A “Salafi” Birmingham primary school has been forced to remove an advert for a male-only science teacher placed for “religious observance reasons”.
In a tweet about the job, the school wrote: “The Salafi Independent School is now recruiting a part-time male science and Islamic Studies teacher.”
The institution, in the Small Heath area of the city, claims to specialise in “teaching the Salafi Creed, Arabic, Hadeeth, Literacy, Numeracy and Science.”
Salafism is a literalist, strict, and puritanical form of Islam with adherents aiming to live like Muhammad and his followers in the 7th century. Islamic State and other terror groups are described as Salafis. The Hadeeth is the sayings and stories of the life of Muhammad.
The school is attached to a local Salafi mosque and teaches its 150 male and female Muslim students separately from the age of four.
The National Secular Society’s (NSS) campaigns director Stephen Evans commented in a statement: “There is simply no justification for any school to discriminate against job applicants on the basis of gender.
“All schools have a duty to promote fundamental British values and any school that fails to respect the law and promote gender equality is clearly unfit to educate young people.”
Adding: “Action must be taken to ensure that no school is permitted to normalise or promote gender-based discrimination, or any other regressive attitudes that are at odds with liberal democracy.”
Following the backlash, the school pulled the ad but said it plans to re-advertise the position as they still “hope” to recruit a man, because of some of the religious duties involved with the role.
A spokesman for the Equality and Human Rights Commission told The Telegraph: “An advert that indicates that only people of one sex are eligible for selection is discriminatory and unlawful, unless an occupational requirement applies.”
The controversy comes just weeks after Waseem Zaffar, Birmingham City Council’s “equalities” boss, was forced to step down after attempting to force a Catholic primary school to allow six-year-old infants to wear the Islamic hijab.
All female students at the Salafi Independent School are required to wear the Islamic headscarf and shawl (jilbab) in class and full body “burkini” during swimming lessons.
Following the row over Mr. Zaffar’s actions, the government’s integration chief Dame Louise Casey stepped in to warn that unless the council was vigilant there was a risk of a new ‘Trojan Horse’ affair, whereby hardline Muslims could try and influence schools.