British court rules Islamic faith school’s segregation “unlawful”

Al-Hijrah School in Birmingham
Updated 13 October 2017
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British court rules Islamic faith school’s segregation “unlawful”

DUBAI: Britain’s school inspectors have won the right to challenge an Islamic faith school’s policy of segregating boys and girls after three appeal court judges ruled it was unlawful sex discrimination.

The decision overturns last year’s finding by a High Court judge that inspectors from the country’s school watchdog Ofsted were wrong to penalize the co-ed Al-Hijrah school in Birmingham.

The inspectors had previous reported that the segregation of the pupils left them “unprepared for life in modern Britain.”

It was also reported that inspectors found “offensive” books in the school’s library that advocated wife beating and forced sex – local media reported.

The school is not challenging the claims laid against it regarding the books.

The three judges ruled unanimously on Friday that Ofsted’s chief inspector Amanda Spielman be allowed to challenge the previous decision by Mr.Justice Jay in the High Court.

Ofsted grades schools based on a number of criteria that include the students achievements and the overall teaching standards, but also the environment in which children are educated.

Friday’s court ruling means Ofsted will be allowed to mark down other schools which operate a segregation policy, whatever the faith.

The appeal judges said: “It is common ground that the school is not the only Islamic school which operates such a policy and that a number of Jewish schools with a particular Orthodox ethos and some Christian faith schools have similar practices.”


Couple awarded $1 million in voyeurism lawsuit

Updated 18 August 2018
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Couple awarded $1 million in voyeurism lawsuit

BELLINGHAM, Washington: A judge has awarded a Washington couple $1 million in damages after they sued a former lifeguard and city employee who admitted to videotaping women while they used a staff changing area at an aquatic center.
The Bellingham Herald reports the woman in the lawsuit said the video voyeurism caused her mental anguish, altered her marriage, lifestyle and diminished her love for swimming due to the anxiety she feels when changing into a swimsuit.
The woman and her husband filed a lawsuit against the city of Bellingham and the suspect. Bellingham is 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of Seattle.
On Tuesday, Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis awarded $750,000 to the woman and $250,000 to her husband, more than their lawyer asked for.
The court dismissed her claims against the city in March.