One of the main questions I receive from parents is, “What can I do to respond to this madness?” As parents, we can often feel overwhelmed at the level and intensity of the propaganda and negative influences around our children, in school and wider society.
And while the overwhelm is real, it should not impact us so much that we feel disempowered and apathetic. When we believe the solutions are out of our grasp, they will be. So here goes.
It’s important to acknowledge what’s at stake first. I’ve been speaking about RSE (relationships and sex education) well before it was called RSE, and I am shocked at how far many schools are forcing acceptance of LGBT lifestyles. It is far more insidious than I ever imagined.
There must be a pushback, and that’s where you, as a parent, come in.
Here are some simple things you can do.
1 | Ask questions
Every question you ask a school conveys a message.
- “I am interested in the area of the curriculum that my question asks about.”
- “I am concerned enough to approach the school. Most people are not.”
- “I am watching the school’s practice in this area.”
When you ask questions about RSE teaching, you are making it known that this is an area you are concerned enough about, to approach the school.
Always put your questions in writing. A verbal conversation is not worth the time it takes! When you place your questions in writing, you have a written record of answers.
If you ask a verbal question, you will receive a verbal response. If you ever refer back to that response, the headteacher may not recollect the conversation, or may even dispute your recollection of events.
It’s also important to address questions to the headteacher in the first instance.
Some examples of questions you can ask:
- When do you teach RE/ RSE?
- For primary schools: can you provide me with a table that clarifies what you teach as part of sex education, Relationships Education, and statutory science?
- For secondary schools: can you provide me with a table that clarifies what you teach as part of Relationships and Sex Education, and statutory science?
- What resources do you use?
- When and how did you consult with parents before RSE was made statutory?
- What are you doing to ensure there is ongoing consultation for new parents?
- Which outside organisations support your RE/ RSE delivery?
- How do you take into account the age and religious backgrounds of pupils, when deciding how and when to teach the subject?
Remember, if you are unhappy with how they are teaching RE (in primary schools) and RSE (in secondary schools), you can make a formal complaint to the headteacher.
The complaint needs to be clear about your concerns, and what action(s) you want them to take.
2 | Use parent power
Even as one parent approaching a school with concerns, you can make a huge difference.
You are acting on behalf of all children, even if you sometimes feel like you’re a lone voice being ignored. It is also true that many parents acting together can send a powerful message to a school.
What’s most important is to have a clear, realistic demand, and follow through with collective action to the headteacher/ governing board.
The clear, realistic demand must be something the school is able to change.
It can’t be,
“We don’t want RSE taught.”
It could be,
“We don’t want particular resources used, because they are inappropriate or explicit.”
There may even be ten things you’re unhappy with. You should pick the most important to you.
It may be that you only get one major change. But that one change protects children and should not be seen as insignificant.
I remember one group of parents who felt they had not achieved much, despite their efforts.
When I asked them if they had achieved any changes, do you know what they replied? The only change was Stonewall were no longer coming into their children’s primary school as an external provider.
This was a major win! If this is all they achieved, alhamdulillāh. Remember that the results are from Allah, and Allah (subḥānahu wa ta’āla) will not allow any effort to go unrewarded, if done to please Him.
3 | Utilise the Equality Act
The LGBT lobby have monopolised the Equality Act to such an extent that equality has become synonymous with the LGBT.
This is despite the fact that there are nine protected characteristics, one of which is faith and belief.
And Schedule 19 of the Equality Act 2010 designates schools as a ‘public authority’, meaning they should advance the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) as set out in Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.
One of the duties that schools have is:
“Fostering good relations across characteristics – between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.” 
When a school forces Muslim children or children from other faith backgrounds to celebrate a sexual lifestyle that runs counter to their faith tradition, or invites a speaker who identifies as Muslim and ‘gay’, they are exacerbating tensions between people from different protected characteristics.
This is in stark contradiction with a school’s duty under PSED.
