View Full Version : Birmingham school governor denies ‘Trojan Horse’ plot claims

04-14-2014, 09:36 AM

Muslims in the news again.
Birmingham school governor denies ‘Trojan Horse’ plot claims

A governor at a Birmingham school alleged to be the target of an “Islamic takeover plot” has described the claims as a “witch hunt”.

David Hughes, a governor at Park View School, defended it against what he said were “unfounded attacks”.

The Department for Education (DfE) is investigating 12 schools over the alleged plot.

Ten MPs have asked for the council and DfE to jointly review any lessons to be learned following the investigation.

In a letter to Education Secretary Michael Gove the Birmingham MPs said it was “essential” such a review was undertaken, led by an advisor appointed by the two organisations.

A so-called “Operation Trojan Horse” letter claimed responsibility for leadership changes at four Birmingham schools, but its authenticity has not been established.

‘No complaints’

Mr Hughes, who describes himself as a “white, practising Anglican Christian”, has been a governor at the Alum Rock school for more than 15 years.

“In all my time as a governor we have not received a single complaint about ‘extremism’ or ‘radicalism’.

“If we had we would have investigated it openly and thoroughly,” he said.

Ofsted has confirmed it is carrying out a number of snap inspections at Birmingham schools, including Park View, at the request of the DfE.

Mr Hughes said he suspected the school would receive a negative Ofsted report, despite previously being rated as “outstanding”.

“The revisit of the inspection team gave every indication of having no wish other than to condemn the school – even the outstanding features,” he said.

“Are there areas to improve at the school? Yes of course, as there are at most schools.”

An Ofsted spokeswoman declined to comment on the remarks.

‘Fictitious allegations’

Last week Michael White, a former teacher at Park View School, said he was dismissed in 2003 after raising concerns about extremism among governors.

But Mr Hughes dismissed the claims, saying “at no time” during a disciplinary panel had Mr White raised concerns.

He said some former staff members were “smearing” the school and “sharing fictitious allegations”.



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05-19-2014, 08:34 PM
Trojan Horse

Tahir Alam is allegedly the man behind a blueprint for the ‘Trojan Horse’ plot for the radical ‘Islamisation’ of secular state schools. An alleged plot to takeover some of Britain’s schools by Islamist extremists has been reportedly masterminded by a ringleader who had drafted a guide document on the process, a media report has said. Tahir Alam, chairman of governors at Park View school in Birmingham, is allegedly the man behind a blueprint for the so-called “Trojan Horse” plot for the radical “Islamisation” of secular state schools. He called for “girls [to] be covered except for their hands and faces”, advocated gender segregation in some school activities, and attacked a “multicultural approach” to collective worship, the Sunday Telegraph' reported. In his 72-page document, published by the Muslim Council of Britain in 2007, Tahir Alam and co-author Muhammad Abdul Bari categorically attacked many state schools for not being “receptive of legitimate and reasonable requests made by some Muslim parents and pupils in relation to their faith-based aspirations and concerns”. They described how Muslim governors could be activated to press the “views and aspirations of Muslim parents and the local community” on reluctant schools. Birmingham has a large Muslim population, nearly 22 per cent, according to the 2011 census. The “Trojan Horse” plot had come to light recently and involves the alleged takeover of secular state schools and the removal of secular head teachers in Birmingham by radical Muslim staff and governors.
There are more Methodist schools than Muslim schools in England and 33% of English state schools are Christian. There’s been a big kerfuffle over a supposed Muslim influence on six schools in Birmingham, with outlets like the BBC and Telegraph alleging a “Trojan horse” takeover by Muslim parents. But whether you agree with religion in schools or not, the faith that is most clearly represented in Britain’s education system is Christianity. There are more Methodist schools (26 or 0.13%) than Muslim schools in England. Out of the total number of state-funded schools (primary and secondary) in England this is what percentage were Muslim in 2012. Some 0.06% or 12 schools are Muslim faith schools. Out of all UK state-funded schools, 33.61% or 6751 schools are Christian. School segregation: 12% of state schools are split into boys and girls. Charges against the six schools in Birmingham include not teaching the curriculum, inviting radical speakers to talk to the children and gender segregating classrooms – to the detriment of girls. A small, but significant number of traditional British schools are split by gender too.
The man accused of being at the centre of the plot, Faisal Khan, has denied the allegations, saying his sole motive was to improve the standards at schools and that he had no wish to “Islamize” British schools. British authorities are now investigating the alleged plot. UK Education Secretary Michael Gove appointed Peter Clarke, former head of Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command, to lead the probe. The appointment of Clarke has faced criticism, with critics saying the move has resulted in rising fears over a possible government crackdown on Muslim communities in the UK. There are concerns that the plan could prevent ordinary Muslims from getting involved in their children’s schooling affairs for fear of being branded extremist.

“The idea that MCB document was a Communist or Trotskyite-type plot to takeover all Birmingham/UK schools is laughable. This feeds into a wider 'counter-jihadist' (Breivik, EDL, etc) narrative that Muslims want to "take over". To describe the handbook as 'a document on manipulating teachers and curriculum' or 'a detailed blueprint for the radical "Islamisation" of secular state schools', as Sunday Telegraph says, is an insult to the many thousands of professionals and lay people who have been involved over the last ten years in the massive improvements in the educational achievement of young Muslim people. There is a level of hysteria building which is not justified, we need to take the temperature down and politicians must not play with these issues or else face a potential backlash, possibly in community cohesion." Abdul Bari
The whole saga is outrageous, beyond belief and frankly if it was not so serious, it would be comical. The documents on which this whole action is perused is false and as there is no proof of extremism in schools, Mr Gove has made it illegal for Muslims to have conservative views (coming from a minister of conservative government, its comical really). Feel like we are back in the fifties in the USA again. Michael Gove is an avowed Zionist which is not the best way to approach issues like this! Because it can lead greater attacks on Islam. It amazes me that on the basis of an anonymous letter the whole country has been lead to believe that there is an organised plot to somehow take over schools, now allegedly across the length and breadth of Britain! Furthermore the amount of coverage that this has received from the media as being a credible story, to me, suggests the level of Islamophobia in our society has reached alarming and dangerous heights. I would suggest that for the sake of fairness, equality and justice all schools are subject to the same level of scrutiny. For example Christian, C-of-E, Jewish and Hindu, Sikh schools. I believe that this not only a witch hunt but a move to tarnish and undermine the credibility of Muslims in general and the noble teachings of a widely practiced and rapidly growing religion which a people devotedly choose to follow. Islamophobia should be stopped - especially when the racist is a government minister or department. you must share this island with many people, why does it belong to one people? Grammar schools regularly carry out gender segregation, shall we remove those Head teachers too.

The horse in question, it is alleged, contained Muslim extremism – brought to state schools by stealth, by governor bodies launching subtle pincer movements, to remove the kind of pesky teachers who might object to the segregation of pupils by sex, or a refusal to stick to the syllabus. How incredibly extremist. Schools where segregation of pupils by sex occur. How different from boy's only Grammar schools and High schools for Girls that exist in predominately Conservative areas. And that exist predominately in the private school sector. It does though surely produce better exam results, as pupils are less influenced by the idea of 'girl's subjects' and 'boy's subjects', and are less likely to be distracted by sex. Allegations of an Islamic takeover plot of Birmingham schools are just the latest in a string of slurs against Muslims. It is not clear what is meant by an "Islamic plot takeover", and whether that is the same thing as saying or hinting that some Muslims might want to get some schools to adopt their particular version of Islamic religious values, behaviours and life-styles. If it is the latter, that would not necessarily be an indication of "terrorism", so I struggle to see the need for 'counter-terrorism' input. It is not terrorism in any way shape or form. It is important to remember this is not about Islam as such but yet another chance to bash people perceived as foreigners. To many Muslim is another word for immigrant and coloured person, two terrible bugbears. Why should an unnamed, undated, unspecific source has effected students, teachers, governors, parents in one swoop. It has serious implications on unfounded accusations for hundreds of people. In no way shape or form is this right, nor should have it EVER happened. Just by a anonymous letter how can you judge the schools and it is bringing such bad vibe to Birmingham schools and local Muslim community we feel like we're targets no matter how hard we try we will never please and move forward from the terrorist labelling. I am disgusted at the way these particular schools and governors were targeted for no reason other than being Muslim. No solid evidence wa available to substantiate these accusations which arose and yet such great weight and focus was attached to them. Morally unjust and utterly unacceptable. The Trojan Horse document was clearly written by someone who knows little about Birmingham and even less about Islam. It has chimed, however, with widespread Islamophobic fantasies and fears amongst non-Muslims, and as a result of unethical reporting in the media has done much damage.

On the one hand we get told we are not integrating enough and we should engage more in civic society. On the other, when we do, we get accused of having sinister agendas. Since when do concerns by religiously conservative parents about teaching on homosexuality, girls and boys mixing, and the reciting of prayers, require anti-terrorist experts to get involved? Allegations of an Islamic takeover plot in Birmingham schools aren't justified by the evidence – and the government response is way out of proportion. Perhaps its best to let the Muslim community sort these issues out. These are in effect Muslim schools now. It is up to the Muslim community to see off hard liners (if there are any) otherwise it is their own children's' education that will suffer. I think it would be very difficult for non Muslims to get involved either as governors or management so perhaps that it is one of the reasons for the conflicts that have arisen. It may be best for the Government to but out providing the record of the school is O.K. from an exam point of view. I am so disgusted that even after it was proved there is no factual evidence or basis for that racist and hate filled document, schools in Birmingham are being subjected to this horrific ordeal and the name of many good reputable teachers is being tarnished... Why? Clearly viewable that this accusation has been purposely placed on these schools which surprisingly consists of majority Muslim children. Clearly the school policies are being contradicted by Mr Gove as they clearly state that it is the schools priority and job to meet the needs of the local community and of the students within the school. So if a school is doing that then what is the issue? What is happening feels like the persecution of a religious group. This is important because the wit hunt feeds Islamophobia. As we can see from the bombings and arson attacks on mosques in the UK, Islamophobia is a very dangerous and divisive form of racism. I'm sick of this hatred of Islam and Muslims. Haters, ignorant scum, look for any means to target Muslims, now even in our schools. It's a joke and this has to stop. How hypocritical does a country have to be to illegally invade Muslim countries and then accuse Muslims of terrorism? I am a Muslim. I am an anti-terrorist.

