A Sikh Principal, Too English for a Largely Muslim School

Kimiko de Freytas-Tamuradeo, New York Times, December 7, 2014

As a Sikh and second-generation Briton running a public school made up mostly of Muslim students, Balwant Bains was at the center of the issues facing multicultural Britain, including the perennial question of balancing religious precepts and cultural identity against assimilation.

But in January, Mr. Bains stepped down as the principal of the Saltley School and Specialist Science College, saying he could no longer do the job in the face of relentless criticism from the Muslim-dominated school board. It had pressed him, unsuccessfully, to replace some courses with Islamic and Arabic studies, segregate girls and boys and drop a citizenship class on tolerance and democracy in Britain.

“I suppose I was a threat, giving these children more British values, for them to be integrated into society,” Mr. Bains said in his first interview since the controversy over his departure.

His experience has helped bring to life the often deeply emotional and highly contentious conflicts unearthed by a British government investigation this year into whether organized groups of conservative Muslims were having undue influence on public schools.

The topic has become especially sensitive at a time when Britain is concerned about the radicalization of young Muslims in the country and their involvement with jihadis in Syria and Iraq. The investigation was prompted by an anonymous letter, sent last year to local officials in Birmingham, alleging an organized Islamic takeover of British schools in Muslim neighborhoods.

Conducted by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, or Ofsted, the inquiry found the allegations to be overstated. But the agency found much that was troubling about Muslim efforts to promote changes in secular public schools, and it has recently widened its investigation to 46 schools across the country.

The investigation found that five schools in Birmingham, including Mr. Bains’s, shared a pattern of behavior similar to what was described in the anonymous letter. The letter also cited Mr. Bains’s impending resignation, a month before it was made official and which only a few knew about, suggesting that the author was someone with detailed knowledge of the schools.

“The Sikh head running a Muslim school,” the letter said, “will soon be sacked and we will move in.”

The investigation found that some teachers and school board governors at the other schools were encouraging homophobia, anti-Semitism and support for Al Qaeda, sometimes inviting speakers who endorsed the establishment of a state run under Sharia law.

One school stopped music and drama lessons as well as Christmas and Diwali celebrations, and subsidized trips to Saudi Arabia for Muslim students.

{snip}

The report, released in July, highlighted Mr. Bains’s case and concluded that there had been a “coordinated, deliberate and sustained action, carried out by a number of associated individuals, to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools in Birmingham.”

{snip}

The chairman of the governing board took to challenging his day-to-day decision making, Mr. Bains said. In one instance he was required to justify every decision he made during a three-month period, Mr. Bains said, including why he had students walk on the right side of the corridor instead of the left, what he said at assemblies and why he made changes to the school website. He had to print and distribute the resulting 300-page document to each of the 15 members of the governing board.

When a student threatened six classmates with a knife, he expelled the boy, a Muslim, in a decision supported by parents and the local authority. But governors reinstated the boy. Because Mr. Bains did not suspend another student, a white boy who had surrendered the weapon, talk spread among staff that he was racist and Islamophobic. He discovered a Facebook post and text messages calling on parents and students to protest against him, he said, and later learned that the message had even been circulated among local mosques.

{snip}

The treatment, he said, lasted 11 months, beginning just two months after he was appointed head teacher, until he resigned.

By then, all non-Muslim governors except one at his school had left. He was immediately replaced by a friend of the chairman of the board of governors. A number of staff members at other schools cited in the government investigation also resigned because they disagreed with the attitudes taken by some administrators. They also claimed that teachers had been appointed based on their religious zeal, not their teaching qualifications.

{snip}

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  • DaveMed

    This is your precious “diversity”, NYT.

    What a blessing! What a strength!

  • David Ashton

    Never mind, eh?
    We now have a new secondary school exam course on Britain as a “nation” of “immigration” from Roman times to the present, listing all its “benefits”.
    And UKIP is the “Party of immigration” according to its Treasurer.

    It could make yer sikh.

    • none of your business

      Does it mention that a major reason for the Roman conquest of Britain was the Roman slave trade? Probably the poor Roman immigrants were discriminated against by the evil blue eyed devil native Brits who resisted enslavement.

      • The Romans really hated the way the British Celts were traveling to Gaul to help their brothers there. They sure didn’t like the Scots and Picts very much. Perhaps we were a bit too “omnivorous” for their liking at the time.

      • David Ashton

        I have seen only press reports so far. It is the culmination of the “agenda networking” in “education circles” started in LEAs during the 1970s, through the Swann Report and “National” Curriculum Committees, and then the “equality and diversity” rules for all state institutions, including exam pass criteria. Even Simon Heffer (whose biography of Enoch Powell I assisted with research) recently said we are a nation of immigrants, citing the minor Huguenot element in his all-white ancestry. Apart from Irish and Jewish immigration, Britain was a virtually homogeneous society until the “Windrush Revolution”.

  • Truthseeker

    Obviously these Muslims would’ve been totally accepting of religious and ethnic diversity if they hadn’t learned how to hate at the hands of oppressive White people.

