Andrew Gilligan in theÂ Sunday TelegraphÂ viaÂ Esmerelda Weatherwax
The alleged ringleader of the Trojan Horse plot wrote a detailed blueprint for the radical “Islamisation” of secular state schools which closely resembles what appears to be happening in Birmingham.
Tahir Alam, chairman of governors at Park View school in the city, 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.
There you go. Once the soldiers of allah take over, multiculti goes right into the bin.
He described how state schools must be changed to “take account of Muslim sensitivities and sensibilities with respect to sexual morality” with “girlfriend/boyfriend as well as homosexual relationships” treated as “not acceptable practices according to Islamic teachings”.
The disclosure comes as teachers at Park View said a boy and a girl in their GCSE year have been suspended after being spotted holding hands, only weeks before they were due to take their exams. “They have done this to quite a few students in Year 11,” said one member of staff. “That they should continue with it, even with all the scrutiny we are under, just beggars belief.”
It can also be disclosed that as recently as this month, one part of the Department for Education was proposing to give Mr Alam’s Park View Education Trust another Birmingham school to run – even as another part of the department was mounting emergency inspections of the three it runs already. A spreadsheet, dated April 2014, on the DfE website says Park View has received “ministerial approval in principle” to take over al-Furqan, a failing faith primary school in Tyseley, converting it into an academy with a “proposed opening date” of June 1. A DfE spokesman said that the deal had now been cancelled.
In his 72-page document, published by the Muslim Council of Britain in 2007, Mr Alam and his co-author, Muhammad Abdul Bari, attacked many state schools for not being “receptive of legitimate and reasonable requests made by 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.
Further evidence has emerged of radicalisation at Park View. Speaking toÂ The Telegraph, a former member of staff said that a “member of staff” at the school last year put up posters in the corridors with the message: “If you do not pray, you are worse than a kafir” an insulting term for non-Muslims. “Those were the exact words”, the former staff member said. “Many staff, including some of the Muslim staff, complained and the posters were taken down.”
Among the “aspirations and concerns” for schools were that they should not teach “potentially harmful forms of music” which “promote immoral behaviour” or include “unethical and un-Islamic lyrics”.
Schools should also avoid teaching any art involving “three-dimensional imagery of humans”, the document says, and should ban any play that involves “physical contact between males and females”, “girls dressing as boys or vice versa” or any play “associated with celebrating aspects of other religions”. Mr Alam’s document says that aspects of the National Curriculum, such as dance, should be ignored as “not consistent with the Islamic requirements for modesty”. It adds that “dance performances before a mixed-gender audience may be objectionable”. Schools should “try to avoid scheduling swimming lessons during Ramadan”, the document says, to avoid Muslim pupils accidentally swallowing water and breaking their fast. “School balls, discos and fashion shows that might inadvertently exclude pupils from the Islamic faith background” should be avoided, it adds.
Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, said: “Mr Alam … has been planning this for 15 years. He goes around making these schools religious by manipulating governors, and bringing in certain teachers. He was able to hone the [tactics] in Birmingham that he drafted in this report.”
Further evidence has emerged of radicalisation at Park View. Speaking toÂ The Telegraph, a former member of staff said that a “member of staff” at the school last year put up posters in the corridors with the message: “If you do not pray, you are worse than a kafir” an insulting term for non-Muslims. “Those were the exact words”, the former staff member said. “Many staff, including some of the Muslim staff, complained and the posters were taken down. . . The Islamic ethos is overpowering and it’s dominating everything. The school has turned inwards and they’re just not preparing the kids for the wider world.”
One teacher handed out a worksheet stating that women “must obey their husbands,” and told Year 10 boys that wives were not allowed to refuse their husbands sex, the former staff member said. Park View insisted last night that the boys had “misunderstood” what the teacher was trying to tell them, and had subsequently been told in a special assembly that sex without informed consent was rape.
The teacher concerned, Maz Hussain, is the brother of the headmaster, Mozz Hussain, and was later promoted to head of science at Park View’s sister school, Golden Hillock. In the leaked DfE inspectors’ report, Maz Hussain’s experience was described as “not commensurate with his responsibility”. His teaching was “rated as inadequate by the lead practitioner for teaching and learning at the academy, but no action was taken,” the report said. Mr Hussain has now been suspended. Even then, however, his well-qualified deputy was not given the job, the report said.Â “Instead, it was given to the sister of a deputy head teacher at Park View.”
Mr Alam has said there is no plot, attacking the investigations as “Islamophobic” and a “witch-hunt”. One of his close allies, Achmad da Costa, chairman of governors at Oldknow school, last night attempted to rally local mosques with a special meeting to protest against the inspections.
Inspired Bigotry: Meet the Salafists Behind the Law Society
Chris Moos, PHD student at the London School of Economics
In the last weeks manyÂ women’s rights and secularist campaignersÂ up and down the country have been rubbing their eyes incredulously in a state of dÃ©jÃ -vu. After having fought off the threat of the official legitimation (yet not the practice) of gender segregation in universities, another representative body has taken it onto themselves to publish guidance that by all means and standards can only be described as discriminatory. This time it is the Law Society, the representative body for solicitors in the UK, who has issued a practice note for drawing up sharia-compliant wills,Â specifyingÂ that in a sharia complaint will women would receive half of the share of men, while non-Muslims and ‘adopted and illegitimate children’ would inherit nothing at all.
In the ensuing debate, we have seen exaggerated headlines and a barrage of apologists who quickly came to the defense of the Law Society, dismissing any critique as ‘Islamophobic’ and ‘another sharia scare story’. Yet, several important questions remain unanswered. The first is why the Law Society would issue any kind of guidance on religious matters, as pointed out by the Lawyers’ Secular Society’sÂ Charlie KlendjianÂ andÂ Sadikur Rahman.