I never realised how racist and anti-Islamic this country is until I moved here. These people are here legally and have the right to live how they want to. Just because there are terrorists who use Islam as a doctrine to justify their hateful acts, does NOT mean that every Islam wants to change Britain to Sharia Law, kill the gays and put all women in burkas! These people are being judged and punished for the actions of others that have nothing to do with them, simply because they are of the same religion. Do you judge Germans in the same way because their country committed genocide? Or the Irish if they are from an area where religious conflict was particularly violent? No. Seems like thinly veiled racism to me, not the 'staunch upholding of British rights against religious extremists' as you all seem to espouse. What do people mean when they talk about 'multiculturalism'? If a lot of people come from a foreign country and settle in a particular area they will bring the culture of that country with them. Of course they will want their schools to promote their values. Gender segregation is everywhere in the Muslim world including in EU applicant, Turkey, so either we believe in Britain as multicultural or we don't. You don't get to pick and choose the bits you want. Why not sit down with parents and listen to their concerns, instead of ordering an investigation? Shocked at this terrifying witch hunt against Muslims who are simply trying to raise standards. Its totally unacceptable to create a furore in the country over anonymous accusations with no proof. Because it is a divisive move and will affect community relations. This is the very reason why society does not function properly, this is a deliberate attempt to spread fear amongst communities, as the best way to control a nation is through fear itself. because this is NOT ,,I repeat is NOT an Islamic plot to take over Birmingham, so DO NOT put false information in the media to put Muslims down!!!!! What next.....Muslims taking over hospitals, banks, pubs....come on... Tomorrow, a Pakistani MP would become the PM of GB and this does not mean that the country has become a colony of Pakistan.

What's taking place is an absolute disgrace. This whole witch hunt is putting Muslims off from becoming governors at a time when it is need the most. Why should Muslim parents be targeted when all they want at the end of the day is a good all round education for their children. Before Muslims governors came on to the scene all the inner city schools were doing poorly and failing all the children of the school. Muslim parents were criticised for their lack of involvement in their children's schools. Now they are being vilified. It is an absolute disgrace that an ex anti terrorist police office has been brought in to investigate the situation. It stinks of racism and the desire to label all Muslims into the category of extremist and jihadist. What a disgrace by the national and the local government. It's wrong for Gove to be deliberately politicising our Education system. All our children deserve respect and not to be scapegoated. What a total waste of tax payers money and tactical manoeuvre by Michael Gove to divert attention away from the real issues. Gove’s war is designed to destabilise governing bodies where Muslims form a majority. Don't want us to be part of 'big society'? We totally reject the idea that there is Muslim plot to take over Birmingham schools. We abhor the scapegoating of the Muslim community being whipped up by the media. We call for the removal of Peter Clarke as we believe this is a provocative appointment, designed to divide our community. I don't believe that there is an Islamic Plot to take over Birmingham schools. It's a set-up. Anonymous complaints have been used in the past to hound good head teachers of community schools out of their jobs in order to facilitate the creation of academies. This whole story smells of falsification and corruption. I suspect that the people wishing to take over schools are not Islamic extremists, but Academy Chains with business interests. A shamefully irresponsible and sensationalised inquiry whose adverse impact on community relations locally and nationally will sadly be lingering long and far.

If British authorities are so concerned about their education institutions being infiltrated by ``extremists'' then I suggest they stop Tony Blair, architect in chief of the illegal and violent 2003 Iraq invasion from speaking at colleges and universities across the UK and the world. His lies and fabrications caused the deaths, directly and indirectly, of thousands of Iraqis, British and Americans. While the survivors of his wars suffer in silence, this former British Prime Minister makes millions through his speaking engagements at educational institutions across the world with little or no sign of remorse for the suffering he caused. Nothing I see in the above articles suggests the British Muslim educators in question did anything illegal, let alone anywhere as remotely destructive as the twice elected British Prime Minister. Britain's interests would be served better if they questioned their own domestic and overseas policies instead of perennially whining on about ``extremist'' from their (mostly) law abiding immigrant communities.

There are a total of 21300 Primary and 3900 Secondary schools in the UK. Finding that 6 out of these 25200 had board members who wanted to push their extremist views over the governance of those school is not a Islamic Plot or Trojan Horse to Islamises UK. This is a massive overreaction and the Islamophobia on display in the comments is more terrifying than the actual case itself. Stop the racist witch hunt in Birmingham schools. We Muslims have a right to our religion. I decry everything which denigrates Muslims in this country. The media and governmental attitudes and actions, inflame prejudice and ignorance. We want the best for our children and such baseless witch hunt of school governors does not help the cause of better education.

Stop this hate against Muslims. It is not them who are terrorists , but all those who imply they are with the help of media you try bringing others to your side giving false details - twin towers wasn't Muslim either - that was the Americans - you will not win as Islam Will forever grow and prove it is peaceful through the will of God (Allah SWT)... amen. This is undermining confidence in the Muslim community and increasing Islamophobia. This is another example of the media whipping up hysteria against the UK Muslim community. The way our Govt treating British Muslims is as if all Muslims are terrorists unless they prove otherwise. Govt should focus on its job. Governors of this school worked hard to help a failing school achieve outstanding rating from Ofsted. Please fix Ofsted and stop demonising Muslims. Nick Clegg on LBC radio indicated that the DFE is full of right wing ideologues and extremist loons. Islamic schools protect Muslim children from the onslaught of Euro centrism, homosexuality, racism, and secular traditions. All education systems appear to be indoctrination systems. I went to a good private school. Guess how we were 'encouraged' to think about politics! Having a Muslim name in UK is a crime. All UK job application forms have sections ask your race and religions. Most UK employers simply reject your applications just by looking at this section.

Native Brits must learn to respect and tolerate those who are different. The needs and demands of the Muslim community are different from those of natives. Muslims are in Britain not to give up their cultural heritage. They must integrate in their new home country, learn new languages and apply for political representation -- without forgetting their cultural heritage. It is important to learn Standard English, but their languages should not be neglected. They need Masajid and grave yards. Muslim children not only need halal meat or Eid Holidays but they need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their development period also. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.
A Muslim is a citizen of this tiny global village. He/she does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit. The whole world belongs to Muslims. He/she must learn and be well versed in Standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. At the same time, he/she must learn and be well versed in Arabic, Urdu and other community languages to keep in touch with their cultural heritage and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. For a Muslim English is an economic language and Arabic is a religious while Urdu and other community languages are their social and emotional languages.
Muslim children not only need halal meat or Eid Holidays but they need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their development period also. There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This means the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islamic teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline, structure and boundaries. Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their needs and demands. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. Legally, the state has an obligation to respect the rights of parents to ensure that 'education and teaching(of their children) is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.' The schools must satisfy the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural needs of Muslim pupils. State schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers are not in a position to satisfy their needs. A good school is not just a knowledge factory or a conveyor belt for churning out exam passes - it is a community, a family. A community is held together by common values and principles.
Iftikhar Ahmad
London School of Islamics Trust


05-20-2014, 11:58 AM

Another update
Ofsted abandons inspection of Luton Muslim school after homosexuality row

Ofsted staff were forced to abandon their inspection of a Muslim primary school in Luton on Thursday after being confronted by parents angry that their children as young as nine had been questioned in private about their attitudes to homosexuality.

The inspectors, including a senior employee, cut short their review of the Olive Tree primary school, an independent Muslim faith school, after the group of parents said they would withdraw their children from the school as long as the inspectors remained.

Ghulam Shah, a parent of one of the children interviewed by the Ofsted inspectors, said his 10-year-old son was upset by the way the questioning was carried out, and that as a parent he was concerned he had not been told the inspectors would be discussing sex with his children.

“He was sat with a male adult who looked him in the eye and said, ‘What do you know about gays?’ What that made him do, it made him panic, and he said ‘I don’t want to continue this conversation,’ because he felt scared, intimidated,” said Shah. “It’s horrible for a child to be in a room with somebody they’ve never met before, who’s not with a teacher and not with a parent.”

A spokesman for Ofsted said: “We can confirm that inspectors withdrew from the second day of an inspection in Luton. However, sufficient evidence was gathered to complete the inspection.”

Ofsted inspectors were left to their own discretion regarding the nature of questions about sexuality posed to different age groups, the spokesman said.

Shah said his son told him about the conversation with the inspectors after he picked him up from school on Wednesday.

“He said, Dad, when they took us to the side room, they said ‘Do you guys know what gay means?’. My son said, yes, I do know what it means, what’s that got to do with our education? They said, ‘Are you exposed to it in any way, good or bad, does the school teach you anything about it? My son replied, no, the school has not taught us anything about it but I have heard of the word and I’d rather not have this conversation with you at all.”

Shah said the inspector told his son not to be offended, telling him: “It’s just a part of the law we have to ask you.”

The questioning into attitudes to homosexuality follows reports that Ofsted inspectors repeatedly asked similar questions of Muslim pupils during the investigation into Birmingham schools over the alleged Islamist plot known as Trojan Horse.

But Ofsted said that questions about homosexuality were not restricted to Muslim or predominantly Muslim schools. “As part of any school inspection, inspectors will ask pupils about the effectiveness of the school’s actions to prevent and tackle discriminatory and derogatory language – this includes homophobic and racist language,” a spokesman said.

Olive Tree primary is an independent primary in the Biscot area of Luton, run by a charity. Those independent schools in England that do not come under the Independent Schools Council are inspected by Ofsted, under standards set by the Department for Education. Those standards include a requirement that schools have a duty to teach pupils tolerance of different groups within society.

The inspectors questioned the group of nine and 10-year-olds on Wednesday, and then met more than 20 parents who attended a scheduled meeting on Thursday morning as part of the inspection. TAt the meeting the parents raised the appropriateness of the questioning, and after discussion between the inspectors, parents and school, the inspectors opted to withdraw, ending the inspection a day early.

Farasat Latif, who is the chair of the trust that runs the school and a parent whose children attend it, said the meeting was largely amicable.

“One of the parents said to them, and all of us agreed, this is a safeguarding issue, we are not comfortable about adults speaking to our children about issues of sexuality. Therefore either you stop the inspection now or we pull our kids out, and they’re in the middle of Sats.

“When they realised we were serious about that, they left,” Latif said. “This is about sexualising young children.”

The inspectors also asked the children if they had seen anything on the news about terrorism that they had discussed in class.

Shah said the inspectors – when they were made aware of the parents’ feelings – did apologise for the manner of questioning: “They apologised three times, we should maybe have used an alternative route, maybe asked the head master, maybe asked the teacher or the parents to be present. But [they said] we can’t apologise for the law and what we’ve been sent out to do,” he said.



05-22-2014, 01:32 PM

SubhanAllah, some shocking events. First it was universities and now schools also, Allahul musta'an.

20/5/2014: The "Trojan Horse" Story

Once upon a time, there were some Muslims, in a big city in the UK, called Birmingham.

They weren’t part of a single organisation or even viewpoint or school of thought, but had been, in the main, born and educated in Britain, and had high aspirations for their children and community.

