“Students’ understanding of the arts, different cultures and other beliefs are limited.” That’s one of the complaints about Birmingham schools made by Ofsted in their leaked report. It sounds like a relatively mild criticism.
Not so. What the Trojan Horse scandal has revealed is that leaders of the Muslim community in Birmingham have been creating a Wahhabi-inspired counterculture in secular, not faith, schools.
Put simply, the interpretation of Islam that’s sweeping through the Muslim world, thanks to Saudi money, seeks to deprive children of any exposure to the arts, which it condemns as idolatrous. Even listening to music is haram, forbidden. The underlying teaching is that the arts, by seeking to create beauty, blaspheme by detracting attention from the only source of true beauty, Allah, which can be appreciated only in the natural world he created.