Irish Muslims tackle Ireland’s inclusion illusion
Report reveals strategy behind push for mandatory LGBTQ+ subject in schools
“We think it is unacceptable to teach children about gender identity under the pretext of teaching them about diversity” – Irish Muslim Council.
The timing of the entrance of the Irish Muslim Council into the fray of the LGBTQ+ furore in Irish education is significant. Was it the sight of a Christian family flung out onto the footpath outside the Court of Appeal that prompted the action? Perhaps it was government leaders’ speedy response to shut down opposition from Catholic teachers.
Many eyes will be watching closely how the established media deal with this bombshell from the Irish Muslim Council. The government responded yesterday, to Catholic teachers expressing their opposition to teaching gender ideology to primary age children with an unexpected announcement:
A “Scoping Inquiry” was announced by the Education Minister, with no website, just an email address. A landline number connected to a desk somewhere in Athlone, with an answering machine. The voicemail on the machine offers no directions or invitation to callers it simply states, ‘scoping inquiry.’
It is curious that this scoping inquiry is not under the remit of the Department of Justice, considering this is an inquiry into criminal sexual abuse. More important is the fact that the abuse took place in schools run by religious orders.
Today we have the announcement of a gender equality referendum to take place in November. The Irish Muslim Council, among others, will be interested in the specific wording for proposed changes to the constitution.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: "For too long, women and girls have carried a disproportionate share of caring responsibilities, been discriminated against at home and in the workplace, objectified or lived in fear of domestic or gender-based violence.”
The Irish State has a de facto response to any attempts made by Catholics to be included in public debate on such matters - to defer to historical abuse by religious orders. The State rarely refers to the fact that such historical abuse was overseen by the State itself, in schools, orphanages and mother and baby homes.
It will have a more difficult time dealing with the Irish Muslim Council, because immigration is curiously mixed in with its LGBTQ+ agenda.
At the weekend we learned how Roderic O’Gorman’s Equality Department diverted €1.1m in funds from the Magdalen Fund and from Traveller and Roma projects to fund LGBTQ+ initatives. One beneficiary is FLAC, the Free Legal Advice Centre.
“The clinic will meet specific needs of the gay and trans community and will provide advice on a wide range of legal issues where gender and sexuality are core factors, including discrimination matters, equality, family law, gender identity, immigration, hate crimes and access to health care,” Minister O’Gorman said.
Are gender and sexuality ‘core factors of immigration’? How or why would that be? Surely housing, education, employment and integration are more pressing matters for immigrants arriving into Ireland? How does the government propose to impose its LGBTQ+ Inclusion ideology upon the Irish Muslim Council, without breaching a ‘core factor’ of immigration on the inconvenient topic - of faith ?
How did this Inclusion policy become a feature of government policy, when Traveller suicide rates - “a national crisis” according to that community, are not?
The answer may lie in an item funded under the controversial €1.1m in diverted funds, to the value of €53, 240. It is a report, titled “Over the Rainbow, The Road to LQBTQ+ Inclusion.”
Bewildered parents and teachers wondering what is the reasoning behind the push to expose young children to complex issues of sexuality at a young age may want to print out this document and study it.
Over the Rainbow? The Road to LGBTQ+ Inclusion is published here.
The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ) is a 22 member state organisation that ‘informs and advises, sets standards and shapes policy by engaging with governments, international organisations, business and labour and civil society.’ Ireland is a member since 1961.
It’s not clear what the Irish funding is paying for as the OECD report published on its website is already complete.
The LGBTQ+ Inclusion report clearly sets out the objectives that should be adopted in member states and the reasoning behind them, including the introduction of ‘a mandatory, objective-oriented and enforceable LGBTI inclusive school subject.’
This is precisely the point upon which Catholic teachers and parents and members of the Irish Muslim Council are clashing with government. Notably, the teachers’ of faith stance is exactly the kind of publicity the OECD strategy warns against, in order to ‘avoid magnifying tensions around LGBTI-related issues.’
