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Anti-LGBT education protestors vow to continue fighting and claim they are victims of the ‘white establishment’

Emma Powys Maurice November 27, 2019
Anti-LGBT education protesters

Lead protester Shakeel Afsar speaking at a press conference after the trial (Screenshot: Sky News)

The leaders of the anti-LGBT education protests are claiming “white” bias after a High Court judge permanently banned them from demonstrating outside a Birmingham primary school.

Birmingham City Council pursued legal action in May due to safety fears over repeated large-scale demonstrations outside the school gates, featuring megaphones and a sound-boosting PA system.

The demonstration included a speech by a controversial imam who falsely claimed anal sex, paedophilia and “transgenderism” were being taught in schools.

Yesterday a judge ruled that protest leader Shakeel Afsar had “grossly misrepresented” the true nature of the educational programme, which simply teaches tolerance of diverse groups and families.

In a press conference immediately after the ruling, Afsar vowed to continue the campaign against LGBT-inclusive education and said the protests will continue at the edge of the exclusion zone.

He further claimed that the court was “one-sided” and suggested that he was a victim of the ‘white establishment’.

“I do regret to say that I feel the court’s approach in their case has been very one-sided,” he said. “When you look at those representing the council and the court, compare faces and backgrounds.

“The judge is white, the council’s barrister is white, the council’s legal team is white, the teachers who gave evidence were white, the witnesses who gave evidence for the council were white.

“The councillors who misrepresented their voters were white, the police officers who presented witness statements for the council were white.”

He added: “A lack of impartiality is unfair and when unfairness affects justice that in itself is injustice.”

He claimed the judge believed everything put to him by the council and their witnesses, but disbelieved everything put to him by the defendants.

In the High Court case, Afsar and his fellow defendants attempted to argue that the school’s persistence in teaching LGBT-inclusive lessons amounted to “indirect discrimination on ethnic and/or religious grounds”.

However, Justice Warby rejected this defence, saying that their argument “lacked clarity”.

“I am not persuaded, in any event, that there has been such discrimination,” he wrote in his ruling.

“Despite the sometimes gross misrepresentation of its teaching, the council has not sought restrictions on the content of the protestors’ expression, but restrictions on the way the protestors express themselves.”

He judged that the defendants’ case was based on “inaccurate factual premises” about the teaching and used “circular reasoning” to claim that they were victims of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

Their claims fell outside the scope of the Equality Act, and even if they had been within the scope of the act, it would only apply to the pupils, not parents, and certainly not the many protestors who didn’t even have a child at the school.

“The conduct proscribed by [the act] is discrimination against pupils, not parents, still less discrimination against third parties who hold views about the content of the curriculum or, indeed, the way in which education is delivered,” Warby said.

“Aggrieved parents and interested third parties have no standing to complain.”

Protestors outside Parkfield school, one of two Birmingham schools targeted by anti-LGBT+ demonstrations (Christopher Furlong/Getty)

In the ruling he also noted an instance in which Afsar himself is alleged to have behaved in a discriminatory way, having been heard to call a police officer “Islamophobic” and “bacon” or “bacon breath”.

“Although Mr Afsar disputed this, I find it probable on all the evidence before me that he did use such language,” Warby said.

The defendants have been ordered to pay 80 per cent of Birmingham City Council’s legal fees.

More: Anderton Park Primary School, Birmingham, LGBT-inclusive education, No Outsiders, Parkfield Community School

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