Around that time, there was a real shortage of governors in the inner city areas populated by Muslim families. Worse, the governors who were in place were in a few cases ineffective at holding the schools to account. Some of the leaders had low aspirations for the community they served, and the results reflected this. Some schools were shockingly poor; at Park View in Alum Rock, for example, the numbers attaining 5 GCSEs with English and Maths at Grade C+ - the minimum needed for meaningful further education – were in single digits. At Oldknow Junior in Small Heath, barely 25% of pupils were making SATs level 4 at the end of Year 6. Encouraged by the national and local government to participate and fulfil their civic duty, and concerned by underachievement, low expectations, and in some cases, incidents of embedded racism on local schools, increasing numbers of Muslims became school governors.

School governors are not paid, so the work done was entirely voluntary. It was difficult too. Governors were in some cases treated with suspicion and marginalised. Trying to change a failing organisation in any sector means that some people – preferring the status quo – will become disgruntled. But through strains and stresses, and opposition and even outright racism, governors and sincere school leaders and staff persisted with improvement. Their aim; first and foremost, was to increase educational achievement. After all, this would give hope and secure citizenship to a community with high levels of unemployment, crime, and disenfranchisement from society. Many governors were concerned about small sections of the community who were falling into extremism, and hoped that by giving the children a solid education and the opportunity to reach higher education or meaningful employment, they would have played a part in tackling this evil.

School governors must also safeguard the welfare of children, and being from the same faith and cultural background, these governors were well placed to cater sympathetically for their pupils’ needs. Some recognised that forcing Muslim pupils to participate in a daily act of Christian worship, was unfair and could alienate and confuse them, so in some schools, with the support and understanding of the head teacher, determinations were applied for, via correct legal channels, to ensure that the required daily act of worship could be broadly Islamic in nature. Some pupils requested prayer facilities – as practising Muslims pray 5 times a day, and one of these prayers falls in the school day, especially in the shorter days of winter. These were provided for those who wished to use them. Although some schools had banned hijab before, the wearing of the hijab became more prevalent among school-aged girls as the community in general rediscovered their faith.

Then the new idea of ‘Extended schools’ was championed, with all schools being strongly encouraged to work with outside agencies and also develop outreach themselves, to cater for their communities, for parents, and to make the school premises available out of school hours for enrichment activities. Some schools, mindful that some local madrassas were providing an Islamic studies education that was possibly narrow and poorly delivered, offered a school-based alternative, with vetted and trained teachers and assistants, and a curriculum designed to help children to learn about their faith and position as a British Muslim in the twenty-first century. When the requirement for schools to teach a modern foreign language at Key Stage 2 (junior phase) was introduced, the majority of schools across the country consulted parents and took into account the results of questionnaires. In inner city Birmingham, there was some concern from school leaders and governors about introducing a European language into schools and communities where the children really needed more focussed support on English grammar and vocabulary. When the parent body overwhelmingly requested Arabic as a modern foreign language in these schools – a language the majority of Muslim children of all ethnic groups already had experience of – it was decided to go ahead with this. After all, Arabic is an economically and politically important language, spoken by a great many countries in our increasingly interconnected world.

Anyway, the combined efforts of many hard working school leaders and governors – both Muslim and non-Muslim – began to make a huge difference in many schools. Park View and Oldknow, mentioned above, became Ofsted graded ‘Outstanding’ with exceptionally high results that even put them ahead of schools in neighbouring leafy Solihull. They are only two examples. But for those school leaders who were left with poorly performing schools, limping badly in comparison, every success from these schools was a personal blow. Their governors and parents were beginning to ask questions and it was no longer good enough to justify poor attainment by the high percentage of economically disadvantaged, ethnic minority children they served. Jealously was never well disguised as some head teachers began to try to vilify and even isolate the successful schools. Fearing for the position, they attempted to gain power over their governing bodies, placing close friends and supporters around them. Around this time, Muslims were joining the teaching profession in larger numbers. Most would tell stories of finding it harder to gain employment and promotion, or even trust, because of their faith, but some were appointed on merit and became school leaders at various levels, too. But Muslim school staff were still – percentage wise - nowhere near representative of the number of Muslim pupils in schools in the city.

Schools are big and complicated entities. It is, in fact, relatively common in all areas in the UK for there to be some conflict within them, and there are occasionally misunderstandings or even unfairness regarding personnel. Dealing with a grievance between a head teacher and the chair of governors is probably a monthly occurrence, unfortunately, for most local authorities. These areas are usually dealt with in a fair and dispassionate manner by the Local Authority (whose services are in many cases still bought in by academies), unions, external support services, and so on.

What led to the ‘Trojan Horse’ letter being written was unknown at the time. It was worded oddly, and to local Muslims, education staff and the police, was clearly inauthentic. It purported to be from one extremist in Birmingham – to another in Bradford, explaining a ‘game-plan’ to oust head teachers and ‘take over’ schools. The holes in it – such as the mention of ‘forcing’ out a head recently who had actually left her post a decade ago (and was Muslim!) were made clear by many. It was an unsigned, undated document of no veracity. But it lit up a fire that had been, for decades, smouldering away and igniting in bursts in Birmingham and the nation at large – the groundswell of Islamophobia and racism. Nobody who has walked or driven past a ‘Saracen’s Head’ or ‘Turk’s Head’ pub could deny that the ‘clash of civilisations’ between West and East is an ancient one indeed. It was hoped that civilisation had progressed beyond such raw prejudice, but that appears not to be the case yet. Is difficult to know how widespread racism and anti-Muslim prejudice is in the population – one tries not to go by lurid internet and media comments – but the groundswell of support for ‘anti-immigration’ parties has surprised many. The presence of Muslims in schools as pupils, staff and governors, seemed to have upset and disturbed many. Paranoia against ‘the other’ remains part of the human psyche, from the witch-hunts of the Middle Ages, to the more recent horrors of McCarthy-ism.

While recognising the letter as a malicious hoax, local authority officers, councillors, members of parliament and local head teachers and staff, still began queuing up to tell the media of their encounters with the extremist fifth column. The rich opportunity of financial compensation galvanised yet others to act. Many thousands of fraudulent insurance claims are thrown out yearly on Birmingham’s roads. Yet when similar unfounded moneymaking claims were made in schools, they were taken extremely seriously.

One head teacher noted that she felt as if she was being forced out by Muslim governors and parents who had requested that their sons and daughters (many, in Year 5 and 6, will have already reached puberty) be afforded the dignity of separate changing facilities. The school was advised, as many others do, to allow the boys to change in one room and girls in another, or to place a simple piece of cloth across the room as a screen. But the head had persisted in insisting that girls must undress next to the boys, prompting surprisingly polite dismay from the community. Feted by the press, she was held up as an example of the dastardly plot at work. Another came forward – in a number of articles - to complain that he believed that Islamist governors were asking difficult questions at meetings and repeatedly slashing his car tyres. Nothing further has been heard about the almost laughable allegations of criminal damage against middle-aged professionals. One member of staff at another primary school went to the Sunday Times to complain that the school she worked at had been ‘Islamised’. The evidence? She had overheard a Muslim governor saying, ‘Assalamu alaikum’ (peace be with you) in school.

Quite which forces were at work here are still unclear, but as with any good plot, many were from within the Muslim community itself. A relatively recent WhatsApp group had been set up to discuss education, and a wide variety of Muslims, practising and non-practising, were added. The discussions centred on a shared interest in education (and, as with most groups of this kind, jokes and cricket updates). With the transcripts leaked to the media by a Muslim member of the group, who had fallen out with one of the other participants, it acquired a new sinister meaning – as evidence that a secret underground network of Muslims was indeed in place in Birmingham. Members were ‘outed’ in the media and their statements taken out of context and sensationalised. The biggest dowse of petrol to fan the flames was provided by a Muslim Labour MP, Khalid Mahmood, who vociferously agreed that a ‘Salafi/Wahabbi’ takeover of the Birmingham education system was underway. Not realising that the purported ringleaders had more of a Sufi background, or even that the new generation of Muslims were moving away from such labels, his wildly repeated assertions were met with derision by Muslims – but absolute acceptance by some others. His membership of the Henry Jackson society – with Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove also a key figure - was made public soon after. The society’s founder, Douglas Murray, had publicly expressed his vision of ‘making life for Muslims in Europe as difficult as possible’, and he was on his way to achieving this, in part.

A tiny number of Muslim parents came forward too, with lurid claims which have since been categorically denied by the schools involved. One was afforded a whole Sunday Times article for his sadness that his wish for his daughter to learn French had not been granted as the school in question taught Arabic. No mention was made of the democratic decision that had been taken by the vast majority of parents. Despite schools holding celebrations, special meals, and exchanging of cards at Christmas, the fact that some did not have the traditional nativity play prompted media cries of ‘Christmas being cancelled’.

As the media hysteria hit new highs, four different investigations were announced. Mr Gove, dismissive of Birmingham’s local investigations, personally sent Peter Clark, former counter-terrorism officer, to the city. The news was undoubtedly a shock for the very Muslims under investigation – who had tried so selflessly to do their civic duty and were now equated with terrorists. A blanket of fear descended and many were left unable to answer back, blinking although they were rabbits in headlights. National political spats over education policy took over the arena as plans were laid to remove at least part of Birmingham Local Authority. With European parliament elections underway and national elections in a year’s time, politicians from the coalition and opposition tried to court public opinion by being seen as tough on Muslims working in schools.

Simultaneously, Ofsted arrived in the city to conduct dozens of inspections. These were described as harrowing by even non-Muslim head teachers. Schools judged Outstanding barely a year ago (the highest grade) were told they would be placed in Special Measures (the lowest grade) because they did not have ‘Prevent’ training in place and had not been educating the children on homosexuality. Children and teachers were routinely and aggressively lambasted for their religious belief and views – with girls being questioned about why they wore a headscarf and teachers being attacked for not having taught their 8-year-old pupils what lesbianism was. Inspectors roundly attacked the teaching of Arabic as a modern foreign language – although it had never been a problem before – and asked about why urinals were not installed and why schools had so many washing facilities. Some pupils went home in tears. Leaders and staff were in most cases, spoken to so aggressively, that it felt almost surreal. Leaders were told that they had to stop listening to their community. The National Association of Headteachers, having taken up the Trojan horse narrative and launched legal claims against a number of Muslim governors, stopped supporting Muslim head teachers who were affected. Muslim governors felt afraid and unsure where to turn. Some individually resigned out of fear of the impact of their lives and families. One whole governing body resigned together. The inspection findings were leaked to the right-wing media, who reported with glee on the demise of schools with exceptional academic attainment, to the worst grading of ‘Special Measures’ due to their failure to combat extremism. Schools were told that they ‘had the capacity to become Islamic’ and that was a ****ing indictment indeed.

