Archive for the ‘Islamism’ Category

This is Agreement (of Jizya) that implemented by the Islamic State for the Christians!
Al Mustaqbal Channel | July 25, 2014

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture (Jews & Christians) – [fight] UNTIL they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.” (At-Taubah, 9:29)

This Aayah states to not stopping fight against the disbelievers until they giving Jizya! in the Saheeh of Al-Bukhaari that Al-Mugheerah Bin Shu’bah said to a Persian during the battle of Nahaawand (Refer to Fat’h-ul-Baari 264/6) in the land of the Persians: “Our Nabi, the Messenger of Allah has ordered us to fight you until you worship Allah alone or that you give the Jizyah.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaari 3159, Fat’h-ul-Baari 258/6).

The following came in the Hadeeth: “Then if they refuse (i.e. entering into Islaam) then ask them for the Jizyah. If they respond positively to you, then accept this from them and refrain from (fighting) them.” (Saheeh Muslim 1731).

So this Hadeeth & Aayah is a text in regards to fighting the Kuffaar (disbelievers) until one of two matters comes to pass: Either they worship Allah alone i.e. entering into the folds of Islam, or for the Jizyah to be given. The meaning of this is the obligation of refraining from Al-Qitaal (fighting) and ceasing the state of war with the disbelievers who have responded positively to the payment of the Jizyah in the case where they have refused to convert into Islam. This is our religion! and we will implement it! Allahu Akbar!

Islamic State of Caliph Ibrahim is the only state in this world right now that implement jizya after 150 years ago implemented in Islamic Caliphate. This is real proof for us, this state is under right path, ahlus sunnah wal jama’ah, inshallah! and the text below, is the text of agreement between Islamic State with christians in Islamic State region which choose to stay, pay jizya and don’t want to convert into Islam.

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim

Security Contract (agreement) given to The Christians in Daulah Islamiyyah

Praise to be Allah, who has glorified Islam with his help, humiliating mushrikeen with his strength,

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture (Jews & Christians) – [fight] UNTIL they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.” (At-Taubah, 9:29)

We testify that there is no god but Allah, he always keep his promises, help for his servant and glorify His army. There is no god but Allah, and we not worship except Him, worship Him with purifies, though the disbelievers hate.

We testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad Sholallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, a kind man, and brave on the battlefield, God has sent him with the sword so that human only worshiped Allah, and imposed on those who against him, will get torture and war.

We testify that Isa ibn Maryam, he is a servant of God and His Prophet, and sequences of sentences are read for Mary and become a spirit for her, Allah says: “Never would the Messiah (Christ) disdain to be a servant of Allah , nor would the angels near [to Him]. And whoever disdains His worship and is arrogant – He will gather them to Himself all together.”(An-Nisa: 172)

Praise Belongs to God for the give us glory of Islam..

Wa ba’du: Sentences of this letter as given by the Servant of God, Abu Bakr al-baghdady, the ruler of Christians in Islamic State Region to give peace and security for them:

Their lives, their property, places of worship and their descendants throughout the region Raqqah will be safe, they church will not be destroyed, their property will not be diminish , they will not be required to hate their trust (i.e convert into Islam), and no one of them will be harmed. For it all, with conditions/terms:

§ They are not allowed to build a new churches, monasteries, and ascetic pries in the city, they should not repair the damaged from the existing building.

  • They are not allowed to openly show up the cross and their holy book (bible) in the croweded place of Muslims, they should not use the loudspeaker in they worship ceremony.
  • So that the Muslims will not hear their holy book (bible) and their speech, all their worship activity must be in the church.
  • Must not conduct activities that will lead to hostility against Dawla Islamiyyah (Islamic State), such as deploying a spy,  find any information about Dawla Islamiyyah, or helps the enemies of Dawla, such as hiding enemy of Dawla, kidnapped the Muslims, and etc, if anyone know about it, should submit the information to Dawla.
  • They must be committed, eliminating all forms of worship that appears outside the church.
  • Should not prohibit anyone from the Christians who want to convert to Islam, if he want to convert into Islam.
  • They should not be insulted, disregard Islam and the Muslims, they should not denounce the teachings of Islam.
  • For those who have grown up among them, must be committed to pay jizya, for those who are rich should pay 4 gold dinar (dinars in question is a gold dinar used in buying and selling, weighing 4.25 grams), for the middle-income economy people should pay 2 gold dinars, and for the poor people among them, should pay 1 gold dinar. They should not hide the wealth that they have, they have to pay 2 times a year.
  • Not allowed to have weapons
  • Should not sell pigs and alcohol to Muslims in the market, and drink it in public places
  • If they break this agreement, the cemetery has been provided for them, as it could be.
  • They should perform decently in a dress, and buying or selling with rules of Daulah Islamiyyah.

