Anti-Semitic teacher loses tribunal claim that his views are a legitimate 'philosophical belief'

The man was sacked after allegations of anti-Semitic abuse

James Legge
Friday 05 July 2013 12:08

A primary school teacher sacked after allegations of anti-Semitic abuse has lost his attempt to argue that his views were a “philosophical belief” covered under the Equality Act.

The man, named only as Mr Arya, lost his job after being accused of pushing and shouting at a child; making sexist and racist comments about colleagues; and directing anti-Semitic abuse at a colleague in a text and email.

He argued he was discriminated against by the London Borough of Waltham Forest for his view that “the Jewish religion's professed belief in Jews being 'God's chosen people' is at odds with a meritocratic and multicultural society." He said this was a philosophical belief, protected under the Equality Act.

According to the Huffington Post, Arya insisted he did not consider himself to be anti-Semitic, but he told the employment tribunal of his belief that a Jewish cabal controls society, with a Jewish lobby influencing politics and the media.

Arya said there was a “vastly disproportionate” focus in Western culture on the historical suffering of Jews, with little on the “anti-social aspects of Hebrew culture”.

Of the Holocaust, he said that there is a “definite and controlled effort to give a one-sided version of history."

“The Jewish situation has been institutionalised to serve as a convenient profiteering racket by third and fourth generations of Jews,” he said.

The tribunal found that the teacher's anti-Jewish sentiment was a “genuinely held” and serious belief “going back to his childhood”, but that it did not meet the criteria for a philosophical belief.

The judge dismissed Mr Arya's complaints of discrimination and harassment, but the tribunal will hear the other complaints he has lodged.

XPertHR, which wrote a detailed report on the case, said the decision should “reassure employers that outrageous or offensive views are unlikely to be protected by equality legislation, because the open expression of these views would in turn discriminate against others.”

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