CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Punchbowl High and Creeping Sharia

Mar 11, 2017

Many of you would have heard by now that we have some real problems at a NSW high school. Punchbowl Boys High School in Sydney’s southwest has been in the news quite a bit of late. It especially involves its principal Chris Griffiths, who converted to Islam in 2014, but was recently sacked by the NSW Education Department.

punchbowlEven though he is now gone, the horror stories from this school keep on coming. Let me look at the various concerns raised both before and after his firing, by bringing together here various news reports. My first one – from March 3 – reports on why the sacking took place:

A Sydney high school principal and his deputy have been sacked after female teachers were excluded from school events…. The Education Department removed both men from their positions after several female teachers reported they were discriminated against. Some of those female teachers were furious with the decision to exclude them from taking official roles at a Year 12 graduation and awards presentation.
“Decisive action has been taken by the department to change the leadership team at the school,” Education Minister Rob Stokes said in a statement. “A new principal with great experience has been appointed, effective immediately.” According to the complaint, the award ceremony exclusion was just one of a number of issues at the school, which has predominantly Muslim students.
au.news.yahoo.com/nsw/a/34558100/principal-deputy-sacked-after-excluding-female-staff-members-at-punchbowl-boys-high-school/#page1

Another news item from the same day made even more alarming allegations:

Islamic students at a Sydney public school threatened to behead non-Muslim staff and declared themselves ISIS sympathisers, staff alleged. Police feared students at Punchbowl Boys High School were being radicalised after principal Chris Griffiths did not cooperate with a de-radicalisation program.
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4280164/Muslim-boys-threatened-behead-staff-Sydney-school.html

And this article from March 7 offers some follow-up to this:

A NSW Education Department boss has admitted things had “gone off the rails” at Punchbowl Boys High where a newly converted Muslim school principal refused to run a deradicalisation program.
Controversial principal Chris Griffiths and his deputy Joumana Dennaoui have been stood down following serious concerns he was planning to only allow Muslim students into the school after he recently converted to the faith.
Mr Griffiths is at the centre of a series of allegations he alienated non-Muslim teachers — including senior female teaching staff — and excluded them from key school events.
www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/muslimconverted-exprincipal-of-punchbowl-high-school-was-off-the-rails-says-education-department/news-story/06c0aef9593a48f185279b95ab7675c5?nk=6f6487c5bb4780072efd199ab0f4bc95-1489214417

A March 8 article notes how a radical Islamist group has condemned the decision:

The removal of the principal and deputy of a Sydney high school after a refusal to co-operate with an anti-radicalisation campaign is an “extremely worrying development”, according to controversial Muslim organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir.
www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/education/islamic-group-backs-sacked-punchbowl-boys-high-principal/news-story/0a0469cb64af7813c4d0daa0d2fc8f31

The new principal has already been threatened according to this March 9 piece:

A newly appointed principal at a western Sydney high school has faced threats amid community anger over the Education Department’s decision to remove former principal Chris Griffiths. Education Department secretary Mark Scott confirmed a threat had been made against the recently instated principal of Punchbowl Boys High School, Robert Patruno.
Mr Patruno, who most recently headed the education unit inside Reiby Juvenile Justice Centre, was encouraged by the department to report the threat to police, Mr Scott told Ray Hadley on 2GB. “It’s appalling… and it’s disturbing, and that’s why we encouraged the principal to brief the police on it,” he said.
A 19- or 20-year-old man – not a student at the school – reportedly told Mr Patruno: “We’re going to get you, we’re going to f*** you up you, dog, f*** you”.
www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-09/threats-made-against-new-punchbowl-high-school-principal/8339556

This piece from March 10 offers more on how bad things were getting there:

High-school students are being pressured to attend daily prayer meetings, lectures on the Koran and even cut their hair by peers badgering them to conform to Islam, according to ‘scared’ parents at Punchbowl Boys High School. The Punchbowl high school in Western Sydney has been identified as one of 19 New South Wales schools at risk of radicalising Muslim students.
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4297648/Punchbowl-high-school-students-Muslim-radicalisation.html?ito=social-facebook

Consider these worrying claims made in another March 10 piece:

The furious parents of a year seven Sydney student have accused his controversy-riddled high school of being run more like a “mosque” than a public school. They claimed that their son was bullied over his long hair and when he opted not to join in prayers at Punchbowl Boys’ High School.
“The kids come up to my son and ask him ‘come and pray, come and pray’. But we do different things to other families and the school. Why does prayer have to be in school time?” the boy’s mother said.
“Why are they letting kids go on like this about religion? My kid has long hair but some kids told him that it was going against their religion. He goes to school to learn, it’s not a mosque. Religion is for the home, not for the school.
“I’m angry because it’s a public school. Why should my kid go to school feeling scared? He’s only in year seven.”
au.news.yahoo.com/a/34607276/punchbowl-high-school-being-run-like-a-mosque-parent-says/?cmp=st#page1

And a March 11 article added this to the growing list of concerns:

Last week, the principal of Punchbowl Boys High School was sacked amid concerns that police who wanted to help with deradicalisation programs had been locked out of the school. Chris Griffiths was removed amid suggestions he was shutting out police, rejecting anti-radicalisation programs and sidelining women at school functions.
The Weekend Australian has been told that Griffiths, a convert to Islam, was reluctant to co-operate with a statewide audit of school prayer groups. The school was not alone in this — just 34 of the 155 prayer groups surveyed kept attendance records. As one of the most influential leaders in Sydney’s Muslim community, Jamal Rifi this week weighed in to a controversy that has gripped his community.
With various allegations swirling, Rifi, who knows all the main players in the drama, has no doubt about the verdict: the principal of Punchbowl Boys High School was sacked last week for being bad at politics. Griffiths had replaced Jihad Dib, a legend in southwest Sydney who dramatically ended the school’s gang and drugs culture and on the back of that popularity became the local member of the NSW parliament.
www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/education/inside-punchbowl-boys-high-school-a-battle-for-hearts-and-minds/news-story/f7145bf107c711647f2e1165fc84aa00?nk=6f6487c5bb4780072efd199ab0f4bc95-1489213402

Sadly the happenings at Punchbowl are not a one-off. Many folks have warned about what is known as creeping sharia and stealth jihad in the West. The events occurring at Punchbowl High seem to be a perfect illustration of this. Right under our very noses the violent, misogynist and anti-Western political ideology known as Islam is making footholds all over the place.

Today it can be a high school, tomorrow a church or media outlet, the next day our parliament or military. Indeed, all these areas have seen major Islamic inroads taking place. And much of this is funded directly by you and me – the taxpayer.

It is good news that Griffiths and his deputy have been given the flick. But how many more schools across the country are also in need of some spring cleaning? This story will not be the end of it. Sadly, it seems to be only the beginning.

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9 Responses to Punchbowl High and Creeping Sharia

  • Dear Bill,
    Another excellent article. The only thing that surprises me is our collective surprise when the misogyny and supremism of Islam comes to the fore. It was ever thus!

  • This principal used to be a church worship leader… gotta watch for creep…how can anyone taste the goodness of Christ, and turn?

  • @Craig
    I personally have no idea about the principal’s reason to convert. But if I were to hazard a guess, I suspect an underlying factor may be shallowness of whatever Christian religion he’s been having previously.
    I recall reading some testimonies of people who have become Muslim and a common thread seems to be attraction to discipline and firm, clear rules, laws and instructions on how to live. Compare that to much of modern Christianity, which seems to offer nothing more than just some notion of ‘love’ and ‘acceptance’ and not much else on how to live.
    Of course, this is just my guess and I could be wrong.
    In any case, I do recall Christ warning long ago of people apostasizing from him.

  • Bill,
    I heartily concur with Mark Wong’s comments. I worked with English and Irish Roman Catholics some years ago and as soon as they got out of their school systems they would have nothing to do with the “Christianity” they had known and practised. In the Anglican church I used to attend, there was a drive to make real Christians out of nominal “Christians”. Both had the same problem, that not one of them had met Jesus as Saviour and Lord through personal repentance. It seems they had been inoculated against Christ by their religion.
    This leaves both them simultaneously against Christ (or their perception of what He is all about, apart from natural enmity), free of a certain oppression, and hungry (often unknowingly) for the “real thing”. This hunger of course, satan will fill with another substitute, e.g. Islam, for the reasons Mark has shared. There is an added impetus too, I think, which is the hunger for order and authority in a chaotic, crumbling world. There are many contradictory world views that are operating at the one time in society and that this is subconsciously perceived by many people, leading to an existential dis-ease, and a hunger for order. This hunger, to me, is also confirmation of us being made in God’s image, as He is a God of order, hence peace, not of confusion (1 Cor 14:33).
    This issue of seeking firm authority and direction was addressed in a book from the 60’s (?) titled “Why Conservative Churches are Growing”. I cannot remember the author, though you and/or some readers may.
    Robert Greggery.

  • Robert Greggery, I assume you must be referring to Dean M. Kelley’s 1972 book “Why Conservative Churches are Growing”. Kelley is not the only scholar of religion to reach this conclusion. For another example of the same point, see Rodney Stark’s 2015 book “The Triump of Faith”.

    Conservative churches grow because they offer people something they can’t get from non-religious society – a sense of meaning and purpose and clear answers to life’s questions. Most liberal churches aren’t very good at giving clear answers – they peddle a theology of uncertainty and doubt and more questions than answers which few find satisfying. Many liberal churches are nearly indistinguishable from left-wing political activist groups – but if your church is just a left-wing political group, why bother with the religious garb, why not just stick to pure politics? Conservative churches tell their flock that if they stop going to church they are risking their salvation – liberal churches say everyone is saved no matter what they do, so when their members decide they’d rather spend their Sundays doing something else, liberal churches have no convincing reply.

  • Thanks Zack. Yes I mention his book and a few others like it here;

    billmuehlenberg.com/2016/11/18/churches-growing-declining/

  • More than likely he never was a Christian, just an imitator. There are many people who walk the walk and talk the talk but are dead inside, it’s easy to see how such a person could be enticed by a more militant and strict religion. Christmas warned us off such false teachers.

    Mathew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

  • This is a common problem in the west. Spineless politicians & the political correctness of the media are shielding the problem of creeping Islamification. The few politicians such as Hanson & Lambie who are not afraid, are persecuted by the left for telling the truth. You only have to look to Europe to see what is in store for Australia.

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