But then sincere leaders and governors began to speak out again. Small voices, few in number, and but they did have some impact on the blaze of hatred. Some media outlets began to investigate and allow those who had been implicated to answer accusations fairly. Social media was used to discuss the unfair behaviour of Ofsted and some sections of the media. Park View Academy released a detailed media statement and video. Ofsted and the Secretary of state were undeterred, though. Continuing their narrative, schools in other cities were inspected and in one Muslim faith school in Luton, parents finally stood up and prevented Ofsted’s second day of inspection due to the routinely aggressive way in which children were questioned about their attitudes towards homosexuality. As this became a central tenet of the ‘investigation’, other schools with majority Muslim pupils quickly began to plaster their walls with pro-homosexual posters and incorporate discussion on this into their curriculum. On the premise that the Muslim community were now criminalised and Muslim pupils always potentially on the verge of terror offences, ‘Prevent’ training to deal with Muslim pupils, was hastily arranged too.

And then… what happened next in my story? I will leave that one up to you. Many Muslims will be interviewed by the investigators and we don’t yet know how intimidating that process will be. We don’t know whether more stringent procedures and hardships will be set in place by investigators or the media, to attack individuals believed to be behind a ‘plot’. What we do know for certain is that in June; Ofsted reports will be published, placing a large number of schools, some of them amazingly successful ones, into their ‘inadequate’ category. Schools will be dejectedly forced to remove the ‘Outstanding’ banners from their buildings and letterheads and relay the news to incredulous parents. Removal of the hardworking governors and in most cases, school leaders, will be recommended. These will need to be replaced by others deemed more sympathetic to government agendas. At around the same time, the results of the many investigations will be published.

As a community – and I refer to Muslims and non-Muslims here who are committed to excellence and inclusion – we don’t have a great deal of control of the future. But one thing we can control is our response. The Henry Jackson Society recently studied with interest, the reaction of Muslims in Denmark to the banning of halal meat. The hope was that the Muslims there would react with relative indifference and quietly restrict or change their diet to meet with the ideals imposed on them. What will Muslim parents, organisations and the community make of these changes? If they do little, this may well be seen as a green light to marginalise and intimidate them further. If they stand in unity, and refuse to allow popular and successful schools to be taken over, they could well positively change the entire course of the future of Muslims in the UK.

Written by a West Midlands parent and governor


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05-26-2014, 08:47 AM

Another update
Scathing report could shut Muslim school for promoting Salafi beliefs

Olive Tree primary disputes findings in draft report including claim library contains books ‘abhorrent to British society’

Ofsted inspectors have harshly criticised an independent Muslim school for promoting Salafi fundamentalist beliefs and rated the school as inadequate, in a possible prelude to it being closed or taken over by the Department for Education.

In their unpublished draft report, the inspectors said the school – the Olive Tree primary school in Luton – fails to prepare its pupils “for life in modern Britain, as opposed to life in a Muslim state”, and that its library contains books that are “abhorrent to British society” in their depiction of punishments under sharia law.

“Some books in the children’s library contain fundamentalist Islamic beliefs (Salafi) or are set firmly within a Saudi Arabian socio-religious context. Some of the views promoted by these books, for example about stoning women, have no place in British society,” the report argues.

But the school’s governors and trustees vehemently denied the findings of the inspectors, who had been forced to cut short their visit last week after being confronted by parents upset by their questioning of pupils about attitudes to homosexuality.

Farooq Murad, general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, on Wednesday wrote to Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, asking him to clarify the watchdog’s policy on teaching about homosexuality in independent faith schools, in the wake of the Olive Tree inspection.

In a copy of the letter seen by the Guardian, Murad says British Muslims were concerned by reports of the inspection, and calls on Wilshaw to show “evidence to support the assertion that such questions are not only asked of young children at Muslim schools”.

Responding to the draft report, the Olive Tree leadership said the school had no books available to children that described or advocated stoning women, and called a claim that the library carried no books on religions other than Islam “an outright fabrication”.

“We have a large number of books about different faiths, which the inspectors failed to notice, including The Diary of Ann Frank,” said Farasat Latif, the school’s chair of governors, who said the library also included works of fiction by authors such as Roald Dahl.

Latif also denied the school was Salafist – a reference to the conservative form of Islam most associated with Saudi Arabia – although he said some members of staff might describe themselves that way.

The school also disputed several of the other claims made by the inspectors, and described the draft report as a “catalogue of lies, half-truths and blatant Islamaphobia”.

“The draft report from Ofsted was Michael Wilshaw’s way of teaching a Muslim school a bloody good lesson for daring to stand up to them, an attitude not dissimilar to how the colonial masters dealt with the restless natives,” it said in a statement.

An Ofsted spokesman said: “We have shared a draft copy of the inspection report in confidence with the school for factual accuracy checking, as is our standard practice. The final report will be published shortly.

“Any concerns that a school has about an inspection should initially be raised during the inspection visit. If concerns have not been resolved, individuals or schools can raise a formal complaint with Ofsted in line with our published complaints policy.”

The inspectors also criticised the mixed school – which had about 60 pupils – for inadequate attention to national guidelines on safeguarding and child protection, although it said pupils were well supervised and that staff appointments and record checks were followed correctly.

The snap inspection was ordered by the Department for Education after reports that the headteacher had argued during a BBC radio discussion that homosexuality was punishable by death in an “ideal” Islamic state. Several other independent Muslim schools have also had recent snap inspections ordered by the department.

Under recent updates to the regulations governing independent schools the education secretary can close or replace the leadership of those rated as inadequate.

The draft report also criticised the Olive Tree school’s teaching, although it noted that pupils achieved good results in national standardised tests and were well behaved. It also praised the teaching of Arabic as “skilful”.

The report makes no reference to homosexuality, although the inspectors wrote: “Pupils’ contact with people from different cultures, faiths and traditions is too limited to promote tolerance and respect for the views, lifestyles and customs of other people.”

Latif said: “The inspectors scrutinised the pupils’ books and found no evidence of fundamentalist beliefs being taught. So their judgment is on the religion and not what is being taught.”



05-26-2014, 08:52 AM

A comment piece.

Muslims and the Politics of Fear

“Democracy is being allowed to vote for the candidate you dislike least.” – Robert Byrne

Campaigning is in full flow as Thursday 22nd May hosts not only the local council elections but also the European election. Councillors, seemingly beyond reach for years are now parading the streets, frequenting local businesses and religious establishments, reminding the people of their ever-availability to voice every disgruntled concern.

Unlike previous years, the current campaign has seen a surge in a number of unsavoury groups ranging from UKIP and BNP to EDL and the “mosque invaders” of Britain First. The recent ComResi/ITV News Poll put support for UKIP at 38% with the Tories trailing on 18%. With the perceived threat of all things Islam high on the right-wing agenda, Muslims are tempted to participate in the elections and exercise damage control with one hope: vote for the mainstream parties to keep the fringe elements at bay. But how will this fare for Muslims?

“People react to fear, not love. They don’t teach that at Sunday school, but it’s true.” – Richard Nixon

Even a cursory analysis of the growing anti-Islamic environment points to the British population being manipulated first and foremost by the traditional mainstream parties followed by prominent media personalities. It is the relentless use of loaded language associating Islamic practices with fearful narratives that has created the fertile environment in which bigoted movements have grown. The niqab issue and the media circus that followed grooming gangs were initiated by Jack Straw’s comments. David Cameron suddenly felt the need to remind everyone that Britain is a ‘Christian country’. Michael Gove stood as the first line of defence against the alleged “Trojan horse” Islamic schools takeover plot. It was in fact the BBC who were the first media outlet to break the story. Melanie Philips warned against the “Islamification” of Britain. Even the Liberal Democrats found common ground with Theresa May as they worked to place the equivalent of ASBO’s on conservative Islamic speakers or stop them from entering the UK altogether, as we saw with Dr Zakir Naik. Mainstream politicians clambered over themselves, after the death of Lee Rigby, to call on Muslims to root out a problem that they claimed had grown out of mosques and maddrasas. The Con-Dem government confirmed this view through the publication of the report in the wake of Lee Rigby’s death, “Tackling Radicalisation in UK” December 2013 report.

Jim Fitzpatrick the Labour MP was the first to complain about segregated seating at a Muslim wedding he was invited to. He and his wife later stormed out making his views very clear to the wider mainstream press. Later when the Universities UK issued a recommendation that accommodated voluntary segregated seating at Islamic society events, David Cameron waded into the debate believing it should not be allowed. The UUK were then forced to rethink its guidelines. Terrorism and Islam became interchangeable in Tony Blair’s speeches, with his then Home Secretary Charles Clark reinforcing the idea that mainstream Islamic ideas of Shariah, Ummah and Khilafah were the precursors to terrorist attacks.

It’s the mainstream political parties that have ploughed, watered and fertilised the field from which far right groups have grown out of. Despite this, campaigners plea that if Muslims don’t vote for the same parties who have developed the anti-Islamic environment, then the right-wing Islamophobes will get into power! The politics of fear banks on the fact that presenting Muslims with an alleged threat to their well-being will elicit a powerful emotional response that can override reason and prevent a critical assessment of government policies particularly foreign policy. The united stance by all parties against Islam is not coincidental but part of a wider ideological attack that transcends party allegiances due to the shared beliefs in the core ideas of secular liberal capitalism. These very values form the basis of an aggressive foreign policy that’s then prosecuted in the Muslim world under the euphemism ‘British national interests’.

Bearing this in mind, Muslims must consider a fresh approach; to vote and continue to have faith in the mainstream system is to simply feed the problem. Muslims must disengage and develop a grassroots alternative to the capitalist run political system, exhausting all halal avenues to counter the government narrative with the pure Islamic concepts.

It’s through developing an Islamic community that then stands as ambassadors to Islam, presenting the correct Islamic views and contrasting this to the rotten culture of capitalism which is harmful to all, can the Muslims begin to counter the demonisation of Islam. Through this direct engagement the toxic atmosphere that allows BNP, EDL or Britain First can be countered thus diminishing their appeal.
ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْØ-ÙÙƒÙ’Ù…ÙŽØ ©Ù ÙˆÙŽØ§Ù„Ù’Ù…ÙŽÙˆÙ’Ø¹ÙØ ¸ÙŽØ©Ù الْØ-َسَنَةِ وَجَادِلْهُ٠بِالَّتِي هِيَ Ø£ÙŽØ-ْسَنُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَ ¯ÙÙŠÙ†ÙŽ

“Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and have disputations with them in the best manner; surely your Lord best knows those who go astray from His path, and He knows best those who follow the right way.” [Quran TMQ 16:125]



Walter D
05-26-2014, 06:16 PM
Its a very unethical activity i am not sure how it can be working i mean whether this strategy of them is going to work or not but that is how they represent themselves as a unethical nation.Islam is being accepted in the World and the time isn't far when its gonna be the Region of every Human.

06-09-2014, 12:50 PM

Another update

Michael Gove accused of using ‘Trojan Horse’ row to push anti-Islam agenda

Michael Gove has been accused of cynically using the “Trojan Horse” schools row to push an ideological anti-Islamic agenda within the Government.