The second question is why the Law Society is basing their guidance on a literalist and divisive interpretation of sharia law. Contrarily to what both the anti-Islamic right and the Islamist right would want you to believe, the sharia is neither an immutable body of law, nor does it allow for only one, extreme interpretation that flies squarely in the face of human rights. Organisations likeÂ Musawah – For Equality in the Muslim Family,Â Women Living Under Muslim LawsÂ and Maajid Nawaz andÂ Dr. Usama HasanÂ from the Quilliam Foundation have firmly argued against a narrow and discriminatory interpretation of sharia law. At a recent conference, Sara Khan, the founder of the women’s rights organisationÂ Inspire, dismissed both the literalist deobandi and salafist interpretations of sharia law as discriminatory against women, while at the same time arguing for recognising the ‘justice of sharia law’. Whether one shares her view or not, it is clear that interpretations of sharia law need not be literalist or discriminatory per se.
Hence, this is not the interpretation of sharia law that the Law Society has chosen to use for its practice note. Yet, the Law Society has readily admitted that it does neither have the expertise, nor the legitimacy to make verdicts on sharia law. On what expertise is the Law Society then drawing for its practice note?
The answer to this can be found at the very end of the practice note in the ‘further information‘ section, where the Law Society references its sources. There, you will find links to such website as the Islam Channel, which has been fined repeatedly by Ofcom forbreaking the broadcasting codeÂ for airing programmes thatÂ advocate marital rapeÂ and call for the killing of those who ‘insult the prophet’. Ofcom specifically stated the Islam Channel’s programme “was likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime“.
Of course, the matter of Islamic inheritance is complex, and it would not be fair to suggest that practice note is solely based on one website. Yet, the Law Society is clear about the intellectual basis of its guidance. One of its main references is a book on Islamic inheritance rules by Dr. Muhammad al-Jibaly, a hardline salafi and former President of the notorious Qur’an and Sunnah Society of North America. If you are in any doubt where the pathological hatred of women that is so central to the Law Society’s practice note stems from, you should read Dr. Al-Jibaly, whose views are asÂ clear as they are extreme: “A willful fornicator deserves to be whipped one hundred lashes, and a willful adulterer deserves stoning to death.”
Unsurprisingly, his views are not limited to the crime of ‘fornication’, but finds reflection in his work on inheritance, where he specifies his stance not only on non-Muslims and ‘illegitimate children’ (“children of zina”), but also – incredibly – “slave women“. Now, if you think that Al-Jibaly restricts his expertise to the interpretation of Islamic law, you shouldlistenÂ to his advice on children and non-Muslims, the latter of which he simply refers to derogatorily as kuffar:
“What is sad to see, for many parents they send their children to the kuffar school, theyÂ allow them to mix with the kuffar, play with them […] so that the lifestyle and the beliefs of the kuffar become deep-rooted in the hearts of the kids. […] Command your children to pray when they are seven years old andÂ hit them if they do not pray, or they don’t pray right. […] A girl she should start hijab from the age of seven. By the age of ten it becomes anÂ obligation on us to force her to wear hijab. AndÂ if she doesn’t wear hijab we hit her.” [Parents should encourage] their children from mixing with the Muslims, staying away from the kuffar, having only Muslims as his friends, feeling the uniqueness and the pride of being Muslim […]”.
Despite being a representative body bound by its own Equality Policy, the Law Society has chosen not to base its practice note on the work of those many British Muslims who are managing to reconcile their faith with considerations of equality and human rights. Instead, the Law Society has elected to ignore the existing progressive voices within British Islam, and enshrined the ideology of a man who so clearly loathes women, non-Muslims and children as a model to emulate.
And this is merely the beginning. The Law Society has already announced a “planned future seminar series on Islamic law [with] expert and authoritative speakers highlighting some basic concepts and requirements of the Islamic Shari’a”. It remains to be seen whether it will be left to men of the ilk of al-Jibaly to run these sessions.
Clearly, the Law Society deems itself beyond criticism. In comes to no surprise that human rights campaigners are in vigorous opposition and have set up aÂ petitionÂ and organised aprotestÂ next Monday April 28th.
Wherever there is a will, there need not be bigotry. If you think Law Society should base its practice note on the voices of British Muslims and equality campaigners, rather peddling to the bigotries of the likes of al-Jibaly, you shouldÂ comeÂ and make sure they will hear your voice loud and clear.
Even the tardy ‘Harry’s Place’ bloggers smell the coffee on this one:
Here is just one sentence fromÂ Salma Yaqoob’sÂ disingenuous piece for the Guardian:
The real scandal is how scepticism over this “dodgy dossier” seems to have been thrown to the wind.
Yvonne Ridley deploys similar sophistryÂ here:
If everyone can see Trojan Horse letter is a hoax how come our Education Secretary Michael Gove is so gullible?
Yaqoob seems to think that ‘scepticism’ actually means ‘continuing disbelief no matter what evidence is presented’, and Ridley creates a misleading false binary: the original Trojan Horse document must either be authentic or contain no element of truth whatsoever.
ThisÂ extractÂ from a leaked Ofsted report appears to confirm that there are real problems in some Birmingham schools. Key concerns include gender segregation, neglect of non-Muslim students, hosting an extremist preacher and curriculum restriction.
But then the Harry’s ‘Sarah starts back-pedalling furiously over the confiscation of Easter Eggs:
This kind of souping up should be discouraged for two reasons.Â It encourages anti-Muslim bigotry and it gives people like Yaqoob and Ridley a handle for furtherÂ deflection.
Idiots. There is no “anti-Muslim bigotry”, there is jihad and Islamic supremacy. These wankers just don’t get it.