Cairo, June 13: A secretary working at a Muslim school in the United Kingdom quit her job following claims that she was really a man cross-dressed as a woman, the Telegraph reported Saturday.
Shifa Patel, 28, who wore traditional Islamic garb-head scarf and full length robe to work, was forced to leave her job as a secretary in the al-Islah Muslim Girls School in Blackburn, Lancashire after photos from social networking site Facebook showing her with short hair and dressed in pants were circulated widely in school as evidence that she was a man dressed as a woman.
Worried parents launched a campaign to have her removed from the school’s administration worried she was actually a male dressing as a woman.
” I have irrefutable medical evidence that I’m a woman ”
Shifa Patel, administrator
Nizamuddin Makda, 57, one of the school’s founders who employed Shifa Patel as an administrator in 2003 said the photographs showed her with short hair in “manly clothes behaving like a man,” adding that although Patel is a female, some parents were not sure of her gender after seeing the pictures.
Parents of students demanded proof Patel’s gender. Patel reportedly underwent medical examination to prove she was female while the acting head teacher, Fatima Patel, sent out a letter to parents reassuring them of the secretary’s sex.
“I have irrefutable medical evidence that I’m a woman,” Shifa Patel was quoted in the Telegraph.
” The people who have done this to me have hurt me so badly. I’ll never forgive those who did this and spread these lies ”
Shifa Patel, administrator
However, medical tests were not enough to put the matter to rest and a group of parents marched to the school in a campaign demanding Patel’s resignation prompting police to arrive at the scene.
“Police were called to the school after reports that people were trying to damage school doors,” Sergeant John Rigby, of Lancashire Constabulary’s minority team said. “When we arrived a group of 10 to 15 people were outside the school.”
“This is an entirely internal school matter and police were simply there to calm the situation down,” he added
“The people who have done this to me have hurt me so badly. I’ll never forgive those who did this and spread these lies,” Shifa Patel said after submitting her resignation.
” Police were called to the school after reports that people were trying to damage school doors ”
Sergeant John Rigby
“It will take a lot for Shifa to get her confidence back,” Fatima Patel, the former acting head who also quit in protest at the secretary’s treatment, said.
Al-Islah Muslim Girls is a private school that offers Islamic and state education to 200 students and occupies the first floor of a red-brick mosque in Blackburn.
It was established in 1995 by parents who were concerned about the state school environment and the effect it might have on their children.