Whitehall sources revealed that behind the scenes the Education Secretary has been pressing David Cameron for months to widen the Government’s definition of Muslim “extremism”.

And they suggested that he has used allegations of a plot to “take over” a number of schools in Birmingham to press the Prime Minister to agree tough new measures to secularise schools in Muslim areas.

One said: “Michael Gove’s views are so incredibly black and white. It’s either his way or no way. He seems to think that anybody who strictly follows Islam is not really integrated.

“And he thinks anybody who holds conservative Muslim views is a bit of an extremist. He has been using Birmingham to pursue an ideological agenda that he’s had for many years.”

Mr Gove’s stance is understood to have caused unease among cabinet colleagues including the Home Secretary Theresa May and the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

In particular both were angry at his decision to appoint Peter Clarke, the former head of Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism department, to investigate the Trojan Horse claims using ministerial statutory powers. They believed they had an agreement with Mr Gove that his role should be voluntary. Ms May and Mr Gove are said to have had a number of “spats” in cabinet committee meetings.

A Downing Street source told ITV News that Mr Cameron was “keen to establish the facts” about the row.

Some in education circles are also questioning whether the problem in Birmingham is as significant as claimed by Mr Gove. Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers – who is representing several Birmingham headteachers – said he did not believe the allegations had the “widespread impact that some of the stories have suggested”.

The disagreements between Mr Gove and Ms May became public today after Mr Gove appeared to brief a newspaper that the Home Office was failing to “drain the swamp” of radicalised Islam. But this prompted a furious response from the Home Secretary, who authorised the leaking of a private letter in which she appeared to blame Mr Gove for the scandal, demanding to know “why nobody [had acted]”.

One source said that part of the dispute between Ms May and Mr Gove was personal – in part fuelled by leadership ambitions. “They are trying to outwit each other and have had some real spats in the past within Cabinet, where Michael has just ripped into Theresa and has tried to set her up to look stupid.”

There was also a warning that the dispute was undoing some of the good that came out of the united response to the murder in Woolwich of Lee Rigby. An ally of Ms May said: “Woolwich was considered to be a high-water mark in terms of community involvement.

“A lot of people were very optimistic. The Prime Minister’s response was very positive until tragically the point where Michael got involved. Since then things have gone the pan. Twelve months ago was the high point but now we have a whole community that feels completely marginalised by what’s going on.”

The Home Office and Department of Education put out a statement saying: “There is no difference between the Education Secretary and the Home Secretary, who are both working energetically together to tackle the challenge posed by any form of extremism.”


06-10-2014, 01:17 PM
Taken from the tests fro British Citizenship . . .
The fundamental principles of British life include:

• We support the right for everyone to choose whom they vote for and we denounce anyone who coerces or interferes in any other persons choice in particular husbands taking the vote of their wives.
• We abide by the law of the country put in place by our democratically elected politicians, enforced by our Police service and adjudicated on in the Queens Courts of law.
• We denounce any other law or custom that contradicts the laws of the country as illegitimate and un-British.
• We denounce those who support any form of physical punishment in particular, stoning, cutting of hands, feet and heads and female genital mutilation.
• We support every persons right to choose their own religion and their right to change that religion without rebuke or retribution.
• We support every persons right to choose their own sexuality and their own spouse or partner.
• We denounce those who force their children to marry against their will.
• We denounce those who accept slavery as legitimate.
• We do not forcefully impose our religious views on any other including our children.
• We do not isolate our children from the religious beliefs of others.
• We support the right of anyone to change their religion to another religion without criticism, rebuke or retribution.
• We make positive steps to integrate with the wider community.
• We do not isolate ourselves from the wider community.
• We accept and support the way of life and the cultural and social values of the wider community.
• We denounce those who support the notion of a separate community with different social values.


06-10-2014, 01:33 PM
David Hughes, the vice-chair of Park View Educational Trust, said: 'OFSTED inspectors had come "looking for extremism, looking for segregation, looking for proof that our children have religion forced upon them as part of an Islamic plot. The OFSTED reports find absolutely no evidence of this, because this is categorically not what is happening at our schools.'

Therefore quoting British values is one thing but abusing them to support political agendas is another.

As far as 'choosing one's own sexuality' goes, forcing schools to teach young children about homosexuality is hardly abiding by such a 'value'.

06-10-2014, 03:55 PM

A comment piece

The Word "Extremism" Does not Mean Anything

The word ’extremism’ does not mean anything. I confess, abjectly, to having used it in the past. But for some years now I have been trying very hard not to do so.

To the extent that it can be said to have any meaning at all, it is ‘opinion not fashionable, not approved of by mainstream at time under discussion’.

Anyone who has been paying attention to the status of various opinions, about morality and politics, over the past 40 years, will easily be able to see that opinions which were ‘extremist’ half a century ago are now in many cases mainstream and almost obligatory, and vice versa. The issue of whether they are correct or not, or just or not, cannot be decided by how modish or unfashionable they happen to be.

So , as you study the fuss about supposedly extremist-dominated schools in Birmingham and elsewhere, please bear that in mind.

The facts about these schools are disputed and hard to pin down. The original ‘Trojan Horse’ letter on which the whole row is founded does seem, by general agreement, to have been a hoax.

Not everyone involved may be telling the whole truth. I am quite prepared to believe some of the more worrying things we have heard about what some children have been taught or told in some of the schools involved. But I am also ready to believe some of the quite impressive declarations of innocence we have also heard.

The real problem we face is that we are still, officially a country which believes in freedom of expression and freedom of conscience, and specifically in freedom of religion. Indeed, I believe these were among the Four Freedoms, so charmingly depicted by Norman Rockwell, which Franklin Roosevelt recognized as the war aims of the allies in the Second World War.

More than that, we are a society which has an established Church, the Christian Church of England, and a country in which the churches, especially the C of E and the Roman Catholics, did much to set up schools for the children of the poor. They did this when the state was more or less uninterested in doing so. Thanks to various treaties between church and state, in which the Churches were in a strong position because of the work they had done, the state conceded large freedoms to the churches, especially the freedom to continue to maintain schools in the state system, which had a religious character and which are allowed to choose many of their pupils on a religious test.

In my view the Church of England were diddled, because the promise they extracted in return for ceding control of many schools, that all state schools would have a ‘broadly Christian’ daily act of worship, and that the national faith would be taught as such in schools, has been comprehensively broken. I use the word ‘comprehensive'deliberately,. The creation of vast new American-style high schools has made it far easier for these obligations to be shelved, forgotten or bureaucratically obstructed .'We just don’t have a hall big enough. We can’t fit it in to the timetable. We don’t have the qualified teachers', etc.

I’d be very interested in a survey of how many non-RC state schools actually deal with the Christianity question. I think it would show that most pupils could get through their school careers without ever encountering anything resembling organized Christianity ,as a living faith.

Now, one of the things I really like about Muslims is that they are not having any of that. They value their faith, they believe in it, and they see it is one of their main duties in life to pass it on, undiluted, to their sons and daughters.

And, since we allow Christians to have state schools, and since we have freedom of conscience, how exactly are we to deny them the freedom to do so, now that there are so many Muslim parents and children living in our country?

I simply cannot see how, without conscious, gross and blatant injustice, this could be done.

Now, the neo-conservatives who get into the most frenzied state of mind about alleged ‘extremism’ in schools are also keen supporters of the ‘open border’ and ‘free movement of labour’ policies which have led to the establishment in this and many other European countries of large and thriving Muslim communities.

Such policies are an essential part of their belief in global free trade and the downgrading of national sovereignty to a vestige, which all their policies and actions support.

This is an odd contradiction, far too seldom challenged.

The fact is that most religious views, examined coldly by those who don’t believe in them, can be portrayed as ‘extreme’. (There's a fine illustration of this in George Macdonald Fraser’s ‘Flashman at the Charge’, in which Flashman, posing as a Sepoy, listens to a Sepoy sergeant’s incredulous, scornful translation of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, one of the most beautiful stories in Christian scripture but here portrayed as a description of a more or less mad person).

I wonder how many of the firm beliefs of many of my more Calvinist or Romish friends, described in cold and unsympathetic prose, or even some of the sentiments in some quite popular hymns, could be made to seem like sinister and cultish absurdities, from which the young should be protected, with a little propaganda skill. Western atheists who bother to read Christian scripture are quite good at this sort of thing.

What also makes me pause before condemning too vigorously is that many of the Islamic opinions about or drunkenness and general sexual abandon, about which we purse our lips in horror, are more or less exactly what the average Anglican parson, Methodist minister or Roman Catholic priest would have felt (and said openly) in this country before 1914, and in some cases a good deal more recently than that.

Women in Europe and the Americas, who since the 1920s have dressed in ways that would have profoundly shocked all previous generations are amazingly unaware (as they trip merrily around the Muslim world) of how viscerally shocking their appearance and behaviour is to both men and women.

It is hard to think of any way of illustrating this, though perhaps if we started getting high-value tourism from alien planets (so high-value that we preferred not to turn it away) , whose female inhabitants wore nothing at all, or dressed as if for pornographic films, and engaged in adventurously unconventional sex in the streets and squares, we might be as shocked as much of the Arab and Muslim world is by our behaviour. We would, as they do, put up with it and pretend not to notice, but I suspect there might be moments of deep misunderstanding, even so. There would also be resentment.

These are the problems of multiculturalism, which encourages the creation of large solitudes next door to each other, of people who don’t necessarily want to integrate with each other, see no good reason to do so and often see several good reasons not to. It’s a tribute to the basic tolerance, patience and good nature of so many of those involved that we have got into such a mess, in our crowded cities, with so few open clashes.

Now, there is a special difficulty between Islam and Christianity. Islam believes that it is the final revelation, and that it has rendered previous Abrahamic religions obsolete. Christianity it is true, takes the same view of Judaism, or did so, but has now reined itself in. The old C of E Collect for Good Friday, which prayed for the conversion of ‘Jews, Turks, infidels and hereticks ’ has been quietly retired , and Pope John Paul II put a stop to similar trends in the RC Church, both by his personal diplomacy, transparently friendly to Jews and Judaism, and by movingly referring to the Jews as ‘the elder brothers of our faith’.

Islam, it seems to me, hasn’t made this adaptation and shows little sign of doing so. Suggestions that children were urged to join in chants against Christmas are perhaps the most disturbing of the claims (and I stress these are claims) about Muslim schools which have been made. It is hard to think of any Christian school, however fervent, asking it children to take part in chants dismissing Eid or Ramadan.

On the other hand, it’s no rumour that my late brother (though he allowed a plastic Christmas tree in his home) had a strong dislike of the feast, liked to sing Tom Lehrer’s mordant song about Christmas ( ‘… Drag out the Dickens, Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens, deck the halls with hunks of holly, disapproval would be folly, Brother! Here we go again! Etc etc) to anyone who would listen, and this is recorded and available on Youtube, as far as I know.

