Islamists gain foothold in few British schools
LONDON — A British government investigation has found evidence that Muslim fundamentalists successfully gained control of some schools, raising fears that pupils are now vulnerable to radicalization.
The so-called Trojan horse report, which was released on Tuesday, said there was an “effective takeover” by like-minded people of a number of schools in Birmingham, Britain's second-largest city, leading to “the reinforcement of Muslim identity to the exclusion or disparagement of others.”
British Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said the report's findings were disturbing.
“What has been so upsetting about the history in this small handful of schools is that the success of efforts to encourage more British Muslims to take up governing roles has been damaged by the actions of a few,” she said.
The report found “coordinated, deliberate and sustained action” by a number of people to introduce an “intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos” into some of the city's schools. It pointed to a pattern in which school authorities criticized well-regarded head teachers and senior teachers were bullied, while new governing board staff members were rapidly promoted.
The investigation examined online discussions between one all-male group of teachers at Park View School and found them to have disparaged certain strands of Islam, expressed homophobic sentiments and sought to increase segregation at the school.
The report said Birmingham City Council failed to alert authorities of the practices that made some teachers worry pupils were learning to be intolerant of diversity and may now find it harder to question or challenge radical influences.
As a consequence of the report, the council said its whistle-blowing processes will be strengthened and teachers involved could be barred from the profession.
Mohammed Zabar, a Muslim parent whose daughter attends Oldknow Academy, welcomed the report. He said parents did not speak out for fear of speaking “against Islam.”
Investigators did not find evidence of violent extremism or terrorism.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- China’s WWII parade of military might stirs up Taiwan, others in Asia
- Dozens of Venezuelans shot by police amid crime crackdown
- European Union struggles for answers as migrant influx raises tensions
- ‘Super giant’ natural gas field found off Egypt in Mediterranean Sea
- Migrant crisis forces European Union leaders to set summit
- Temple in ancient Syrian city of Palmyra bombed by ISIS terrorists
- Suspect in 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia arrested
- Egypt, sans parliament for more than 3 years, sets elections
- British Columbia windstorm knocks out electricity
- Migrant surge: Europe ill-prepared for invasion of foreigners
- Ukrainian filmmaker gets 20 years for conspiracy to commit terror attacks