Suppose you were a white supremacist who wanted to keep Muslim children down. Or suppose you were a Machiavellian middle-class parent, who wanted to handicap the competition your child would face when the race for university places began. In either case, you would be delighted by what is happening at St Stephen’s primary school in Newham.
Despite having an intake of poor children from Pakistani and African families, the head Neena Lall and chair of the governors Arif Qawi transformed it into one of the best state primaries in England. Now it is falling apart. Qawi resigned last week. Lall faces angry parents, mosque leaders, and activists whipped up by the clerical agitators in MEND, tonight. By all accounts she is in despair. She may bow to their demands to resign, or walk out of her own volition.
Qawi, a Muslim philanthropist, has been accused of being an ‘Islamophobe’. The dedicated teachers are now accused of being part of a plot to ostracise Muslims. MEND itself says that the ban imposed by this hardworking, little school in Upton Park suggests that ‘being Muslim and British are incompatible’.