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We must confront the challenge of Islamism
At least six Birmingham schools accused of harbouring a Trojan horse plot run by Muslim fundamentalists will be placed under special measures by Ofsted. The action is understandable. The unsubtle attempts to insert Islamist ideas – representing an extremist, politicised form of Islam – into the curriculum of those schools makes for frightening reading. Equally unsettling was the liberal establishment's failure to correct it.
According to a special report by the Education Funding Agency, radical Muslims have tried to take control of teaching by first taking control of school governorships. Excellent head teachers were either reduced to the status of figureheads or forced out of their jobs. Girls at Park View and Golden Hillock were made to sit at the back of the class. At Park View, loudspeakers were used to "broadcast the call for prayer across the school" and a person known for loathing Jews and admiring al-Qaeda addressed an assembly. At Golden Hillock, some Christian pupils were left to "teach themselves" in RE classes. At Oldknow, Christmas activities were stopped, there were subsidised trips to Mecca and one teacher led an anti-Christian chant in assembly. At Nansen, there were "no lessons in the humanities, arts or music" for an entire year group. Arabic, however, was compulsory learning across the entire school.
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