  • These are the same delightful Pakistani Muslims who drove the Sikhs out after the 1948 Partition of India. Some things never change.

    • Reynardine

      It’s possible that the Sikhs feel it necessary to side with the Muslims against the hardcore Hindus in reaction to some of the stuff Indira Ghandi decided to do (most notably Operation Blue Star and the ramifications against the Sikh community after her assassination).

      • LexiconD1

        Not according to my friend who’s a Sikh from India (she’s since obtained her United States Citizenship.) They do not like Muslims, and they all speak Hindi.

        • Reynardine

          It’s true that some Sikhs have a bad taste in their mouth about it, since the Pakistanis threw them out of part of Punjab when India/Pakistan split. Historically, however, Sikh-Muslim relations have been actually quite diplomatic.

          Nonetheless, I see Sikhism as a flash in the pan. It will either be absorbed into Islam or Hinduism.

          • LexiconD1

            Have you been to Temple? I have, recently….I think you’re wrong about that.

          • Reynardine

            Hmmm, perhaps I am wrong about the current Sikh outlook towards Islam, having read up Sikh/Muslim relations in the UK. I do not have any close Sikh friends (only acquaintances), and so cannot ask them honest opinions about such things.

          • LexiconD1

            It just might be like that in the UK, I don’t know? Different country…my friends welcomes questions about her religion. She and her family are good people who bring nothing but positive to our nation. They are well spoken, and well educated.

            A few years ago there was a shooting at a Sikh Temple in, I believe (could be wrong), Michigan. One of their cousins was shot dead. The idiot who shot up the Temple thought that because the Sikhs wear turbans, they must be Muslims. They are anything but. They wear turbans because they don’t cut their hair. The turbans hold their hair, nothing more, nothing less.

            If I were you, and you’re interested, ask questions. Would you be offended if someone genuinely interested in Christianity (I’m assuming you’re a Christian) asked you questions?…

          • Reynardine

            I am not Christian. I do ask questions of my close Indian Hindu friends, and would welcome the opportunity to do so with a Sikh. I merely haven’t had the opportunity to build relationships with the Sikhs.

        • The only Sikh I know is the owner of the nearby liquor store. He’s quite old, likes my jokes, and for reasons probably known to all of us only hires white people. His prices are also low. I made a modular workbench for the back of his store with a welded steel frame and individually-adjustable feet; he offered to pay in either cash or booze marked down 20%, so I accepted a lot of the first and some of the second.

          I don’t want them all here, but that’s a good guy.

          For the benefit of those with no experience in the matter, any man wearing a turban is a Sikh. Anyone with the family name “Singh” is likely also a Sikh (it means “Lion”).

          Sikhs were none too happy about India’s raid on their Golden Temple, but the clergy there was housing terrorists, though apparently against the will of some of them.

          • Reynardine

            It wasn’t so much the raid itself, from what I understand, but the way in which it was handled with the artillery and tanks and all.

            Operation Woodrose, which happened much later, was a little better run and resulted in a lot fewer casualties.

  • Reynardine

    Indians, I must say, have a pretty bizarre obsession with bringing Islam into the fold, and you’ll frequently find them as apologists for bizarre Muslim outbursts. They REALLY want Pakistan back, but hell, why would you want Muslims back? Pakistanis, you know, whose government financed the Mumbai Massacre?

    Hinduism, is a consuming/transformative pagan religion that finally found something it could not eat: Islam. Some forms of Hinduism state that if you practice your faith truly, and meditate on God, then you will find enlightenment, so they feel they can consume Islam if they just try hard enough. Sikhism is really an Indianization of Islam, so you’ll find Sikhs trying to coddle Muslims to “show them the light.” Sikhs are also strong egalitarians. Without Brahmin foresight to define racial/cultural/religious boundaries, the Sikhs run wild.

    • Itooktheredpill

      Indians are another interesting group. Their existence often confuses many people as to how to classify them as a race since the main feature most people focus on is skin color.

      But if you look at the genetics found most frequently in India you will in fact see that the european haplo group R1a is the most frequent male lineage. Here is a short excerpt from eupedia on the phenomenon

      In India and Pakistan, R1a ranges from 15 to 50% of the population, depending on the region, ethnic group and caste. R1a is generally stronger is the North-West of the subcontinent, and weakest in the Dravidian-speaking South (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh) and from Bengal eastward. Over 70% of the Brahmins (highest caste in Hindusim) belong to R1a1, due to a founder effect.

      The reason I bring this up is because in the med school I am in I have had the opportunity to interact with a lot of Indians. In terms of how to classify them racially its clear that mixed race european/dravidian would be the most accurate description. Not only do the genetic studies support this but the way the average indian looks its pretty obvious as well. Not to mention the fact that they speak indo european languages.

      The sad truth is political correctness, false information, and rewritten history have classified them as sort of south asians or some other nonsense. Its clear that they are related to the ancient indo aryan people.

      Overall I have had nothing but positive experiences with them. There behavioral patterns are very white. Also it is my understanding that most of the Indians who emigrate to white countries find a fair amount of success. Only goes to show you that brown skin really has very little to do with anything and is only one genetic characteristic used to define race.