“Religious freedom is a fundamental right that must be vigorously defended, meaning that when borderline cases come up, i.e. cases where the discriminatory consequences of religious freedom for LGBTI people is more difficult to establish, a diligent and cautious approach is critical to avoid magnifying tensions around LGBTI-related issues,” the report states.
“In case of doubt, it may be advisable to refrain from employing legal sanctions or other restrictive measures (UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, 2017). This stance was unanimously adopted by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in the case “Lee v Ashers Baking Company Ltd and others.”
The Ashers won this case following a Supreme Court appeal.
The Strategy advises against employing legal sanctions, because of the negative publicity at stake should it lose. Proposed changes to the Irish Constitution under the guise of Gender Equality, could address this weakness in the OECD’s Over the Rainbow inclusion Strategy.
Teaching a mandatory and enforceable LGBTQ+ subject ‘constitutes a crucial front in the battle for LGBTI equality,’ the report states. Its three key objectives for schools are as follows:
(i) introducing a mandatory, objective-oriented and enforceable LGBTI inclusive school subject;
(ii) guiding school staff on implementing an LGBTI-inclusive curriculum;
(iii) adopting a whole-school approach to deal with LGBTI-phobic language and behaviour every time they occur.
The Over the Rainbow report goes on to explain how to by-pass parental concerns in the implementation process:
“While implementing these policies, it is critical that parents understand why the school is preventing and tackling LGBTI-phobic bullying, to avoid backlash.
“Schools should clarify that their efforts aim to look after the welfare and safety of all young people in the school, not to talk about sex or try to turn children gay − two pervasive worries among parents. It is also important to provide parents with the option to discuss their concerns with senior leadership – a way to reassure them that their concerns are taken seriously, but also to send a strong message that the commitment to prevent and tackle LGBTI-phobic bullying extends across the school.”
The report explicitly states that LGBTI inclusive studies should begin at a young age when children are more impressionable.
“Early interventions should be given special attention while ensuring of course that the subject’s content is age-appropriate: values and attitudes are formed early and are likely to be highly resistant to change in later life.
“This LGBTI-inclusive subject should ideally be mandatory, as will be the case in England starting from September 2020. It should also be grounded in a set of clear objectives so that school staff understand expectations. Finally, actual implementation of this curriculum should be closely monitored by school inspectors to ensure enforcement,” the report states.
“Teachers should also be given insights on how to embed LGBTI families, people and themes throughout the curriculum. Confining the mention of LGBTI issues to a specific area of the curriculum entails a risk that LGBTI issues be viewed as something marginal or even something to hide or be ashamed of.”
The report seeks a whole school approach to stamping out ‘harmless banter’ which becomes ‘LGBTI-phobic language and behaviour’ under the new regime.
“Creating a zero-tolerance school policy that clearly states LGBTI-phobic language and behaviour are wrong and will not be tolerated from any member of the school community – students, staff or parents and carers – is often viewed as the best way to start addressing the problem,” the report states.
The public should be ‘taken on a journey’ in order to learn that acceptance of LGBTI issues into classrooms constitutes ‘evolved thinking.’ Ireland is singled out for particular praise having successfully evolved the minds of the voting public for its ‘Yes Equality’ campaign, ahead of the 2015 marriage referendum, according to the report.
“It is important to include among messengers individuals to whom the public can relate,” the strategy continues, on the use of the successful marketing of opinions to drive Constitutional change.
“People telling stories should not always be role models, experts, activists and survivors of abuses, but everyday people just like the public who have gone on a journey that the audience can also take.”
Finding “unlikely” messengers, such as faith leaders, is also critical because these messengers are viewed as “permission givers” by the undecided.
“This capacity to build alliances with a broad range of messengers to take the public on a journey was one key ingredient of the successful “Yes Equality” campaign in Ireland (Council of Europe, 2017).”
Politicians and government ministers alongside public authorities should set an example:
“Setting an example through government and public authorities Building and sustaining popular support for LGBTI inclusion also requires that government and public authorities lead through exemplary official and individual conduct.
“‘Reparation’ is an important ‘tool’ that government and public authorities can use to acknowledge past state-sponsored discrimination, oppression and violence against LGBTI people.