Of course the real worry is that ’extremist’ Islamist teaching will produce graduates of these schools who put into severe practice the idea that they are taught.

I know of no way of predicting this. What we know of many who have taken to real terror is that they have been initially poor adherents of the Muslim faith, often hanging around in delinquent groups, before having some sort of late revelation and suddenly turning into zealots; or that they have been disarmingly normal schoolboys, regarded as such by all who knew them, who have later rather inexplicably turned to plots and bombs. And also in some cases that they have overthrown their reason with cannabis, as I believe may well have been the case with the killers of Lee Rigby.

Anyway, English law’s quite simple, or was, and ought to be again. You’re punished for what you do, not for what you might do, or for what you think about doing, or even for what you talk about. I think that’s reasonable, because the gap between idle chatter and action is a very large one, and if people talk openly then we will have much more warning that things are brewing than if they don’t. You can’t prevent all terror, by any amount of laws, however stringent. I suspect that if you do want to detect its gestation, then freedom of speech and a willingness to tolerate ‘extremist’ political groups will make it easier to do so.

Incitement to violence is a crime, as it ought to be. But on the bogeyman pretext of terrorism, terrorism which is far more effective than it otherwise would be because both politicians and journalists so readily react and over-react to it, we have begun to whittle away such sensible rules.

The Blair creature, back in 2006, insisted on shoving a provision against ‘glorifying’ terrorism (which sounds like something out of the old USSR penal code) in to his Terrorism Act, though wise heads in the House of Lords, seeing the possible difficulties of such a law in a free country, had thrown it out by a large majority. A pity, in my view.

But in general, it seems to me that you can’t, in a free country, welcome large numbers of adherents of a certain religion, and then get alarmed and panicky because members of that religion preach doctrines which, they genuinely believe flow from their faith. Actions are one thing. Expressions of opinion are quite another. Islam's view of the world is not new to us. We encountered it in the Crusades, in our own empire, especially in India and the Middle East, in our dealings with the Ottomans. Now it is here, and in some strength. We are going to have to get used to it.

For me, as a Christian who prefers Christianity to Islam, though I necessarily find much to admire in Islam's adherents (especially an undoubted love for God, and a great deal of serious devotion, a good deal of personal and moral courage, not to mention charity) I am concerned that our approach is so secular, that we seem to think that our expensive weapons, our consumer goods and our technology make it unnecessary for us to offer any other arguments on our own behalf.

If only we would be more Christian ourselves, I think we would get on better, and we would also have more persuasive power, not perhaps to convert, but to bring about a coexistence in which Muslims more often recognized the virtues in our faith, and we recognized virtues in theirs, and both sought to emulate the best in the other.



06-10-2014, 04:37 PM

Originally Posted by Muhammad;n2232746
David Hughes, the vice-chair of Park View Educational Trust, said: 'OFSTED inspectors had come "looking for extremism, looking for segregation, looking for proof that our children have religion forced upon them as part of an Islamic plot. The OFSTED reports find absolutely no evidence of this, because this is categorically not what is happening at our schools.'

Therefore quoting British values is one thing but abusing them to support political agendas is another.

As far as 'choosing one's own sexuality' goes, forcing schools to teach young children about homosexuality is hardly abiding by such a 'value'.
I think its safe to say the powers that be are launching a 'culture war' against our faith.

06-15-2014, 07:55 AM

Another comment piece
PETER HITCHENS: It's not a Muslim issue. In our modern nation you're an extremist, too

I think we would be a happier country if we had never encouraged mass immigration in the post-war era. The fact that it is almost taboo to say this simple thing is an example of the problems it has caused.

But I also grasp that the immigration has happened, that we have new neighbours, and that it is our absolute duty to get on with them and befriend them as best as we can.

And this is why I am so scornful of the windbags and panic-spreaders who now seek to make an issue out of the supposed takeover of some state schools by Muslims.

What twaddle this is. The Government quite rightly allows Christian schools in the state system – not least because it was the churches who took on the job of educating poor children when politicians couldn’t be bothered to do so.

Well, now we have a large number of Muslim parents, how can we reasonably deny them the same?

I have a lot of quarrels with Islam, but I, and many traditional British Christians like me, have a lot in common with Muslims.

We dislike the pressure on teenage girls to dress as ----s and get drunk, and the pressure on teenage boys to be oafish copies of football stars. We think it’s time the old were respected and cared for, not dumped and abandoned.

We’d much rather our children went on religious pilgrimages than to a Britney Spears concert.

We see nothing shocking in the idea of boys and girls being taught separately – many people pay good money for single-sex education because they think it better, and because state schools mostly refuse to provide it any more.

We don’t especially want schoolteachers to undermine our views on marriage and child-rearing in politically radical ‘sex-education’ classes. Not everyone shares the liberal elite’s views of these matters.

We believe – because we’re British and we’ve heard of Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights and Habeas Corpus – in freedom of speech and religion. So when we’re told that this is ‘extremism’, then we tend to think that in that case we, too, are ‘extremists’. The word means nothing except ‘person holding unfashionable views’. It means even less than the foggy, squelchy ‘British values’ Michael Gove says we must espouse.

Both Mr Gove and the Home Secretary, Theresa May, have in practice supported the transformation of this country into a borderless, multicultural, multi-faith zone. Much of what was left of Christian teaching in state schools was stripped out of them years ago by secular radicals, so that our national faith is now taught as a sort of eccentric tribal cult, practised by other people, especially old people, if it is mentioned at all.

The ‘Conservative’ party, true to its long record of cowardice and retreat, never did anything to stop this. Now it seeks to appear concerned by blurring the border between religious fervour and terrorist crime.How dare either, or both, of these politicians now seek to advance their political careers by posing as the foes of ‘Islamic extremism’? If there is such a thing, their party brought it here and encouraged its growth.

The main thing to note about this pair is their behaviour proves the Tory Party doesn’t believe its own propaganda about winning in 2015.

They know there’ll be a vacancy for Leader of the Opposition next May, when a defeated David Cameron quits. That’s what they’re really fighting about.



06-15-2014, 01:07 PM
Extremism The problem(s) are many and complex not least because unlike any other religion Islam is so contradictory it can and is used to justify almost anything. Many of the beliefs and values (cultural or religious) issues associated with Islam are so far away from 'British vales as to appear 'extreme'. That alongside an attitude amongst many Muslims that integration contradicts the teachings of Islam. All that and then Muslims complain that they are being 'targeted.' Muslims are targeted because they stick out like a sore thumb on a hand that seeks harmony, unity and integration.
Take the simple thing like shaking hands. That is a fundamental British value, When Britons meet a stranger for the first time they shake hands. They don't consider for a second that it is a male or a female hand, there is nothing wrong and everything right about the act, it's an act of greeting a core fundamental of British values. You (some of you) think that the nice polite English man who understood and was happy that you refused to shake his hand - you are WRONG. Each time you do that, or cover your face or wear the fist long beard he puts you in the same box with all those other 'extremists' because these thing ARE extreme.

06-15-2014, 02:24 PM
Originally Posted by Uthman_III;n2232831
Extremism The problem(s) are many and complex not least because unlike any other religion Islam is so contradictory it can and is used to justify almost anything. Many of the beliefs and values (cultural or religious) issues associated with Islam are so far away from 'British vales as to appear 'extreme'. That alongside an attitude amongst many Muslims that integration contradicts the teachings of Islam. All that and then Muslims complain that they are being 'targeted.' Muslims are targeted because they stick out like a sore thumb on a hand that seeks harmony, unity and integration.
Take the simple thing like shaking hands. That is a fundamental British value, When Britons meet a stranger for the first time they shake hands. They don't consider for a second that it is a male or a female hand, there is nothing wrong and everything right about the act, it's an act of greeting a core fundamental of British values. You (some of you) think that the nice polite English man who understood and was happy that you refused to shake his hand - you are WRONG. Each time you do that, or cover your face or wear the fist long beard he puts you in the same box with all those other 'extremists' because these thing ARE extreme.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, but just because a muslim man grows his beard or a muslim woman covers her face it doesn't make them an extremist. If someone puts these people in the same category as extremists then they are committing a guilt by association fallacy.

"The man on the news is a bearded muslim. The man on the news is also an extremist. Therefore all bearded muslims are extremists."

Which makes as much sense as if I were to think "A man I met called himself Uthman. The man is also a muslim. Therefore anyone who calls themselves Uthman is a muslim." Which I'm sure you would disagree with.

06-16-2014, 10:19 PM

Originally Posted by Uthman_III;n2232831
Extremism The problem(s) are many and complex not least because unlike any other religion Islam is so contradictory it can and is used to justify almost anything. Many of the beliefs and values (cultural or religious) issues associated with Islam are so far away from 'British vales as to appear 'extreme'. That alongside an attitude amongst many Muslims that integration contradicts the teachings of Islam. All that and then Muslims complain that they are being 'targeted.' Muslims are targeted because they stick out like a sore thumb on a hand that seeks harmony, unity and integration.
Take the simple thing like shaking hands. That is a fundamental British value, When Britons meet a stranger for the first time they shake hands. They don't consider for a second that it is a male or a female hand, there is nothing wrong and everything right about the act, it's an act of greeting a core fundamental of British values. You (some of you) think that the nice polite English man who understood and was happy that you refused to shake his hand - you are WRONG. Each time you do that, or cover your face or wear the fist long beard he puts you in the same box with all those other 'extremists' because these thing ARE extreme.
Laughable nonsense.

And your diatribe is proving Peter Hitchens point, 'extremism' is a worthless concept.

Try to accept that not all people want to be like you. Its not rocket science.

06-22-2014, 05:54 AM

Another comment piece.
What we are witnessing is a liberal crusade to forcibly convert “unbelieving” Muslims

Liberalism and Gove’s call for ‘British values’, whatever these are, are now being forced upon non-believers.

A plot to takeover schools, introduce faith into the classroom and enforce a particular worldview on vulnerable children.

No, this is not reference to an alleged Islamic plot to takeover schools in Birmingham, but to the Rt. Hon. Michael Gove, the British Government’s Education Secretary.

In a classic case of one rule for us and one rule for Muslims, Michael Gove is on the record for suggesting that the Christian faith had a positive role to play in educating children and that there should be more of it.

Writing in the Catholic Herald in 2011, he praised Catholic schools and attributed their strong academic performance to their religious ethos, going on to say that despite “sometimes intense hostility from sections of secular opinion”, the Catholic church had triumphed in a number of areas such as “the right to teach the Catholic religion” and “the rights over admission and staff appointments”.

He stated starkly: “Of course, what really makes Catholic schools stand out is their Catholicity … A key element of [Cardinal Manning’s] vision was that Catholic schools must be allowed sufficient autonomy to integrate the Catholic faith into every aspect of school life. A Catholic ethos is not something confined to RE lessons, but apervasive set of values that find expression throughout the school day.”