If they fulfill all the requirements above.

Their  soul, their property and their homes, will get the protection (as it had been given) Messenger of Allah.  Their belief/religion will not be disturbed and reduced, Islamic law is very fair to them, and they will not be punished entirely if one of them made ​​a mistake.

Those who agree to the terms contained in this agreement. For they are God’s protection and the protection of Muhammad shalallallahu alaihi wa sallam, until God bring with Him affairs.  If they violate this agreement, their protection will gone, and the Islamic State will fight them like the others.

http://world.al-mustaqbal.net/this-is-agreement-of-jizya-that-implemented-by-the-islamic-state-for-the-christians/

 

How Dissimulation about Islam is Fuelling Genocide in the Middle East
Mark Durie
Lapido Media | August 12, 2014

In northern Iraq religious genocide is reaching end-game stage. Islamic State (IS) soldiers, reinforced with military equipment originally supplied by the US, are driving back Kurdish defenders who had been protecting Christians and other religious minorities. While hundreds of thousands of refugees have been fleeing into Kurdistan, around 40,000 Yazidis and some Christians are trapped on Mount Sinjar, surrounded by IS jihadis. (Yazidis are Kurdish people whose pre-Christian faith derives from ancient Iranian religious traditions, with overlays and influences from other religions.)

The Assyrian Aid Society of Iraq has reported that children and the elderly are dying of thirst on Sinjar. Parents are throwing their children to their deaths off the mountain rather than see them die of thirst or be taken into slavery by IS.

The IS jihadis are killing the men they capture. In one recent incident 1500 men were executed in front of their wives and families. In another incident 13 Yazidi men who refused to convert to Islam had their eyes plucked out, were doused with gasoline and burned alive. When the men are killed, captured women and children are enslaved to be used for sex, deployed as human shields in battle zones, or sold to be used and abused as their new owners see fit.

The United States has ironically called for greater cooperation. UN Ambassador, Samantha Power, urged ‘all parties to the conflict’ to allow access to UN relief agencies. She called on Iraqis to ‘come together’ so that Iraq will ‘get back on the path to a peaceful future’ and ‘prevent ISIL from obliterating Iraq’s vibrant diversity’.

Of course it is not ‘vibrant diversity’ which is being wiped out in Iraq, but men, women and children by their tens of thousands. This is not about the failure of coexistence, and the problem is not ‘conflict’. This is not about people who have trouble getting on and who need to somehow make up and ‘come together’. It is about a well-articulated and well-documented theological worldview hell-bent on dominating ‘infidels’, if necessary wiping them off the face of the earth, in order to establish the power and grandeur of a radical vision of Islam.

The American administration, according to Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute, ‘withholds arms from the Kurds while awaiting a new, unified Iraqi government with a new prime minister. Meanwhile … no Iraqi troops are in Nineveh province.’ Only at a few minutes to midnight on the genocide clock has the US begun to launch military strikes against IS forces.

These events ought to be sobering to the West, not least because thousands of the IS jihadis were raised and bred in the mosques of Europe, North America and Australia, not to mention the madrassas of nations such as Malaysia, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Having been formed by the theology of radical Islam in their home societies, would-be jihadis are flocking to Syria and Iraq where they seek victory or martyrdom, killing and raping as they go.

Why is this so? How did the Arab Spring, hailed by so many armchair western commentators as the next best thing for the Middle East, blossom bright red into a torrent of blood?

Theological illiteracy

Part of the answer is that the West is in the grip of theological illiteracy. It has stubbornly refused to grasp the implications of a global Islamic revival which has been gaining steam for the best part of a century. The Islamic Movement looks back to the glory days of conquest as Islam’s finest hour, and seeks to revive Islamic supremacy through jihad and sacrifice. It longs for a truly Islamic state – the caliphate reborn – and considers jihad to be the God-given means to usher it in.

This worldview was promoted in compelling, visionary terms by Indian scholar Abul A’la Maududi, whose writings continue to be widely disseminated by Islamic bookshops and mosques across the West. Maududi argued in his radicalisation primer Let us be Muslims that the only valid form of government is Islamic theocracy – i.e. sharia rule – and Muslims are duty-bound to use whatever power they can muster to impose this goal on the world: ‘whoever you are, in whichever country you live, you must strive to change the wrong basis of government, and seize all powers to rule and make laws from those who do not fear God. … The name of this striving is jihad.’ And ‘If you believe Islam to be true, you have no alternative but to exert your utmost strength to make it prevail on earth: you either establish it or give your lives in this struggle.’

My own copy of Let us Be Muslims, which lies open before me as I write, was bought from a well-respected mainstream Islamic centre here in Melbourne, Australia.

Violent protests

When Pope Benedict gave a lecture in Regensburg in 2006, in which he suggested that Islam had been spread by force, the Muslim world erupted in violent protests.

Sheikh ‘Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, responded with a revealing defence of Islam’s record. Without a glimmer of irony he argued that the Pope was wrong to say Islam had been spread by force, because the infidels had a third choice, apart from death or conversion, namely to ‘surrender and pay tax, and they will be allowed to remain in their land, observing their religion under the protection of Muslims.’ He claimed that those who read the Qur’an and the Sunna (the example and teaching of Muhammad) will understand the facts.

The reality unfolding in north Iraq today reveals to the cold light of day exactly what the doctrine of the three choices means for conquered non-Muslims populations, and why the dogma of the ‘three choices’ is no defence against the assertion that Islam was spread by the sword.

Jizya

It is crystal clear that IS is not playing by the world’s rules. It has nothing but contempt for the Geneva Convention. Its battle tactics are regulated by sheikhs who implement the sharia’s rules of war. Many of the abuses committed by IS being reported by the international media are taken straight from the pages of Islamic legal textbooks.

Consider IS’s announcement to Christians in northern Iraq: ‘We offer them three choices: Islam, the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this, they will have nothing but the sword.’

These words are cobbled together from the pages of Islamic sacred texts. It was Sa’d b. Mu’adh, a companion of Muhammad, who said of the pagan Meccans ‘We will give them nothing but the sword’ ( A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, OUP 1955 p. 454). Muhammad himself was reported to have said ‘When you meet your enemies who are polytheists [i.e. they are not Muslims] invite them to three courses of action. … Invite them to Islam… If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the jizya. … If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them’ (Sahih Muslim. The Book of Jihad and Expedition [Kitab al-Jihad wa’l-Siyar] 3:27:4294). When the Caliph ‘Umar attacked Persia, he announced to them ‘Our Prophet [Muhammad] … has ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah Alone or pay jizya’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, The Book of al-Jizya and the Stoppage of War 4:58:3159).

Prophesy

I have analysed the doctrine of the three choices in my book The Third Choice: Islam, dhimmitude and freedom, drawing extensively on Islamic sources to explain the worldview of jihad and the dhimma. That book now reads as a grim prophecy of the tragedy unfolding in Syria and Iraq.

The Arabic word jizya is derived from a root j-z-y which refers to something given as compensation, in substitution for something else. According to Arab lexicographers, jizya is tribute taken from non-Muslims living under Islamic rule ‘as though it were a compensation for their not being slain’. It is paid by defeated communities to compensate or reward their attackers for forgoing the right to kill, enslave or loot them.

The nineteenth-century Algerian Qur’anic commentator Muhammad ibn Yusuf at-Fayyish explained that jizya is ‘a satisfaction for their blood. It is … to compensate for their not being slain. Its purpose is to substitute for the duties of killing and slavery … It is for the benefit of Muslims.’ Over a thousand years earlier, Abu Yusuf Ya’qub, a Hanafi jurist wrote ‘their lives and possessions are spared only on account of the payment of the jizya.’

Compensation

In 1799 William Eton, in a survey of the Ottoman empire, reported that Christians under Ottoman rule, on paying the jizya, were addressed with a standard form of words to the effect that ‘the sum of money received is taken as compensation for being permitted to wear their heads that year‘ (Eton’s emphasis).

To be sure, there are other ways to interpret the Qur’an, but the point is that this understanding of jizya has become the operative one in Northern Iraq and Syria. It also has the backing of centuries of Islamic jurisprudence and practice. It was with this understanding of Islam that the Middle East, South Asia and large parts of Eastern Europe were conquered and occupied under Muslim rule until modern times.

This grim fact – that the IS jihadis can ably defend their theology on the basis of Islam’s history and religious traditions – means that it will be no easy task to persuade Muslim clerics and intellectuals to ‘debunk’ them. Such a strategy, which has been proposed by Peter Leahy, former head of the Australian Army, will be fraught with difficulties. Debunking would be a whole lot easier if radical ideologies were in fact bunkum. The problem is, the jihadis hold far too many theological trump cards from the Qur’an and the precedent of Muhammad’s example to be so easily routed on the field of ideas. Indeed it is the radicals who have become expert at debunking, as their successful global recruiting drive shows.

Let us consider some of the weight behind the radicals’ theology.

Surrender

According to Islamic law, Christians and other non-Muslims who agree to keep their religion and their lives by paying jizya are subject to a dhimma treaty of surrender.

The word dhimma is derived from an Arabic word meaning ‘to blame’. It implies a liability or debt arising from fault or blame. The idea is that the non-Muslims, known as dhimmis, owe a debt to their conquerors for their lives, and non-observance of the treaty of surrender would attract blame and thus incur punishment. The dhimma conditions include payment of jizya by adult men, but also many demeaning legal disabilities which are enforced upon non-Muslims and apply in one form or another across most of the Muslim world right up to the present day: one example is widespread restrictions on building new churches in areas formerly conquered by Islam; another is restrictions on freedom of religious expression.

The imposition of these disabilities upon non-Muslims is in accordance with a command of Muhammad:

‘… I have been sent with a sword in my hand to command people to worship Allah and associate no partners with him. I command you to belittle and subjugate those who disobey me, for whoever imitates a people is one of them’ (cited from Musnad (chain of) Ahmad Ibn Hanbali, founder of the Hanbali school of jurisprudence).

Belittling

One of the means of belittling non-Muslims has been to ensure that they would not ‘look alike’, by requiring that they wear discriminatory clothing, patches or even, in ancient times, seals around their necks.

A modern-day manifestation of the principle of not ‘looking alike’ is the application of the Arabic letter nun (for Nazrani, the Arabic word for Christians) to the exterior of Christian homes in Mosul. Using similar reasoning, the Taliban required that Afghan Hindus should wear discriminatory patches on their clothing, so their non-Muslim status could be instantly recognizable.

IS is even looking to the model of first century Islam to set the level of the jizya tax. Early Islamic sources state that the jizya was a minimum of one gold dinar, and up to four dinars, depending upon the wealth of the individual dhimmi. Following these provisions to the letter, IS has made the following declaration:

‘Christians are obligated to pay Jizya tax on every adult male to the value of four golden dinars for the wealthy, half of that for middle-income citizens and half of that for the poor . . . they must not hide their status, and can pay in two installments per year.’

A gold dinar weighs about 4.5 grams, which at $45 a gram means that a tax regime of one to four dinars equates to $200 to $800 US dollars per non-Muslim adult male. This is a heavy burden for a conquered people in a war zone, and the reality on the ground in both Syria and Iraq has been that the jihadis demand much more, and not once a year as its textbooks state, but again and again.

Convert or die

Reports show that IS has been setting jizya so high in both Syria and northern Iraq, and levying it so often, that it cannot be paid. This gives Christians who wish to stay in their homes but two choices: convert or die. Most have fled, but some, including those who are too frail or disabled to flee, have had to convert to save themselves. The fleeing refugees are in a particularly desperate situation, because they are progressively stripped of their belongings by IS checkpoints as they escape.

There is nothing new here. Throughout history the jizya has been a heavy imposition for non-Muslims. Large numbers of Christians converted to Islam in the early centuries of Islamic rule in order to avoid this tax. Dionysius, a Syrian patriarch writing in the eighth century, reported that the jizya often had to be extracted from Christians by beatings, extortion, torture, rape and killings. Many fled destitute from town to town after they had sold everything they owned to pay the tax.

Arthur Tritton reported in The Caliphs and their Non-Muslim Subjects about eighth-century Egypt that for ordinary day labourers the jizya tax was around a quarter of annual earnings, or ten times the zakat tax paid by Muslims. Shlomo Dov Goitein, writing on the situation of Jews in medieval Egypt, reported that men would enslave themselves or their family to pay the tax. Centuries after Dionysius of Antioch, he also reported that many, having sold all they had to pay it, took to wandering homeless as beggars.

Rules of war

The treatment of captives by IS is also in accordance with orthodox rules of war in Islam, which permit men to be killed, while women and children are enslaved. Sex slavery – concubinage – is permitted by the sharia principles which guide IS. The Reliance of the Traveller – a respected Sunni manual of sharia law – states: ‘When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled’ (chapter o9.13). The option of converting to Islam to avoid death or capture – which is being urged upon non-Muslims by IS – is also clearly supported: ‘Whoever enters Islam before being captured may not be killed or his property confiscated, or his young children taken captive’ (chapter o9.12).

The widespread looting of property is also validated by Islam’s rules of war: ‘A free male Muslim who has reached puberty and is sane is entitled to the spoils of battle when he has participated in a battle to the end of it’ (chapter o10.1). And ‘Anyone who … kills one of the enemy or effectively incapacitates him, risking his own life thereby, is entitled to whatever he can take from the enemy, meaning as much as he can take away with him in the battle, such as a mount, clothes, weaponry, money or other’ (chapter o10.2).

The grim reality is that the fate of Christians and Yazidis in northern Iraq today all too often matches the stipulations of Islamic textbooks: non-Muslim men are killed, their women and children enslaved, and their property and possessions looted.

It is regrettable that the hard cold reality of Islamic imperialism and the dhimma system have been denied and obscured by scholars. For example Bernard Lewis claimed that ‘The dhimma on the whole worked quite well.’

As part of this obscurantist veil, the true meaning of the words jizya and dhimma have been hidden by scholars.

Anglican priest Colin Chapman, who was the then Archbishop of Canterbury’s envoy to Al-Azhar University in Cairo, claimed in his widely-ready book Cross and Crescent that Jews and Christians were ‘protected’ and implied that the jizya was paid in compensation for them not doing military service or paying the Muslims’ alms tax (zakat). In reality the main protection afforded to dhimmis is that they can keep their heads away from the sword of jihad, and it was in return for this privilege that the jizya is exacted. John Esposito similarly claimed that jizya is an ‘exchange’ in return for keeping one’s religion, protection from ‘outside aggression’, and exemption from military service.

Islamic rule

Such dissimulations, also advanced by Muslim apologists, have served to prop up the myth of convivencia and a golden age in which Christians and Muslims lived contentedly side-by-side under Islamic rule.

Architects of multiculturalism and advocates of interfaith dialogue have repeatedly promoted this mythical Islamic construct as a model for different religions to flourish side by side in Europe today. This has gone hand in hand with the claims that European culture owes an unacknowledged debt to Islam, and Islam’s historical record has been misrepresented by hateful, bigoted people.

In reality Islamic coexistence with conquered Christian populations was always regulated by the conditions of the dhimma, as defined above, under which non-Muslims have no inherent right to life, but had to purchase this right year after year.

Bigotry

Willful historical ignorance has been deeply debilitating for the intellectual elites of the West, who feel righteous in dismissing evidence that contradicts their corrupted worldview, on the grounds that they are taking a stand against the bigotry of Islamophobia. They have been schooled in this self-hatred by their Muslim dialogue partners.

Also debilitating has been the trend among scholars to deny or downplay the military meaning of jihad. An extreme example is Yale theologian Miroslav Volf’s preposterous claim that the use of military force to expand Islam is ‘rejected by all leading Muslim scholars today’.

The promotion of the idea of the ‘greater jihad’ as a personal spiritual struggle has also served to distract western leaders, such as CIA director John Brennan, who stated that ‘jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community’.

True meaning

In reality the meaning of jihad in all sharia textbooks is warfare against unbelievers. If the true meaning of jihad was a spiritual struggle with the self, IS would not be attracting so many willing volunteers from around the globe to the killing fields of Syria and Iraq.

There is a chronic and urgent need for a dialogue of civilizations between Islam and the post-Christian West. However this dialogue cannot be based upon myths. At the top of the agenda must be the twin institutions of jihad and the dhimma. It is essential for Western people to emphatically reject and stigmatize these two pillars of Islamic law, and to deplore to Muslims their application both throughout history and in the contemporary world.

Cultural blindness

One of the effects of enforced cultural blindness and intellectual amnesia is rampant theological illiteracy among Western policy makers. This is now having the direst of consequences for Christians and others in the Middle East. Those who managed the Western occupation of Iraq were deeply ignorant of the dangers to non-Muslim minorities posed by the Islamic revivalism combined with Western inference, and in particular by the re-establishment of the jihad-dhimma system. They overlooked the fact that re-establishing the dhimma has always been part of the agenda of Islamic revivalist movements. They did not grasp that jihad war zones always prove especially deadly to non-Muslims, even when the main conflict is between Muslims.

It had also been forgotten that advances in the rights of non-Muslim populations across the Middle East – such as the official dismantling of dhimma laws by the Ottomans in the mid-nineteenth century – were only achieved due to sustained political and military pressure from the Great Powers, and at the cost of suppressing mainstream Islamic dogmas. Indeed this ‘humiliation’ of Islam is one of the very things the global Islamic revival is supposed to be winding back: this is why the deterioration of the human rights of non-Muslim minorities – from Malaysia to Egypt – has been so marked in recent decades.

Today Islamic revivalist dogmas, which have become deeply entrenched in Muslim communities both throughout the West and in Muslim majority states, eulogize Islam’s glory days, when Christians and other non-Muslims paid jizya to keep their heads. Revivalists look forward to a time when sharia principles, implemented through unfettered jihad, will enforce the view that non-Muslims do not have an inherent right to life, but only a conceded right for which they must compensate Muslims in gold. We need not be surprised or shocked when young men from around the globe, reared on this poisonous theological cocktail, volunteer for jihad in Syria and Iraq to usher in a longed-for Islamic utopia. It should not shock us that they have no qualms about shedding non-Muslim blood.

The effect of the cultural jihad, waged not only by Muslim apologists, but also by Western elites, is that Western policy makers have become blind to the enormity of present-day non-Muslim suffering under the yoke of Islam, for they have no reference points to comprehend it. To engage with this suffering and develop policies to counter it would require acknowledgement of its root causes, namely the theological framework of jihad and the dhimma, but that is simply too frightening for societies who have multicultural dogmas rusted onto their psyches, having embraced a false view of history and stubbornly obscurantist views about theology.

As long as policy makers continue to seek intellectual solace in calls for ‘conflict resolution’ and ‘reconciliation’, the vulnerable will continue to be killed, raped and looted in the name of Islamic revivalism. The lives of tens of thousands of vulnerable and peaceful Christians, Yazidis and others, whose crime is that their religion is unacceptable, now hang in the balance in northern Iraq, while the West sits paralyzed on the side lines, stunned and stupefied by the lies it has told itself for so many years.

Infidel West

This is not to say that reconciliation is unnecessary. Usama Bin Ladin got it right when he asserted that the doctrine of the three choices is the crux of the West’s problem with Islam: ‘The West avenges itself against Islam for giving infidels but three options’:

‘Our talks with the infidel West and our conflict with them ultimately revolve around one issue – one that demands our total support, with power and determination, with one voice – and it is: "Does Islam, or does it not, force people by the power of the sword to submit to its authority corporeally if not spiritually?" [The answer is:] Yes. There are only three choices in Islam: either willing submission; or payment of the jizya, through physical though not spiritual, submission to the authority of Islam; or the sword – for it is not right to let him [an infidel] live. The matter is summed up for every person alive: Either submit, or live under the suzerainty of Islam, or die.’

Bin Ladin was right about this, that Islam’s doctrine of three choices, encompassing the theological institutions of jihad and the dhimma, is and must be the central issue for the West in its dialogue with the Islamic world. An understanding of this doctrine and its implications for the human rights of non-Muslims should be a cornerstone of public policy in relation to Islam, both now and in the foreseeable future.

This will not be an easy or comfortable dialogue, judging from the howls of protest that greeted Pope Benedict’s comparatively mild Regensburg lecture in 2006. Yet appeasement of howling objectors through conflict-avoidance manoeuvers will bring nothing but grief, as we are seeing in northern Iraq.

According to the ‘Vicar of Bagdad‘, Canon Andrew White, what is needed right now to help non-Muslim victims of Islamic jihadism is three things: Protection, Provision and Perseverance. The lie foisted upon the world was that there was nothing non-Muslims needed to be protected from.

Right now IS’s victims deserve military intervention, food, water and medical supplies. Many will need permanent sanctuary outside of their homelands.

Longer term, much more is needed. Certainly the will to persevere, because the world is in but the early stages of a (now resumed) centuries-long war with militant Islam, but above all, in order to make sustained progress in the long struggle ahead, we will require a greater appetite for the truth.

Mark Durie is a theologian, human rights activist, pastor of an Anglican church, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and director of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations and religious freedom. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian College of Theology, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992.

http://www.meforum.org/4774/islam-genocide-middle-east

 

Convert, pay tax, or die, Islamic State warns Christians
Jul 18, 2014

(Reuters) – Islamist insurgents have issued an ultimatum to northern Iraq’s dwindling Christian population to either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or face death, according to a statement distributed in the militant-controlled city of Mosul.

The statement issued by the Islamic State, the al Qaeda offshoot which led last month’s lightning assault to capture swathes of north Iraq, and seen by Reuters, said the ruling would come into effect on Saturday.

It said Christians who wanted to remain in the "caliphate" that the Islamic State declared this month in parts of Iraq and Syria must agree to abide by terms of a "dhimma" contract – a historic practice under which non-Muslims were protected in Muslim lands in return for a special levy known as "jizya".

"We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword," the announcement said.

A resident of Mosul said the statement, issued in the name of the Islamic State in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, had been distributed on Thursday and read out in mosques.

It said Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which the group has now named Caliph Ibrahim, had set a Saturday deadline for Christians who did not want to stay and live under those terms to "leave the borders of the Islamic Caliphate".

"After this date, there is nothing between us and them but the sword," it said.

The Nineveh decree echoes one that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the former name for the Islamic State, issued in the Syrian city of Raqqa in February, demanding that Christians pay the jizya levy in gold and curb displays of their faith in return for protection.

The concept of dhimma, governing non-Muslims living under Islamic rule, dates back to the early Islamic era in the seventh century, but was largely abolished during the Ottoman reforms of the mid-19th century.

Mosul, once home to diverse faiths, had a Christian population of around 100,000 a decade ago, but waves of attacks on Christians since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein have seen those numbers collapse.

The resident of Mosul who saw the Islamic State announcement estimated the city’s Christian population before last month’s militant takeover at around 5,000. The vast bulk of those have since fled, leaving perhaps only 200 in the city, he said.

(Reporting by Dominic Evans and Isra’ al-Rube’i; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/07/18/uk-iraq-security-christians-idUKKBN0FN29N20140718

More on The Trojan Horse Affair

Posted: August 3, 2014 in Islamism

Schools face new curbs on extremism after Birmingham Trojan horse affair
Education secretary Nicky Morgan announces reforms after Peter Clarke’s damning report on Muslim extremist infiltration
Patrick Wintour, Political editor
The Guardian | 22 July 2014

A raft of reforms to school accountability, including an education commissioner for Birmingham, inspections of city academy chains and new oversight of school governors, were announced on Tuesday by the education secretary in response to a damning report into extremist infiltration of schools.

Nicky Morgan said that in the future teachers would be sacked without appeal if it was proven that they have failed to protect pupils or promote British values by exposing children to extremist speakers.

The moves followed the publication on Tuesday of a report showing there had been a co-ordinated attempt to take over a small group of Birmingham schools by a group of politicised Sunni Muslim extremists.

The report, written by Peter Clarke, the former head of counter-terrorism at the Met, was leaked to the Guardian last week. It calls for a review of the way in which schools become academies or academy trusts, a proposal not taken up by Morgan.

Clarke said he found an "intolerant and aggressive" Islamist ethos in some Birmingham schools brought about by governors intent on promoting an ultra-conservative version of their faith. That ethos included homophobia, sexism, antipathy to other forms of Islam and in one case denial that Private Lee Rigby had been killed by Islamic extremists.

The new schools commissioner for Birmingham will oversee reforms to the way school governors are selected and operate, as well as ensure that all children are properly prepared for life in the modern world. The appointment has been welcomed by Birmingham council.

Morgan also announced that the outgoing head of the home civil service, Sir Bob Kershaw, will conduct a review of Birmingham council’s corporate culture.

The council is now Labour controlled, but was run by an alliance of Tories and Liberal Democrats until March 2012. The new council’s political leadership has admitted, in hindsight, it put community cohesion before rooting out the problems in some schools, including systematic bullying of teachers resisting attempts to narrow the culture and curriculum of state schools.

The current Birmingham chief executive has been fiercely critical of the former education secretary Michael Gove and the Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw.

Morgan said: "What Peter Clarke found is disturbing. His report sets out compelling evidence of a determined effort by people with a shared ideology to gain control of the governing bodies of a small number of schools in Birmingham. Teachers have said they fear children are learning to be intolerant of difference and diversity. Instead of enjoying a broadening and enriching experience in school, young people are having their horizons narrowed and are being denied the opportunity to flourish in a modern multicultural Britain."

One of the schools at the centre of the row, Oldknow Academy, was told it will have its funding agreement terminated by the Department for Education. In a letter to the academy trust’s board, the schools minister, Lord Nash, said Oldknow had failed to show it had taken adequate steps to improve. A further letter from the minister states the DfE will revisit the school in October, to scrutinise its action plan.

