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‘Aggressive’ Islamic agenda unearthed in leaked schools report

Published time: July 18, 2014 12:04
Reuters / Stefan Wermuth

Reuters / Stefan Wermuth

A ‘damning’ report into the alleged extremist infiltration of Birmingham schools has been leaked to a UK newspaper, revealing an aggressive plot to introduce hardline Sunni Islam into British schools.

The Guardian newspaper claims the leaked draft inquiry into 25 schools in the UK’s second city reveals evidence of a “coordinated, deliberate and sustained action to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamist ethos into some schools in the city.”

The document, written by the former head of the Metropolitan Police's counter-terrorism unit, Peter Clarke, unearthed a “sustained and coordinated agenda to impose upon children in a number of Birmingham schools the segregationist attitudes and practices of a hardline and politicized strain of Sunni Islam.”

Due to be published next week, the Clarke report was requested by former Education Secretary Michael Gove, who himself has fallen under criticism for policies that have allowed a lapse of oversight by local government.

While the report is critical of the city council’s management of schools and its failure to monitor or intervene sooner, it found no evidence of violent extremism, radicalization or an anti-British agenda being promoted.

Last month, five schools were placed in special measures following separate reports from Ofsted inspectors and the Education Funding Agency. Arguing they had been made victims of a “coordinated and vicious” attack, the board of trustees at the Park View Education Trust at the centre of claims resigned on Tuesday.

The investigation began after an unverified, anonymous letter, allegedly written by hardline Islamists, made its way into government hands in March, prompting an investigation into a so-called “Trojan Horse” plot, which entailed a takeover of the British education system by Muslim teachers.

The teachers allegedly intended to move any staff who disagreed with their beliefs out of the way, as well as imposing the kind of school discipline advocated by devout Islamists.

The letter’s contents detailed “deeply concerning” details of a strategy to adopt a number of Islamic cultural facets, including a system of school governors and the hiring and teaching of staff who would work to promote an Islamic religious agenda with its own rules and moral regulations.

The letter with the alleged Islamization plot has brought to attention past and present findings of investigations into some Birmingham schools that do not conform to the current national curriculum.