THE former vice-principal of Burnley’s international Muslim girls college is taking her ex-employers to task – for religious discrimination.

Ghazala Khan insists that she was ostracised at the Shorey Bank institution, run by the Birmingham-based Mohuiddin Trust, because she didn’t follow the same Islamic teachings.


She told an employment tribunal in Manchester that the-then principal Mohammed Bashir told female students not to listen to her because she was an ‘outsider’.

And she said that one of the teachers refused to speak to her because she did not wear the veil, or niqab, while taking lessons at the college, which charges £5,500 for international residential students and £4,500 for UK and European enrolments.

Mrs Khan also believes that she was further singled out when female students came to her for advice, after the same teacher was adamant that all his pupils must also wear the niqab in his classes.

“I said that nowhere in Islam does it say that you have to go into lessons wearing the veil.

“They said it was necessary to make all girls wear the veil”, she said.

Questioned by employment judge John Sherratt about her discrimination claims, she said that was also not respected because she was female and not considered a Muslim ‘scholar’, despite being an experienced teacher.

Mrs Khan said: “The only way that we differ is that they say the Sheik, the founder of the college, is going to take them to heaven and everyone who does not believe in him is going to hell.

“I believe that God is forgiving and everyone will be judged on their merits. They say that you can do many sins as you like, as long as you have taken an oath to the Sheikh he will guide you to Jinnah and heaven.”

The leader of the Mohuiddin Trust, which established the international girls college in Burnley four years ago, is Sheikh Alaudin Siddiqui Sahbib, said to be a leading Sufi of the Naqshbandi Order.

No-one from the trust was present at the Manchester hearing yesterday and Judge Sherratt ordered that a letter be faxed to the trust’s headquarters in Victoria Road, Aston, Birmingham, before the tribunal reconvenes today.

The judge said that Mrs Khan’s religious discrimination case may proceed in the trust’s absence, if they are not legally represented today.

The case was originally listed to run for four days.

The hearing was told that Mr Bashir was no longer vice principal at the Burnley college and had been replaced by Shenaz Saddique.

Mrs Khan had been vice-principal at the college for around a year before she was officially dismissed in 2012.