The British Humanist Association (BHA) has expressed surprise and concern at the fact that Yusuf Patel of SRE Islamic has been invited by the House of Commons Education Select Committee to give oral evidence to its inquiry into Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education and Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) in schools.
Mr Patel used to be a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, and founded the organisation along with another member. Hizb ut-Tahrir opposes democracy, instead wishing to establish a global caliphate. It has widely been described as an extremist group, including by David Cameron. SRE Islamic campaigns against ‘the unacceptability of homosexuality which is often portrayed as a lifestyle choice.’ In recent years SRE Islamic’s main activity has been campaigning against SRE in schools in Tower Hamlets, alongside the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), including sex education in science.
BHA Head of Public Affairs Pavan Dhaliwal commented, ‘We are alarmed that someone who holds views like those of Mr Patel and whose organisation describes homosexuality as “unacceptable” has been invited to speak by the Education Select Committee. We certainly hope that his views will be treated as the fringe views that they are. We are robust supporters of free speech and would defend Mr Patel’s right to hold and campaign on the views he has, including submitting evidence to the Education Select Committee. But we equally believe that the views that he holds are so far outside the mainstream that the Education Select Committee should not have chosen to invite him to speak.’
For further comment or information contact Richy Thompson, Education Campaigns Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7324 3072.
Read more about the BHA’s work on PSHE and sex and relationships education: https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/schools-and-education/school-curriculum/pshe-and-sex-and-relationships-education/
The BHA is a member of the Sex Education Forum and the PSHE Association.
The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.