His words explain why he was responsible for sending 370,000 copies of the bible to schools across the UK, proudly placing his name on the front of every copy. Faith is a positive force in educating children it seems, providing that faith is not Islam.

The ferocity with which the government acted over the alleged ‘Trojan Horse’ plot is remarkable. Sensationalising mundane orthodox Islamic practice on dress code, views on sexuality and men-women relations as distinctly beyond the pale.

Liberalism and Gove’s call for ‘British values’ (whatever they are) are now being forced upon non-believers, as part of Gove’s neo-con crusade to stamp out anything that remotely challenges the liberal status quo. This is forced conversion. Legal measures are used to ensure people who don’t convert are punished with the full force of the Government’s machinery.

In fact it is Government ministers who are brainwashing and indoctrinating young people. Whilst Gove described mutual respect and tolerance as distinctly British values, clearly in the case of Muslims, we witness only intolerance and aggressive harassment, as part of an extremist liberal witch-hunt.

And in a stance that would make senator McCarthy proud, Gove wants to introduce measures that punish people on the basis they ‘may’ one day, in later life become an ‘extremist’, by placing them under increased monitoring and surveillance.

As one commentator put it, to be a devout practicing Muslim is now to be an extremist. In wanting to ‘drain the swamp’ to prevent violent extremism, a whole community is cast under suspicion merely for holding on to their basic religious beliefs. [Whilst Catholics are actively encouraged to promote their religious values in schools!]

The burden of proof Muslims are required to exhibit to prove their ‘Britishness’ is far higher than any other member of society [many of which decreasingly consider themselves British or hold nationalistic identities: a poll published by the Scotsman in November 2011 found that on average less than 20% of the UK’s population preferred the British identity to any other].

We also live an era where global rather national identities are becoming more relevant and meaningful, as people move away from a narrow seventeenth century nation-state construct. The campaign harasses a community simply to appeal to the fringe right-wing who are becoming increasingly influential in anti-immigrant, anti-minority Europe.

One of the tragedies of Gove’s scaremongering is that it polarises whole populations. Islam is too frightening to approach, too unworthy of study when cast in such extremist narratives. Non-Muslims are presented with fear and alarm at people’s dress, manner and religious devotion; all of which break the bonds of community, and promotes mistrust and suspicion.

What Gove and his ilk fail to ask is why Muslims have decided to tread a path of increased Islamic adherence?

What such ideologues fail to realise is that many have seen the true extent of Britishness. They are not ignorant of its values; they live in Britain [not some far away country] and see the practical manifestation of Britishness all around them: broken families, an ASBO generation, sexual scandals, drug and alcohol abuse, harassment of immigrants and minority groups, financial suffering, individualism and growing societal and community breakdown.

As a glimpse, the Trussell Trust, the biggest organiser of food banks in Britain, said almost 350,000 people received at least three days’ emergency food last year, up over 250% in a year, and suggest this figure is now nearer 500,000. The use of antidepressants has risen significantly with 12.5m more pills prescribed in 2012 than in 2007, with prescriptions for antidepressants rising from 15m items in 1998 to 40m in 2012. Last year the Centre of Social Justice published a report suggesting that the UK has some of the highest rates of opiate addiction and dependence on alcohol, with alcohol and drug abuse costing the UK £21 billion and £15 billion respectively, and the rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in England has doubled in a decade. One in 12 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 in the UK – more than 670,000 – said they have taken “legal highs”, the list could go on.

On taking this basic snapshot of ‘Broken Britain’ is there any wonder why some have opted to follow a different way, and instead hold onto a value system that will safeguard them against such negative trends. More Britishness will not solve this problem: the moral ambiguity and individualism that emerges from a liberal worldview will simply further such social chaos.

Islam represents an alternative to the liberal secular capitalist order. The current epidemic of social problems that plagues the West originate from its liberal and highly individualistic values that promote selfish and immoral lives, causing family break-down, youth delinquency, the dissolution of community values, disrespect for the law to name but a few consequences.

In contrast Islam promotes a value system which is not secular or individualistic and articulates not just rights but also responsibilities. These do not rely merely on legal statutes or enforcement to work, but on one’s own God-consciousness – taqwa – to create a principally self-regulating society. The state acts only when one’s personal standards fail.

The Islamic social model stands in contrast to increasingly hedonistic, materialistic and irresponsible western societies, that leave families, neighbours and the elderly neglected. Islamic social values promote collective, community and family responsibility, and reprimand the one who lives well while their neighbour goes hungry, disrespects parents, or raises reckless and irresponsible children. These are all values the socially decaying liberal west is desperately attempting to discover.

The Islamic economic model that focusses on distribution not simply production, abolishes usury and its pernicious effects, is based on a stable currency backed by gold and silver, taxes wealth not income amongst other characteristics. All of this stands it utter contrast to high risk and inherently unstable capitalism, which has unleashed global financial suffering, produced more unequal societies and now treats poverty as an unsolvable fact of life.

Gove, and others like him, cannot see (or choose not to) that every step taken in their chosen direction has challenged the very values they claim stand superior. That to the honest observer, they have rolled-back everything they claim sacred. His belief in Britain’s tolerance is marked only by his intolerance of others. He seeks to project a value-system that caused global financial chaos, deepened social malaise in the west, wasted the lives of its young in cheap wars for oil, and promotes extremism and intolerance in the way it deals with its minorities.

Secular liberal capitalism is in crisis – yet only those who stand outside its fold currently see its decay.

And it is this that infuriates those with a neo-conservative bent, that they should feel their ‘superior’ worldview is challenged by a counter value-system that refuses to be dismissed, but rather wins supporters, daily, and in Britain.

The message to the Gove’s of this world is that his liberal crusade will not work, because it fundamentally misses – or chooses to ignore – the fact that Islam now stands in contrast to liberal secular capitalist order. And such a contest cannot be won through punitive measures, but through a battle of ideas and values. And for this, Muslims have long-waited, to once again demonstrate Islam’s message in a world in desperate need of a way out of its current calamities.


06-22-2014, 01:45 PM

:ma: a well-written article. I thought it was from Peter Hitchens again so I was quite impressed when it talked about the social values in Islam and how Taqwa is a key aspect. Nevertheless, it gives a powerful message.

07-02-2014, 10:54 AM

To quote 'the Trojan horse hoax explained in 90 seconds'

Another video


09-29-2014, 06:44 PM

Its seems secular liberalism is being imposed as the new national religion of the UK. Other faiths are quite naturally wary.

It is time Catholics confronted the Government’s ‘trojan horse’ threatening faith schools

Edmund Adamus, Director of Marriage and Family Life for the Westminster diocese, has drawn my attention to an important article in issue 23 of Faith magazine, written by Antonia Robinson and titled “Beware the Real Trojan Horse.” It is worth reading – if only to be aware of the kind of moral engineering that is now taking place in our schools under the seemingly innocent phrase “British Values.”

With the Scottish referendum dominating the headlines in recent weeks, many people have probably forgotten the news earlier this year that OFSTED inspections of Muslim independent schools found that some had failed the “diversity” criteria. What did this mean? It meant that when the OFSTED inspectors asked young pupils about their attitudes to homosexuality, the children felt uncomfortable and stayed silent.

A spokesman commented that “it was a kind of sex education lesson but by untrained inspectors without the consent of the parents or the school.” OFSTED’s response to the failure by young Muslim children to demonstrate tolerance of diversity was to state that “schools have a duty to teach pupils tolerance of different groups within society.” Why, the school wanted to know, did inspectors focus on same-sex attraction to the exclusion of race and disability? After all, these are arguably much more common situations in which young children traditionally might show prejudice.

The result of this OFSTED finding is a “Consultation for Promoting British Values in School” amending the “Independent School Standards” (2013) which ensured that all independent schools’ activities and teaching were informed by the 2010 Equalities Act. According to the Consultation schools must not “undermine the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”

We might all agree that democracy, the rule of law and liberty under the law are a good thing; also respect and tolerance towards others. But upholding “British values” has begun to enter new territory; the Equalities Act insists that it includes schools having to actively support and promote a positive view of transgender and gender reassignment, marriage in all state-approved forms and so on. Catholic schools as well as Muslim ones will inevitably contravene this insidious new form of state re-education. As Antonia Robinson points out, a Catholic RE class teaching the doctrine of “Outside the Church no salvation” would automatically fail the “tolerance” test.

When the Muslim schools’ controversy hit the headlines, the so-called “Trojan Horse” was thought to be the creeping radicalisation of young Muslims by Islamists. However we must not forget the Government’s own “Trojan Horse”: OFSTED inspectors imposing a rigid “Equalities Act” agenda on faith schools, including Catholic schools which seek to uphold the moral teaching of the Church. Antonia Robinson describes this as “the imposition on schoolchildren of a radical liberal agenda lurking behind a thin veneer of “British Values.”

Yet these same values, so recently reinterpreted by the government and by society, were once actually Christian values which, over the centuries, had permeated the country at large and brought about what was best in our distinctive civilisation. Is it even possible to still call these values “British” when they have been stripped of their Christian heritage and heavily deconstructed by a post-Christian liberal agenda?


11-26-2014, 06:11 PM

Another update

Ofsted – The tool used by “muscular liberals” to convert Muslim children

Ofsted has become the tool for the ‘forced conversion’ of Muslim kids, writes Dr Abdul Wahid.

Britain’s “counter-extremism” policy, Prevent is a lie. It has nothing to do with protecting the public from bombs, guns and knives. Over the past few years, it has slowly exposed itself as an exercise in demonising political and religious views by calling them “extreme”, so making “Joe Public” fearful that the people who hold those views are only a step away from acts of ‘terror’.

Once upon a time British politicians used to pretend that they wanted to see Islam “adjusted” to fit into modern Britain. Now they’ve dropped this pretense in favour of muscular liberalism, meaning that they won’t be satisfied until a Muslim leaves his or her religion at home, espouses secular liberal values and is unquestioningly loyal to Britain’s colonial policies in the Muslim world.


Ofsted was once the impartial schools inspectorate. Now it has become one arm of the Secular Inquisition to force Muslims to convert to liberalism, transforming its role from inspecting school standards to dictating values.

The Witchfinder-General in the anti-Islamic witch-hunt is Ofsted chief Michael Wilshaw. In June 2014, after his investigation into the so-called “Trojan Horse” affair, he apparently told concerned parents in a closed-door meeting in Birmingham that the sum total of his investigation that there was some evidence of “bullying of teachers” and some issues of “preaching conservative Islam”. So it was Islam that was his problem – not “extremism”.

People would be forgiven for missing the actually conclusions of all the inquiries in the Birmingham case because of all the media sensationalism. The former head of the Metropolitan police’s counterterrorism command, Peter Clarke, who had been asked to investigate the “Trojan Horse” affair, concluded that there was no evidence of “terrorism, radicalisation or violent extremism in the schools of concern in Birmingham”.

This week Wilshaw has once again triggered sensational headlines – alleging that pupils at independent Muslim faith schools in Tower Hamlets may be vulnerable to “extremist influences and radicalisation” and called on the government to act with urgency!

Once again the details that eventually emerged didn’t quite match the alarmist nature of the headlines before and after, which passed their message by using different combinations of the words “Muslim”, “extremism”, “schools” – throwing in the term “radicalisation” for good measure!

The latest reports conclude the schools are “not actively and systematically promoting fundamental British values” – values that as yet remain ill-defined.


One Church of England School in the area, formerly ranked as “outstanding”, has been downgraded for failing to protect pupils from extremism. The school’s sixth-form Islamic society’s Facebook page allegedly had links to a speaker who apparently might once have said something critical of homosexuality.

In 21st century Britain, no one bothers to look beyond a selective quote of what a speaker may or may not once have said. That is usually enough to pin an “extremist” label on any speaker, and indeed anyone inadvertently tainted by a tenuous associated.

Today, the mere mention of the word “extremist” has the same effect as saying “Communist” in 1950s America. The term is defined so broadly it can be used arbitrarily, creating a hysteria that allows governments to pursue almost any policy they wish – whether it is to invade another country, institute police-state measures against Muslims or (as in this case) to force a community to change their beliefs and views.

By deliberately conflating the views of socially conservative or politically outspoken Muslims with violence, successive British governments have justify deeply oppressive and bigoted policies, in a manner that would make Moscow or Beijing proud.

Muscular liberalism

Speaking in June 2014, British Prime Minister David Cameron said, ”we need to be far more muscular in promoting British values”. He has advocated this “muscular” approach before, against those who hold Islamic values and are critical of state policy towards Muslims and the Islamic world.

But it now appears that children are their biggest target. It is as if they have accepted they have no hope with the over 20s, so are intent on forcibly converting young Muslims to their values. Ofsted has become the thought-police in implementing these policies – targeting the souls of the children, not just their minds.

Numerous anecdotes have emerged as evidence for this over several months. Inspectors have allegedly interrogated primary school children alone about matters of sexuality. They have allegedly told teachers at Muslim primary schools that posters depicting statements of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) opposing racism or promoting environmentalism are “too Islamic”, and should be replaced by statements by Mandela, Gandhi or Martin Luther King.

Anyone who resists this forced conversion either has to go through a form of compulsory re-education – known as the Channel programme – or be punished in one of a series of ways like being ridiculed or demonised.

The Prophet of Islam and the earliest Muslim community in Makkah faced a similar situation. They were labelled as dissenters, agitators and traitors. They faced verbal and physical abuse, as well as economic sanctions.

But eventually, the general public from amongst the non-Muslims of Makkah oppose the sanctions and vilification encouraged by their leaders. Despite the propaganda, the abuse meted out to Muslims exposed the oppressors as failing to have an argument to counter the Islamic argument – as well as being a nasty and vindictive bunch.

Amongst all this, there is one thing people should not forget. In bullying Muslim children, the state cannot expect that Muslim parents will simply shrug their shoulders and accept a narrow set of values to be forced on their kids.

It may well be that these unjust rulers will hear more than a word or two of truth from the Muslim mums and dads!


12-12-2014, 12:05 PM

Another update


01-15-2015, 04:28 PM

This is getting really crazy.

Anti-terror plan to spy on toddlers ‘is heavy-handed’

Nursery school staff and registered childminders must report toddlers at risk of becoming terrorists, under counter-terrorism measures proposed by the Government.

The directive is contained in a 39-page consultation document issued by the Home Office in a bid to bolster its Prevent anti-terrorism plan.

Critics said the idea was “unworkable” and “heavy-handed”, and accused the Government of treating teachers and carers as “spies”.

The document accompanies the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, currently before parliament. It identifies nurseries and early years childcare providers, along with schools and universities, as having a duty “to prevent people being drawn into terrorism”.

The consultation paper adds: “Senior management and governors should make sure that staff have training that gives them the knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimise terrorism and are shared by terrorist groups.

“They should know where and how to refer children and young people for further help.”

But concern was raised over the practicalities of making it a legal requirement for staff to inform on toddlers.

David Davis, the Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary, said: “It is hard to see how this can be implemented. It is unworkable. I have to say I cannot understand what they [nursery staff] are expected to do.

“Are they supposed to report some toddler who comes in praising a preacher deemed to be extreme? I don’t think so.

“It is heavy-handed.”

Mr Davis also accused the Home Office of pushing the legislation too quickly.

Isabella Sankey, the policy director at human rights body Liberty, said: “Turning our teachers and childminders into an army of involuntary spies will not stop the terrorist threat.

“Far from bringing those at the margins back into mainstream society, it will sow seeds of mistrust, division and alienation from an early age.

“The Government should focus on projects to support vulnerable young people – instead they’re playing straight into terrorists’ hands by rushing through a Bill that undermines our democratic principles and turns us into a nation of suspects.”

Headteachers’ union NAHT, said it was “uneasy” with the new guidance. General secretary Russell Hobby, said: “It’s really important that nurseries are able to establish a strong relationship of trust with families, as they are often the first experience the families will have of the education system.

“Any suspicions that they are evaluating families for ideology could be quite counterproductive.

“Nursery settings should focus on the foundations of literacy and socialising with other children – those are the real ‘protections’.”

Schools and nurseries, he said, should not be required to act as a police service.

A Home office spokesman last night said: “We are not expecting teachers and nursery workers to carry out unnecessary intrusion into family life, but we do expect them to take action when they observe behaviour of concern.

He added: “It is important that children are taught fundamental British values in an age-appropriate way. For children in the early years, this will be about learning right from wrong and in practitioners challenging negative attitudes and stereotypes.

“We would expect staff to have the training they need to identify children at risk of radicalisation and know where and how to refer them for further help if necessary.”

It is understood ministers will expect nursery staff to report for example, anti-Semitic comments made in front of them by toddlers.

“We would not expect this behaviour to be ignored,” said a source. Other examples of children at risk of radicalisation include instances where a Muslim child might tell a teacher that he has been taught at a religious school, or madrassah, that all non-Muslims “are wicked”.


01-15-2015, 04:31 PM

And another update

Ofsted Trojan horse inspectors ‘asked 10-year-olds what do lesbians do?’

Ofsted inspectors questioned 10-year-old children at a leading Christian school about lesbian sex and transsexuality to test whether it was complying with new requirements to promote “British values”, the school has complained.

They are said to have pressed primary aged girls at Grindon Hall Christian School, in Sunderland, on whether they knew what lesbians “did” and if any of their friends felt trapped in the “wrong body”.

They also allegedly questioned children as young as six about their knowledge of Hindu festivals and the Jewish Torah as part of a special inspection in the wake of the Trojan Horse scandal, involving infiltration by hard-line Muslim groups into schools in Birmingham.

Chris Gray, principal of the former private school, which is now part of the Government’s flagship free school programme, has formally complained to Ofsted accusing the inspection team of adopting a “hostile” and suspicious stance towards its Christian foundation.

Sixth formers at the school, which teaches children from age four to 18, have also written complaining that inspectors appeared to be “manipulating” the conversation during group discussions about racism and homophobia, seemingly determined to “discredit” the school.

It is the latest in a series of cases in which it has been alleged that rules intended to combat extremism are being used to put pressure on schools with a religious foundation.

The guidelines, introduced by the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan last year, require schools actively to promote “British values” including democracy, liberty and tolerance.

Mr Gray was a vocal supporter of the guidance when it was published. In an article on the school website he told parents: “Just as we rightly expect tolerance from others, so we must always show huge respect for those who believe differently from us, who come from different backgrounds and whose sexual orientation is different from the majority.

“That we will do – Mrs Morgan and Ofsted are only telling us to do what our own values lead us to do and hopefully this will be replicated in every school in Britain.”

But he said that when inspectors arrived unannounced before Christmas they appeared determined to find evidence that the school was encouraging intolerance.

“The view was that the Christian ethos of the school was adversely affecting our ability to be open non-discriminatory, and tolerant,” he said.

“I think that is upside down thinking.”

He said there had been a noticeable divergence between the inspectors’ feedback of discussions they had had with pupils and what he understood from the children themselves.

“Everything was as negative as it could possibly be, if there was a negative slant they could put on something they did,” he said.

In his complaint to Ofsted he added: “The tenor of the inspection was negative and hostile at every stage, as if the data collected had to fit a predetermined outcome.”

He explained: “In the feedback with the [lead inspector], it was suggested that a response from one child to the effect of querying how it is possible to have two mums was viewed as indicating a lack of awareness of lesbian relationships.

“Actually, I understand the child concerned was merely thinking in biological terms.

“In addition, I have also heard reports of primary schoolchildren being asked if they knew of any boys or girls who thought they were in the ‘wrong body’.

“Another parent has complained to me in writing that her 10-year-old daughter was asked if she knew what lesbians ‘did’.

“Pupils were embarrassed and surprised to be asked questions about sexuality.”

He added: “I am also concerned that the manner and content of questioning of pupils crossed the line into harassment.

“I am further concerned that the questioning of pupils by Ofsted crossed a line into areas which fall outside its authority.

“Under the ‘British values’ requirements, our school is under a duty to promote respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

“However, I am alarmed that the questions asked of pupils sought to test the pupils’ religious knowledge.”

A spokeswoman for Ofsted said: “We are committed to making sure all pupils in England receive a broad and balanced education.

“One part of how we assess this is through talking to pupils to consider the extent to which they are being prepared for the next stages in their lives.

“Ofsted is not looking for answers to questions which are contrary to their faith. Nor do we require evidence that schools ‘promote’ other faiths. Instead, inspectors must ensure that pupils are able to express views which are neither intolerant nor discriminatory towards others.

“Ofsted takes all concerns about its work seriously. We will be considering the issues raised by the school as part of our normal quality assurance arrangements.”


02-14-2015, 12:18 PM

Another comment piece.

British values... it's a baffling topic these days

You'd never guess just how few homosexuals there were from the way we go on about it. In a spot check to make sure their Christian school was teaching ‘British values’, baffled tots in Sunderland were asked by government inspectors about ‘what lesbians do’.

Almost immediately after this revelation, plans were announced in Manchester for an entire school devoted to homosexual, bisexual and transgender children.

I’m not actually against such a school, if enough people want it. Let a hundred flowers bloom, as far as I’m concerned. Let’s have atheist schools, too, and see how they work out.

But if we can select pupils on the grounds of their sexual orientation, why is it illegal to select on the grounds of ability? Something wrong here, surely?

As for the lesbian question, I was 12 before I even knew what a call-girl was, let alone a lesbian, and look how I turned out – not to mention my grasp of ‘British values’.


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