Inquiry set for teacher in carol controversy

27th December 1996 at 00:00
A disciplinary inquiry is being held after a Muslim maths teacher disrupted Christmas carols, denouncing them as un-Islamic.

Mr Israr Khan shouted out "Who is your God?" to the pupils watching and taking part in a Christmas concert rehearsal at Washwood Heath Secondary School, Birmingham, where 60 per cent of the 1,200 pupils are Asian.

A number of them are said to have shouted "Allah" in reply, while others booed.

Mr Khan did not, by mutal consent, return to school, but Birmingham education Authority this week said he had not been formally suspended. There will, however, be a disciplinary inquiry.

Neither Mr Khan nor the school was available for comment this week. But Ahmed Versi, editor of the Muslim News, says Mr Khan's actions have been misrepresented. According to Mr Versi, Mr Khan believes there has been no staff consultation about the carol singing, despite a school policy suggesting there should be.

A spokeswoman from Birmingham LEA says the school carol concert went ahead the following evening without incident.

Ibrahim Hewitt, development officer with the Association of Muslim Schools, said: "Mr Khan is right in one sense, but the way he went about making his point was unwise. If parents are happy with what's going on, you have to accept that. But from a religious point of view, he is correct."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today