are different, and therefore frequently fundamentally incompatible with one another. Unless the majority culture (where one still actually remains) is allowed to dominate and dictate the behaviour of all other minority-groups – the ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’, model – the only other option, as chosen by Birbalsingh herself, is to rob all cultures present of their chosen ways of living, including the majority one, and replace them instead with a wholly artificial ‘neutral’ option somewhere awkwardly in-between, with which no-one ends being particularly happy – the ‘When in Rome, do as the deracinated do’ model, as it might be dubbed. This sad truth can also be seen in other aspects of Michaela School’s “family lunch” policy:
What this actually all means is that, under a regime of alleged ‘multiculturalism’ like that currently enforced at Michaela School, nobody gets to live their lives how they would naturally choose to do so any more. Instead, they all have to be force-fed the same diet of broad-minimum, mutually acceptable, civilisational pap – here, in a literal sense, bland vegetarian food. Out there in the outside adult world, the Government-enforced diet-plan is both more metaphorical and more all-encompassing.
We all “must make sacrifices for the sake of the whole”, being allowed “freedoms of all sorts, as long as those freedoms do not threaten the happiness and success of the whole… community”. So, no meat for any remaining local white British Christian kids who would previously have been perfectly free to eat the stuff since the year dot, but they do now get alternative new “freedoms of all sorts”, such as the ‘freedom’ to nibble on boiled cabbage, limp carrots or damp lettuce instead, none of which many of them might actually have preferred to a nice hot bacon sandwich. But never mind, “We all make our sacrifices so that we can live in harmony”.
At least Michaela kids just have to sacrifice their meat pies and sausage rolls. What do their parents increasingly have to sacrifice? Oh, just trifling little things like freedom of speech, association, action, conscience, religion, culture and equality in the eyes of the law.
Object to any of this stuff? Just shut up and eat your multicultural greens, your handily non-culture-specific generic ‘Wintervals’, ‘Holiday Seasons’, ‘Multi-Faith Quiet Zones’ and ‘Community Interaction Hubs’, they’re good for you, you know. Swallow ‘em all and you’ll grow up nice and strong, just like tomorrow’s ‘multicultural’ utopia will surely be – or so say the Westminster dieticians forcibly shovelling such unfilling, tasteless, cattle-fodder down our forced-open throats on a daily basis. Talk about being made to swallow lies.
Voters Should Be Seen and Not Heard
“Our children, whatever their background, are British,” Birbalsingh wrote, as if simply saying it over and over again can somehow make it come true. Therefore, “as a school, we celebrate what we have in common so that the extraordinary diversity of cultures that we have under our roof can succeed”. The unspoken truth of this being that “we also studiously ignore what we do not have in common”.
And, if any pupils are foolish enough not to ignore such things, that’s 10 portions of boiled broccoli for them. According to this mindset, the only way ethnically and religiously incoherent societies like those of the West are rapidly becoming can ever potentially ‘succeed’ is via regimes of ever-more limiting rule from the centre – just look at how the AfD in Germany is being threatened with being banned by Germany’s own all-powerful school governors in the Reichstag in the name of “protecting democracy”.
This is not to blame Birbalsingh herself for the sad necessity of her own personal harsh disciplinary policies, of course. She has been placed in a very difficult position by the criminal folly of others, and it may well be that her own unpalatable choice of action is the least-worst option, things now being what they lamentably are. If children really are our future, then, to judge by what’s been unfolding recently at Michaela School, our future is one of centralised Government tyranny – but purely for our own shared collective good, you understand.
Steven Tucker is a journalist and the author of over 10 books, the latest being Hitler’s & Stalin’s Misuse of Science: When Science Fiction Was Turned Into Science Fact by the Nazis and the Soviets (Pen & Sword/Frontline), which is out now.
Stop Press: Watch Katharine Birbalsingh tell TalkTV’s Julia Hartley-Brewer that parents should buy “brick phones” to keep their children safe. “All teachers will tell you every altercation starts on social media, all the bullying starts on social media.”