Additionally, when a school takes disciplinary action against Muslim children for expressing a contrary view about same-sex relationships or ‘gender ideology’, not only does this need challenging, but we also need to educate schools about the prioritising of one protected characteristic to the detriment of the other.
4 | Take responsibility by living your values
Our children’s norms are being shaped every day. This is something we should acknowledge, but it shouldn’t be something that paralyses us into inaction.
Although we often believe that the influences are stacked against us – social media, friends, entertainment, and school – we still can play a huge part in our children’s lives.
You may seek to embed Islamic attitudes and behaviours in your children, but if they don’t see them present in your behaviour, this will undermine what you say.
If we extol the virtues of the Qur’ān, but our children never see us with the book of Allah, why should they prioritise something we don’t?
If we talk about good conduct towards others, but all they see of us is backbiting relatives, and arguing with fellow drivers, then what are the words we use, other than a wasted breath?
If we want to secure strong Muslim families for the next generation, we must model the appropriate behaviours. They must find solace, love, acceptance, and stability in their home. If we want them to embrace loving marriages, we must strengthen our own marriages.
This doesn’t mean we must be perfect. None of us are, especially the author of this article.
For imperfect human beings who err and forget, perfection is what we strive for, but never reach. What we need to embrace is the act of continuous improvement. We need to embrace a process of self-improvement in line with the timeless and guiding values, behaviours, principles, and mindset of a believer who recognises this mortal world is temporary and that life can be seized from us at this very moment – within the blink of an eye.
What we leave behind is the opposite of what human beings strive for in this world. They strive for riches, status, recognition, and materialistic pursuits. The temporary nature of this world and our impending death pushes us towards lasting impact.
What will we leave this world with, that benefits us and what will remain behind that will ease our trials beyond the grave?
Abu Hurayrah (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,
“When the human being dies, his deeds end, except for three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who prays for him.” 
May Allah (subḥānahu wa ta’āla) enable us to be righteous children who raise righteous children.
5 | Make du’ā
Du’ā is the greatest weapon of the believer and the believing parent.
It reminds us of our true relationship with Allah, that Allah has full control over all things and that everything is in His hands.
When we turn to Allah, we are recognising that we cannot do anything without His help.
Imagine you’re struggling to get through to your child, and you ask Allah to give you the words to penetrate the heart of your child. Du’ā affects change in a way that other actions don’t, because du’ā is the pleading and yearning of the believer to his Creator and Sustainer.
You don’t need to wait for an issue to arise with your children to make du’ā. We must constantly ask Allah to secure their guidance and uprightness.
And that’s where du’ā is an act that is unique in every sense.
Imagine we have a best friend who we frequently go to for help in fulfilling our needs. Help with moving house one day, a lift to somewhere the next, I just need £50, can you drop this off for me? Just one more thing!
Even the best of friends would become irritated at this one-sided relationship. You’re always take, take, take. Over time, that friend will naturally move away from you and your constant requests.
Unlike our friends, Allah loves that His servant asks of Him. There is literally no number you could reach in du’ā requests to Allah that would be too much. Small things, large things, requests that a human would characterise as impossible: nothing is impossible for the One who created everything from nothing.
Besides making du’ā for your children, you should instil the du’ā habit in your children.
Du’ā is your children’s personal relationship with Allah. It is a practical way in which they communicate with their Lord, without an intermediary.
Many religions place a religious figure between them and God. In Islam, our du’ā is a direct plea to Allah for permissible requests. Ask your children what they ask from Allah, in order to encourage them to build the du’ā habit.
These five simple changes can and will, bi’idhnillāh, transform the way we see our role. As guardians and guides to our children, we must move away from reactive to proactive measures, in order to protect our children in these turbulent times.
May Allah aid us in our task, āmīn.
 The Equality Act 2010 and Schools, p. 34, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/315587/Equality_Act_Advice_Final.pdf
 Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim