A homophobic father has gone head to head with a U.K. school that features a program educating its students about LGBTQ issues.
Because it conflicts with his Muslim faith, Jabar Hussain, 51, removed his nine-year-old son, Amin, from attending Parkfield Primary School in Birmingham for its LGBT+ inclusive curriculum.
As a result, Hussain faces a parenting order by the Birmingham City Council and a fine of roughly $1,106.
The council told Hussain that he could go to jail if he does not pay the fine and if he can not ensure Amin would regularly attend classes. But the father is standing his ground and prepared for the consequences.
Hussain told The Times:
"If I have to go to court, I have to go to court. I would go to jail for this."
‘Incompatible with my Muslim faith’: Dad who refuses to send son to school over LGBT lessons is facing jail… https://t.co/rT3KkHeIU1— LTH🇬🇧london (@LTH🇬🇧london) 1580761421.0
The British Government mandates that all children must receive an education between:
"the school term after their 5th birthday and the last Friday in June in the school year they turn 16."
Parents can be prosecuted if they deny their children an education and fined if they take their kids out of school during the semester without the school's permission.
The controversy stemmed from a program called No Outsiders, which was created by Parkfield Primary School's former assistant head, Andrew Moffatt.
The program uses approximately 35 picture books depicting various kinds of relationships, including those between LGBT+ people.
No outsiders by @moffat_andrew is a fantastic programme. The books recommended are age appropriate... and lovely. T… https://t.co/g7JCxYCUS1— Jonny Hunt (@Jonny Hunt) 1548584352.0
It was a pleasure interviewing Andrew Moffat. He recently was shortlisted in the top ten best teachers in the world… https://t.co/6Efnzr76EX— Aaron Spencer (@Aaron Spencer) 1556225965.0
One of the books featured in the program includes And Tango Makes Three, a story about two male penguins raising a chick together.
Introducing Teddy is another book from the No Outsiders program, which helps young readers understand gender identity and transition through a story of friendship and a teddy.
One of the passages from the book, geared towards the 3 – 6-year age range, reads:
"I know in my heart I'm a girl teddy, not a boy teddy."
@Prometh99591875 @LTHlondon All they are introducing is.... some parents have a mum & dad, some have just a mum, so… https://t.co/y5VnayWD6l— Junie Woonie (@Junie Woonie) 1580765784.0
The program aims to educate the young students about the characteristics protected by the Parliament of the United Kingdom's Equality Act of 2010.
Some of the lessons include areas like disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
The lessons are designed to help children understand the benefits of a diverse society.
@LTHlondon Really not sure what these people are so scared about. children learning about other people surely isn’t that big a deal 🤷♂️— Steve (@Steve) 1580768533.0
But some parents took issue with the program incorporating a book about same-sex relationships, arguing the subject matter was not age-appropriate.
@LTHlondon It pains me to say it, but I get his point. Things like this need to be taught by parents at home, not b… https://t.co/ycl6Tdz4wA— Ginger Jones QVC, MTV, DFS, KGB (@Ginger Jones QVC, MTV, DFS, KGB) 1580766798.0
Hussain said that the No Outsiders program was incompatible with his Muslim faith and posed a "safeguarding risk" to Amin and that the program could confuse other students and force them to question their gender identity.
@LTHlondon Perhaps he could live in a place more compatible with his faith.— Sydney Nudist Info (@Sydney Nudist Info) 1580764434.0
@LTHlondon For the sake of those who agree with him but don't want to actually do the research IT'S NOT SEX EDUCATION. Thank you.— Pete Browne (@Pete Browne) 1580770023.0
Hussain also said that the prosecution against him was unlawful and is a violation of his human rights.
@LTHlondon Then he should leave this country and go back to his Muslim land where him and his children won't have this issue!— Lloyd Christmas (@Lloyd Christmas) 1580762236.0
His lawyer, Paul Conrathe, wrote a legal letter to the Birmingham Council, saying:
"This prosecution criminalizes him for not submitting to teaching in breach of his rights."
"He (the father) considers the school's approach presents a safeguarding risk to his child."
According to TheDaily Mail, Hussain had previously mentioned that he did not want the school to tell his son that "it is okay to be gay."
Hundreds of protestors against the program—many of whom were Muslim parents—showed up outside the school gates in early 2019.
I visited Parkfield Community School in Birmingham on Thursday to report on how an LGBT+ sex education programme sp… https://t.co/ujDOKDgQU1— Jasmine Andersson (@Jasmine Andersson) 1552065397.0
Six hundred Muslim pupils, ages 4 – 11, were withdrawn from their classes.
Why are primary school children being taught sex? A child comes into this world because of the actions of a man and… https://t.co/nOItaSwPya— Alberto Thomas (@Alberto Thomas) 1551701221.0
In another protest in September after the No Outsiders program was amended and revived, Hussain led the charge and encouraged those who lived by the Qu'ran and their Muslim faith to join the demonstration.
He told BirminghamLive:
"We are not against anyone expressing their sexuality or being homosexual if that's what they want."
"We have no issue if Mr Moffat wants to put on a dress, or dance around like a ballet dancer, or put on a skirt, we have no issue. We have an issue with teaching that nonsense to our kids."
Hussain expressed he was "deeply concerned" for Amin's psychological welfare.
"This can cause confusion. If my son gets confused about this and about his own body, he might think he is a girl."
"The school thinks this is OK and has to be accepted, even though transgender can mean medical treatment and surgery which could damage my son mentally and physically for life."
The school had previously responded to Hussain, saying:
"Whilst Mr Hussain may believe being gay and lesbian as well as transgender are morally wrong, they are protected characteristics under the Equality Act."