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Never Too Young

•, By Theodore Dalrymple

By the age of 4, it was surely essential that they should learn that not all children had a mummy and daddy, but that some had two of one and none of the other.

This teaching did not altogether please the parents of the children, 50 percent of whom were Muslim. Some of them started to demonstrate outside the school, among them those dressed in coal-black crow costumes. One of the local members of parliament supported the parents, to an extent. Surely, he said, this could all wait until the children were, say, 7? Thus he hoped to have it both ways and garner the votes both of the conservative Muslims and of the revolutionary libertines.

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