'Trojan Horse' a UK Muslim school witch-hunt? Islamophobia?

Aljazeerq: London, UK – The UK government faces accusations of demonising Muslims and playing politics with children’s futures over its tough response to reports of an alleged Islamist plot, dubbed “Trojan Horse”, to take over schools in the English city of Birmingham.

Representatives of Muslim organisations and communities affected by the controversy, triggered by what is now widely regarded as a discredited leaked document, claim that the government has fuelled Islamophobia following the publication this week of a series of critical reports into the schools under scrutiny.

“We have had a climate of demonising Muslims for some time now, but this has really escalated that by raising the idea of a potential threat existing among children,” Arzu Merali, the head of research at theIslamic Human Rights Commission, told Al Jazeera.

“The spectre that is raised is that anywhere there are groups of Muslims in numbers there is something funny going on, even when it is in schools. A lot of people who have tried to involve themselves in public life are being targeted and we have an executive that is almost out of control.”

Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted, the public body that monitors standards in schools, said on Monday that inspectors had found evidence of “a culture of fear and intimidation” at some schools and “an organised campaign to target certain schools in order to impose a narrow faith-based ideology”.

Responding to those allegations, Michael Gove, the minister for education, told parliament the government would introduce measures requiring schools to “actively promote British values“.

“Schools which are proven to have failed will be taken over, put under new leadership and taken in a fresh, new direction,” he said.

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  1. Ofsted’s report finds that in Park View school, the sexes are segregated inside the classroom, their sports events are scheduled for different days. Outrageous! Oh, wait a minute… Eton is an all boys school. They don’t even admit girls. Put them on special measures! and that a “madrasa curriculum” denies evolutionary theory and omits reproduction from biology classes. Outrageous! Oh, wait a minute… Many of Gove’s ‘academies’ are Christian schools, staffed by unqualified teachers who are card carrying creationists. Just the sort of Christian fanatics who teach religious dogma as ‘science’. They aren’t very keen on sex either. Put them on special measures! One teacher has handed out a worksheet stating that women must always obey their husbands, Outrageous! Hang on a minute… The phrase, ‘to love, honour and obey,’ is still used in many, if not most, Anglican wedding ceremonies. Put Anglican schools on special measures! And another has been using school facilities to copy Osama bin Laden DVDs. Admittedly this does sound very dodgy. What was the context? Was it done to indoctrinate pupils in Al Qaida politics? Or was it done to make them aware and think about the nature of ideological fanaticism, rather like teaching children about the Nazis? We should be told. I think ‘British values’ are bollocks. Personally I’ve never heard of them. are they like John Major’s spam fritters? Or John major’s ‘family values’. I think a value that might be applied here is one where government doesn’t leap to the knee-jerk conclusion that ‘outsiders’ (many of the people affected by this bollocks are from families that have lived in the UK for 40 or 50 years) are dangerous. Gove is a Pollock.

    The way our Govt treating British Muslims is as if all Muslims are terrorists unless they prove otherwise. Govt should focus on its job. Govt of this school worked hard to help a failing school achieve outstanding rating from Ofsted. Please fix Ofsted and stop demonising Muslims. It is important to all of us that our schools can get on with their job, which is educating children. Schools in multi-cultural areas are doing a great job of respecting different cultures and preparing young people to live in a multi-cultural country. 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 think it is very important to actually see what a wonderful place Birmingham is. There are superb examples of where local communities (yes with high Muslim population) work together with each other for the good of the community. And where has this come from respecting and embracing diversity in schools. Respecting each others religions and respecting different lifestyles. Look at balsall heath and even Cameron commented on the local community getting involved. So working together is good enough for Cameron so why is this witch hunt being conducted to demonise what this community has been ping for years which is respecting each other and working together. The Birmingham community is a multi-cultural community and we should all live in unity and with peace. Such a phobia/fear/accusation is only going to effect the education of the children and also the way a community live in particular areas. Every school needs to respect the religious beliefs of their students and Muslim teachers should not be the only ones targeted.

    The shocking level of targeting of the Muslim community of Birmingham is indicative of the normalisation of the dehumanisation of the Muslims of Britain. Under the pretext of “extremism”, criminal undemocratic and unethical abuse of public institutions and the Muslims of the UK can occur without much accountability. This pervasive attitude, especially amongst officials like Michael Gove needs to change. Our schools are truly trying to develop our children to do well at schools so later in life they are able to stand on their own two feet, but if we stop our schools from doing this than our country will have up rise of unemployment, benefit issues, crime levels high, I think its time for you apologize and allow practitioners to do their job right.

    There is no such thing as British values. There is, however, a British way of doing things. It follows that Michael Gove erred when he said schools should promote British values. To expect schools to uphold British institutions would make much more sense. What matters, in Britain, is loyalty to the institutions which in this country enable us to enjoy in our own constantly evolving fashion the blessings of democracy, freedom, fairness and the rest. Teenage pregnancy, promiscuity, binge drinking, rape culture, victim blaming, casual racism, escalating homophobia and sexism are basic British values. These are British values and British identity: Groping, paedophilia, peeving at “boobs”, laddism, sexist “banter”, chauvinism, boorishness, old queens, battery and assault, drinking, taking copious amounts of drugs, smoking, littering, ram-raiding, car stealing, fathering children by different mothers, halitosis, obesity, toupees, shortness, bad dress sense, shaved heads, tattoos, gold teeth, earrings on men, three quarter length shorts, pig ignorance.

    Get the state out of education. Only a free market can possibly cater for the diversity of our society and match it in richness – and at a price it can afford. The state has no place to prevent people giving their kids the education they want to. If the state loosened its monopoly grip, all sorts of affordable alternatives would be able to compete. That is he real, bottom up multi-culturalism – not your state sponsored political correctness or mono cultured Britain. Park View is funded by the State and is required to follow certain rules. Eton is an independent fee paying school and doesn’t have to follow the same rules, or indeed, many at all. This supposed “freedom of choice” over schooling is one the “British Values” that you are currently in denial about. I see. So if Eton were to indoctrinate their all male cohort in Al Qaida philosophy and Sharia law then that would be okay because they are a fee paying public school, but it’s not okay for one of Gove’s academies to do it in Bradford. And these are British values are they? They’re bollocks.
    IA
    London School of Islamics Trust

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