Irish Muslim Council Opposes Teaching Gender Issues to Children
The Irish Muslim Council has said it is “not appropriate” to teach children about gender identity issues in primary schools.
In a letter posted on their Twitter account, the council says it supported the position of the Catholic Primary Schools Management Association (CPSMA), which has written to the Irish Government arguing that students should not be taught what it means to be transgender.
In the letter, Chair Dr Umar Al-Qadri, says the Irish Muslim council believes “it’s not appropriate to teach primary school children such a complex and contested topic, particularly when there is a lack of scientific consensus about the best way to treat children with gender dysphoria”.
He said the Taoiseach should focus instead on “solving the health crisis, the housing crisis and many other challenges we face as a nation”.
“The Irish Muslim Council supports the position of the Catholic Primary Schools Management Association about the teaching of gender identity issues in primary schools.
“The Irish Muslim Council believes every child in primary school should be supported, respected and treated with consideration. We think it is unacceptable to teach children about gender identity under the pretext of teaching them about diversity.”
“The Irish Muslim council shares the concerns with CSPMA and believes is not appropriate to cover this topic in primary schools.
“The number of children in Ireland who are questioning their gender identity is increasing but so too is the number of detransitioners who regret steps they took to socially, medically, and surgically transition. We believe the topic of general identity should be dealt with the utmost of caution particularly when it comes to children.”
This week the CPSMA, which represents 89 per cent of primary schools in Ireland, challenged views expressed by Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman, who recently told the Irish Independent that children should be taught more about what it means to be transgender.
According to the Irish Independent, the CPSMA said in its letter to O’Gorman and Minister for Education Norma Foley that teaching primary children “what it means to be transgender would require to teach something about which there is neither a scientific nor social consensus to highly impressionable young children”.
It would be “counterproductive, generating unnecessary divisions in school communities where none now exist,” the group said, adding that “more seriously, it might add to a growing psychological contagion amongst young and vulnerable children.”
The group added: “We believe a more prudent and sensible policy is to teach children to respect every human being and to allow children to be children.
“We should not prematurely introduce children to complex and sensitive topics around which there is no scientific or medical consensus.”
BeLonG To, a charity representing young LGBT people, reportedly said it was “very disappointed” by the CPSMA’s calls for children not to be taught about transgender issues.
The charity said children as young as six or seven can know that they are LGBT, adding that educating children about transgender issues can help trans children feel safe and included in their schools.
Moninne Griffth, the charity’s CEO, told Newstalk Breakfast that there is no harm in ensuring that children feel safe at school.
“What I am concerned about is the safety of children,” Griffith told Newstalk Breakfast.
“I know from talking to teachers and parents all over the country that there are young people as young as six and seven who know they are LGBT.
“It is a small number but what is the harm in making sure that they feel safe and included in their school?”