British newspapers have reported that parents have threatened to pull their children out of classes at a village primary school over a ‘transgender day’ planned for pupils as young as four. Several families say they will not allow their children to attend the classes which are meant to help children explore their ‘sexuality’.
Another day, another attempt to stop children being children. Why do 4-year-olds need to explore issues of sexuality?
Even in secular liberal Britain, some parents see this as a step too far. A mother with a child at the school said: ‘I don’t want my daughter exposed to this nonsense. Kids just want to run in the playground, not be told they need to “think differently” about gender issues.’ However, Emma Maltby, head teacher at the St Mary the Virgin Primary School in Hartfield insisted that the day would go ahead, and that the school would run the ‘transgender day’ working with an external youth project which runs a ‘fun, supportive group for trans and gender-questioning primary schoolchildren’.
There was a time children were allowed to be children growing up innocently. Even in the West, there was a time when society was not so full of sexual imagery in nearly every aspect of life and the discussion of sexual matters were not in primary school. In the last few months, one of the latest ideas that is being promoted by some is that being male or female is a very fluid idea and is not fixed. So a few recent films explore the issue, popular personalities are on TV and radio programmes and now, a primary school head teacher has decided to have a day where children explore transgender issues. In insisting that the day would go ahead, head teacher at the school insisted that as part of the national curriculum, these transgender classes promote ‘British values of tolerance, respect and celebrating differences’. So she brings evidence that this is something the government curriculum supports – so parents cannot expect government to oppose her actions because it is in line with government guidelines.
In the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘celebrating differences’, children could be left confused and worrying about their gender. And this could happen to children so young? What a tragedy.
Western societies are secular and liberal so lack clear and unchanging boundaries of right and wrong so things are always ‘relative’. So what was once private behaviour has become acceptable public behaviour. Some things that were deemed wrong and criminalised years ago are now acceptable promoted and celebrated. Where does this end? Today, there are fringe groups who campaign for the legalisation of sexual behaviour with children! They are fringe today, but will they be in years to come?
Muslim parents in the West are rightly worried about such changing values in the society we live in. Indeed, many non-Muslim parents and commentators share these worries and have started to argue that the ‘sexualisation’ of children in western society has gone too far and is resulting in so many social problems. Not only must we try our best to safeguard our children, these are opportunities to discuss with non-Muslims who are worried about similar matters and explain how, unlike the secular liberal culture, Islam and its clear and unchanging criteria of right and wrong and its sublime values help to safeguard all in society. Hence we are able to show how Islam truly lets children be children – young, wonderful and innocent. Allah (swt) says
كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ النَّاسَ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ
This is a Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that you might bring mankind out of darknesses into the light by permission of their Lord – to the path of the Exalted in Might, the Praiseworthy [Sura Ibrahim 14:1]
Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in Britain