Birmingham City Council has told a Catholic school it is free to prohibit the Islamic headscarf after a Muslim councillor forced teachers to allow a four-year-old to dress in a hijab.
The move comes after the government’s integration chief warned that authorities had failed to learn from the ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal, leading to the councillor concerned stepping down.
Waseem Zaffar, the local authority’s “equalities” boss, announced on Facebook in January how he had met with the school’s head teacher, falsely telling her it was illegal for the Catholic institution to not allow Islamic head coverings.
St. Clare’s School in Birmingham has a strict uniform policy, prohibiting all headwear and scarfs and requiring students to wear shorts during physical education.
It later transpired Mr. Zaffar was a close relative of the young girl and had not consulted with the council before making his intervention.
He has also previously been accused of calling Israel a “terrorist state”, being married to two women at the same time, and using Sharia law to get divorced.
Last week The Telegraph obtained a leaked private letter from the government’s integration chief Dame Louise Casey to council leader John Clancy, criticising his actions.
In it, she accused him of putting the primary school under “grossly unfair and undue pressure” and said the city had failed to learn the lessons of the Trojan Horse scandal when Muslim teachers and parents plotted to control state schools with an extreme Islamic ethos.
Mr. Clancy wrote in the letter that the council had offered “immediate support” to the school after the row came to light. However, when contacted by The Telegraph on Thursday, they refused to put out a statement backing the head teacher.
A government source told the paper: “The obvious weakness of their response shows they are failing to grip the situation.
“We would like to see them make a robust public response. If their support for the school is as strong as they say it is, they should say so in public.”