Edgbaston MP Preet Gill has requested school inspectors Ofsted to scrap plans to ask why young girls wear the hijab and has written to the Education secretary Justine Greening to say the proposal had “caused outrage among many of my constituents”.
This has followed after an announcement that school inspectors will question Muslim primary school pupils with headscarves as to why they wear it.
Since Trojan Horse affair in Birmingham 2014 when an inquiry found here was a “co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained” campaign to introduce “an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools” in the city the Ofsted and Department of Education have required schools to teach and reflect on British values.
Amanda Spielman, the head of Ofsted and chief inspector of schools, said in November that encouraging primary school children to wear the hijab “could be interpreted as sexualisation of young girls”.
She said: “Inspectors will talk to girls who wear such garments to ascertain why they do so in the school.”
This has been controversial, with the Muslim Council of Britain saying it sent a message that British women who choose to wear a headscarf are “second class citizens”.
Labour MP Ms Gill said: “It is vital that all communities are able to practice their religion free from persecution.
“In particular, I believe that children should not be subjected to unnecessary questioning by Ofsted inspectors.”
MP Gill told Ms Greening: “I’m sure that you will agree that all children should be free to practice their religion without undue interference.
“I ask that you work with Ofsted to ensure that young Muslim girls are able to practice their religion free from discrimination or interrogation.”