The Islamic School Trust “described LGBTQ+ people as evil” on social media

Abu Bakr Girls School.

Abu Bakr Girls School was praised for his tolerance by Ofsted just last year (Image: Trinity)

A Muslim education foundation has apologized after being accused of branding members of the LGBTQ+ community “evil”.

The Abu Bakr Trust, which runs three schools in the town of Walsall, Staffordshire, allegedly published the homophobic posts on November 6 last year.

The Trust is said to have posted on its Facebook page telling its followers to pray “for protection from evil deeds and against LGBTQ”.

It is also said to have written, “My Lord, save me and my family from what they are doing.”

Someone with ties to the Trust also allegedly shared a Facebook video of a Taliban cleric claiming he was “very intelligent,” according to research by the Henry Jackson Society.

The Charity Commission officially raised concerns and a formal investigation was launched.

The Trust has since apologized for the posts, claiming a volunteer did them without the approval of staff or trustees, but took “full responsibility” for what it described as an “oversight”.

Kindergarten Abu Bakr Trust.

The Abu Bakr Trust runs three schools, including a nursery, in Walsall (Image: Trinity)

Ironically, the Trust’s girls’ school, which is independent but receives government grants, was praised last March for its tolerance of same-sex couples.

A report by Ofsted at the time said: ‘Pupils have a solid understanding of fundamental British values.

“They speak knowledgeably about democracy, how laws are made and how that relates to everyday school life. Students have a detailed understanding of other religions.

“You speak confidently about the similarities and differences that exist between Islam and other religions. Students talk about the different types of relationships and families that exist in their local community.

“This includes single-parent families, same-sex couples and children in foster care.”

Meanwhile, the Abu Bakr Boys School on Queen Mary Street was rated ‘inadequate’ overall after an inspection last June – but it was praised for encouraging schoolchildren to ‘understand and respect differences’.

Charlotte Littlewood, who conducted the research for the Henry Jackson Society, said: “It is a very worrying time for the LGBT community.

“We seem to be making big leaps in some areas, but we’re just not making the same progress in this particular area. I worry about the impact this will have on our young people when they are taught intolerance.

“We raise children in a multicultural society where the priority is to be a cohesive society based on tolerance. Some schools don’t teach this – those schools don’t prepare children for a successful life in the UK.

“Parents should think carefully about the environment they place their children in if they want the UK to be a safe and tolerant place for all.”

The Abu Bakr Trust full statement:

Abu Bakr Trust Charity has been operating for 18 years without any major problems. The charity has always strictly adhered to its goals, i.e. solid education through schools (for children) and worship services for believers in the mosques (for everyone).

The current trustees were all appointed last year due to the illness and age of the long-standing trustees. The new trustees have since dealt with all aspects of managing the association’s work.

The previous trustees had delegated some activities to volunteers as the charity has limited staff resources. Responsibility for social media was not created by the charity, instead community volunteers took the initiative to set up a Facebook page in 2011.

When the trustees became aware of it, they were told that it was only being used to post monthly prayer schedules and upcoming events, etc. From their history, it can be confirmed that this platform shows minimal activity.

However, post-pandemic, in lockdown times where physical presence was limited, platforms like social media were used more than before as a means of communication, but management/control remained with the volunteers. It appears that previously login details were widely shared among volunteers, allowing them to post without staff and trustee approval.

“The posts in question were created by a volunteer with login credentials, but no employee or trustee has approved them. We immediately deleted the posts and changed login details and have now taken control of the social media policy and will continue to post only necessary informational posts as before.

“We accept full responsibility for oversight due to the change of trustee. We apologize for any upset or offense this may have caused and are already working with consultants and the Charity Commission to put in place an effective policy and controls.’

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Justin Scacco

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