Muslim mother fired from faith school for opposing veil policy

Monday 10th November 2014 12:17 EST

Former vice principal and mother of one Ghazala Khan, 37, was fired after objecting to the Mohiuddin International College's rule that girls must wear veils in classes, a tribunal heard.

At a Manchester employment tribunal, Mrs Khan said a fellow teacher stopped speaking to her because she did not want to wear a niqab and that this was the same tutor who ordered all his female students to wear a veil in his lessons: "There were quite a few times I didn't agree with the way he would make children wear veils across their faces just so he could teach them. I said, 'nowhere in Islam does it say they must wear a veil to come to classes.' He said, 'you have no knowledge of anything and have no right to talk with somebody not related to you.”

This stringent attitude was traced back to the Principal of the Lancashire-based all girls College, Amjad Bashir. Khan said she felt religiously discriminated against on more than one occasion at a school whose masthead is 'inspiring the girls of today to become our leaders of the future.' Appointed to the post of Vice Principal in 2011 Khan claimed that she was branded an outsider and told to wait outside assemblies because “there were a few things she wouldn't understand”. She has said she felt patronised as a woman and that despite being a qualified and experienced teacher she was never respected as a “scholar.”

Events reached the boiling point after the private school, previously heralded as the 'Muslim Eton', came under scrutiny following a rigorous institutional inspection. Khan alleges that Bashir called a meeting in which he blamed her for everything and called her a “stupid outsider” before dismissing her from his staff.

This particular allegation was corroborated by a former student Fozia Yasin, 19, who had been expelled from the college: "Mrs Khan was called an outsider by Mr Bashir. I only heard it once. There was a group of girls, it wasn't just me. Mrs Khan was there.”

Bashir was reported to be in an agitated state and denied many of Mrs Khan's claims.

The school is run by the Birmingham-based Mohuiddin Trust and was established under the Sheikh Hazrat Pir Alaudin Siddiqui Sahib who is an Islamic scholar based in Pakistan. Mrs Khan has also stated that she did not agree with the locally circulated teaching that 'the Sheik, the founder of the college, is going to take them to heaven and everyone who does not believe in him is going to hell."

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