“This official strategy is conducive to beginning a healing process, while also familiarising and sensitising the public about historical injustices suffered by LGBTI persons at the hands of the state, to avoid repetition of those acts.”
The report states that 40% of LGBTI respondents (no actual study is cited so it’s unclear what they responded to) experienced negative comments or conduct in the school setting. The report goes on to state that pupils don’t necessarily have to be gay, lesbian, transgender or intersex to be bullied:
“Not fitting in with the gender expectations of their peers – boys judged as being not masculine enough, girls judged as being not feminine enough – is often sufficient for them to experience rejection.”
No evidence for the findings presented.
One thing not mentioned in the report is how the Inclusion Strategy might deal with people who report harmful experiences arising from dealings with the LGBTQ+ movement.
Niamh, a 24 year old trainee solicitor and self described former trans radical activist in an interview with writer Gerry O’Neill, has told how she and others have met with the Children’s Ombudsman to communicate their negative experiences with an LGBTQ+ NGO lobby group.
The interview offers some fascinating and worrying insights from someone who dealt with state funded services directly.
Niamh said she went to the BelongTo group with her ex-girlfriend in the understanding it was a type of ‘gay youth club.’
“I was excited to meet more women who were bisexual or lesbian,” she said.
“It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. The experience wasn’t great, to say the least.”
The group had an age range of 14 - 23 and Niamh said weekly discussions were dominated by ‘gender identity talk.’
“There was a biological male teenager who was identifying as a girl at the time. He no longer does identify as that so I will use he/him pronouns. He said that he was a lesbian and he decided he was going to come out, as a lesbian in the middle of of the discussions and the leaders of the group looked around the room and tried to get us to cheer as if to try to get us to accept that.”
GO’N: “Hold on a second, you’ve got a biological male who was a transwoman. Then the add on was that he was not only a transwoman, he was a lesbian transwoman. So in layman’s terms he was a penis looking for a vagina still. Is that how you looked at it? That seems bonkers to me.”
“Yeah, even when I was fighting for trans rights in a big way and fighting with my family over it. At the time my (ex) girlfriend was identifying as a boy and I was all for the treatments and everything, even then I knew that that was wrong.
“How can you say that you are a lesbian when you have a penis? That’s really offensive to actual lesbians. And then the adults expecting us to cheer for that, as if the lesbians had to accept this into our dating pool…
“That you had to be open to it and if you weren’t, you were transphobic,” Niamh said.
Within weeks of that incident, Niamh’s experience lead her into a situation that brought a deeper understanding of the illusion of LGBTQ+ inclusion ideology.
“Around that same time I was called transphobic for the first time and I didn’t truly know what that meant. There was a Facebook interaction where someone said something about a male who was claiming to be a lesbian and I said well no, lesbian is same sex attraction it’s nothing to do with gender identity, that’s pansexual or bisexual, that’s different thing. Lesbian is same sex attraction.
“And I was called a transphobe. And I couldn’t believe it! I was like, no I’m not I’m friends with all of these trans-identified people! And I know what a lesbian is, what the definition of lesbian is. How does that make me transphobic? And it’s because I wasn’t allowing biological males into lesbian space or into the dating pool. I said well no that’s not how it works, you can’t identify into lesbianism as a biological male,” she said.
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Excellent article Louise I really like your work as it's well researched ,informative,interesting and well written.
Great piece. Further evidence of the lunacy that has infected the Irish establishment.
I'm old enough to remember when Michael Mac Liammoir and Hilton Edwards (2 gay Englishmen) lived and worked in Dublin, enriching our culture with their art and their colourful presence. Everyone knew they were gay but no one cared. In fact they were beloved. As was Phil Lynott, a black Irishman and a beautiful guy.
Funny how these and others could flourish in the Catholic Ireland of recently bygone days. Yet now we need constitutional and legal restraints on our "racism" and "sexism".
I am not a fan of the triumphalist Catholic Church typified by the late Archbishop McQuaid, nor of the narrow-minded Gaelic state led by de Valera. So I do not feel nostalgic for the past. But anything McQuaid or Dev said or did back then is as nothing compared to the BS being spouted by our current leaders.