A gymnastics club was forced to stop holding classes at an independent girls school after Muslim parents complained about boy members of the group. Colin Perry, who runs the Shirley Gymnastics Club, said he was saddened by the decision which he said compromised the school’s commitment to multiculturalism because of fears of offending a minority. He is now desperately searching for a new home for the club’s 250 members – including 36 boys – which had held mixed-sex classes at the junior school site of Old Palace School, in Croydon, South London, since January last year.It’s unbelievable,’ Mr Perry said. There is a group of Muslim parents with Muslim children at the school and they are the ones putting pressure on the headteacher.
‘It makes me sad to say that.’He was told about the decision at a meeting with headteacher Judy Harris a few weeks ago. ‘She said some of the parents have said their children go to an independent all girls school and unfortunately they’re concerned because we have got boys in the club,’ Mr Perry said.’She said to us that the school has got far more Muslim children than last year, so effectively we have to interpret that in our own way.’Dudley Mead, a Tory Councillor in Croydon and governor at Old Palace school, said he was aware of the parents’ concerns.”He said: ‘That’s the Muslim belief isn’t it? They are very protective of their female children.’ The school did offer a compromise, that the gym club could stay but start later at 6.30pm, rather than 5pm as at present, by which time pupils will be off the site. But Mr Perry says this would be impractical as some sessions wouldn’t end until 9.30pm, which is way too late for many of the club’s young members. The club, which caters for young gymnasts aged between five and 21, has until April 3 to find a new home.
A clue for the clueless, while many cultures are Islamic, Islam itself is a monoculture system, and trying to accommodate it within the framework of a “multicultural” society….is downright asinine as it is hypocritical. The Christian school says that its devoted to unleashing creativity and innovation and ‘celebrating multicultural understanding and respect.’ Now they have had it all shoved back into their faces, I wonder if they have begun to see that respect and understanding works only one way whenever it involves Islam? KGS