      • Whitesneedtobebrave

        However these Indians/hindus hate the west and also many voted for Obama. Look at Vanita Gupta and you will see that she has joined forces with the black people to fight against white people. Do not be so gullible just because people are nice and successful. Very new Indians love the west.

        • Itooktheredpill

          I am not gullible. And just because I pointed out positive experiences with Indians does not mean I want them here or in any other white countries. Same goes for east asians despite overwhelmingly positive experiences.

          I was simply pointing out that Indians are mixed race people from a genetic perspective. And yes the vast majority are liberal and into multiculturalism blah blah. I have however heard a few say racist things toward blacks.

          • David Ashton

            There is a wide range in India in anthropology, language, religion, politics and attitude to the old Empire and the new West. Nirad Chaudhuri was more respectful of Englishness than most of our white liberals. India does fairly well to maintain a sort of massive parliamentary democracy despite its often savage divisions of various kinds, but the Hindu v Muslim breach is fundamentally irreparable. I worked with a brilliant Brahmin mathematician who deprecated the caste system but was also very “racist” about black Africans and quite hostile to “multicultural” education forced on UK schools. My own strongest personal boyhood memory of India is the smell of cinnamon and cow dung in the towns.

        • Reynardine

          My experienced with first generation Indian immigrants is overwhelmingly positive. My experience with second generation Indians is less so. They become utterly enthralled with feminism, vice, leftist politics, and depravity.

      • Reynardine

        I too find Indians utterly fascinating, and I count some of them among my closest friends. They have “Caucasoid” bone structures, with fair to “wheatish” complexions. They’re polite, hardworking, and joyous. The women are intelligent and curious without sacrificing their feminine graces. Also, saris are far lovelier than any slutty outfit white women prance around in these days. That being said, my interactions have been limited to the higher crust of their society (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas), so I am most likely committing confirmation bias.

        The ones who migrate here tell me stories of the corruption and inefficiency in India, and it breaks my heart, but they still labour under the delusion that merely bringing Indians here will solve all their problems. One of my friends from Kerala praised the area endlessly, but always expressed the desire for her family to come to the US… I wonder why…

        Unlike Asians, Indians share the same gene mutation (A111T) that makes our skin white. Their hair is course, but very straight, almost resembling our brunettes.

        Also, as you pointed out, we also share a linguistic heritage as well. I have a background in Latin, and I was able to figure out a few words of theirs in Hindi and Sanskrit.

        Behaviourally, they’re a little more refined and have more self-control than whites. The body language and distance while talking are “European” rather than the “in your face” body language of South America and Africa. They will frequently ask me the “correct” things to do in American culture, which I’ve never had anyone of any race or nation ask me. They’re concerned with fitting in, although they remain fairly distinct.

        It is sad that White Jewish/Homosexual Leftist academia (Wendy Doniger, etc) has so poisoned the view of contemporary Indo-Aryan scholarship.

    • David Ashton

      My experience of Sikhs in Britain is that they dislike Muslims. There were Sikhs in the “English” Defence League. They formed a military barrier between Muslims and Hindus in India. I had a Sikh girl in class who refused to sit anywhere near a Muslim. British people tend to admire them for the military bearing that some exhibited in Empire service and show even in this country. Their “worship” of a bizarre sacred book is viewed with puzzlement by every other religion. In Britain they are allowed to carry ceremonial blades and not to wear motorcycle helmets. I would rather they went back to Khalistan, friendly and hardworking although many are. The symbol on their flag is quite impressive, ranking with the hammer & sickle, swastika and red cross for aesthetic impact.

  • Rhialto

    Minority versus Minority: I ain’t got a dog in that fight.
    Also, the author’s name is Tamura not Tamuradeo.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    This, in the long run, isn’t going to end well. But then even if I had an electron microscope I wouldn’t be able to find any evidence of compassion for this problem of their own creation.

    • See The Future

      A government of traitors

  • LeonNJ

    It seems like every couple months we read something about Muslims running wild at UK public schools, and the reaction by the government is….? *crickets*

    • See The Future

      Blair and Cameron should be in the gallows awaiting execution.

      • Whitesneedtobebrave

        Especially Blair and Gordon Brown.

  • ViktorNN

    White liberals throughout all white nations are intent on committing racial suicide. They may be oblivious to what they’re doing, but they’re doing it nonetheless.

    Realizing this is the starting point for understanding the current situation of white people on the planet today.

  • UncleSham

    What really got me is that they stopped the Diwali celebrations. That certainly must be the last straw and the Brits will have to take action against these Muslims displacing the native culture.

    • Whitesneedtobebrave

      Diwali is a pagan celebration and has no business being celebrated in the Christian west. So I am happy about it being stopped. Also, the muslims need to be kicked out along with the hindus.

  • archer

    Ha, the decline of the once great Britain is increasing in speed, why not just get rid of all the motor vehicles now and start riding horses, no use dragging this out any longer.