Clarke also criticised unnamed professional bodies – believed to be a reference to the National Union of Teachers and the NASUWT – for putting to one side consideration of "the systematic problems" their Birmingham members faced in their relationships with school governors.

He also said the two unions, unlike the National Association of Head Teachers, had refused to assist his inquiry proactively. These professional bodies, he said, "have been active in securing compromise agreements for their members where professional agreements have broken down, but consideration of the more systematic problems affecting their members appear to have been put to one side". Both unions, in statements, strongly condemned intolerance, but continued to claim the criticisms of the schools had been exaggerated.

In the Commons, Les Lawrence, the former lead education councillor in Birmingham, a Conservative, was one of four people named under parliamentary privilege by Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, who accused them of colluding "with this huge tragedy of keeping these schools in a position they should not have been in", and failing to listen to parents, governors and teachers.

In her statement, Morgan made two policy announcements that might have not been made by her predecessor Gove, and one notable shift in tone.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said her appointment of a school commissioner for Birmingham was a welcome shift and broadly in line with proposals he had made jointly with the former education secretary David Blunkett for a localised tier of accountability responsible for driving up school standards. Hunt has been concerned that the proliferation of academies has left the Department for Education in charge of thousands of schools.

Gove had already created eight regional school commissioners, including one for the West Midlands.

Morgan said that below these eight commissioners, appointed by the Department for Education, will be elected headteacher boards, which will consist of outstanding headteachers. She said she hoped these bodies would be the places unhappy teachers could turn in the future if they have complaints about local school governors or the response of the local council. Morgan also for the first time said her department needed to look at Ofsted being empowered to inspect academy chains, a power Wilshaw has sought.

Morgan also spurned an opportunity to follow Gove in his rhetorical demands for tougher action to deal with Islamist extremism. She was asked by a Tory backbencher Rob Wilson: "What approach does she favour in attempting to combat extremism – simply beating back the crocodiles that come too close to the boat, or draining the swamp?" Morgan said simply: "I believe in looking forward and learning lessons." Liam Byrne, the Birmingham MP for Hodge Hill, was one of many Labour MPs to blame the former education secretary for making longstanding problems in some local schools worse. He said: "Over the last six months, I’ve been appalled by the way some in government decided to use this as a political football, a pawn in their culture wars, and a chance to attack our city’s proud Muslim community. That’s why I’m so glad Michael Gove is no longer education secretary.

In Birmingham, governors representing three academies run by Park View Educational Trust resigned en masse last week, claiming to be victims of a Department for Education witch-hunt.

Key findings

• There was a coordinated, deliberate and sustained action to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools in Birmingham.

• There was no terrorism, radicalisation or violent extremism in the schools of concern, but there was clear evidence of a number of people, associated with each other and in positions of influence in schools and governing bodies, who espouse, endorse or fail to challenge extremist views.

• Birmingham city council was aware of the practices and behaviour that were outlined in the Trojan horse letter long before the letter surfaced.

• People who have been either teachers or governors at Park View school appear to be involved in behaviours at other schools that have destabilised headteachers, sometimes leading to their resignation or removal.

• The tactics used are too similar, the individuals concerned too closely linked, and the behaviour of a few parents and governors too orchestrated for there not to be a degree of coordination and organisation behind what has happened.

• An all-male group discussion called the Park View Brotherhood, initiated by the acting principal of Park View school, contained messages that displayed explicit homophobia; highly offensive comments about British service personnel; a stated ambition to increase segregation in the school; disparagement of strands of Islam; scepticism about the truth of reports of the murder of Lee Rigby and the Boston bombings; and a constant undercurrent of anti-western, anti-US and anti-Israeli sentiment.

• Teachers in the city fear children at some of the schools of concern are learning to be intolerant of difference and diversity. There is evidence that this is the case both inside and outside school, such as on school trips.

• Young people, instead of enjoying a broadening and enriching experience in school, are having their horizons narrowed and are not being equipped to flourish in the diverse environments of further education, the workplace or any environment outside predominantly Muslim communities.

• The very clear evidence that young people are being encouraged to accept unquestioningly a particular hardline strand of Sunni Islam raises concerns about their vulnerability to radicalisation in the future.

• The council has not supported headteachers faced with aggressive and inappropriate behaviour by governors.

• The sheer number and diversity of people who made allegations about the schools disproves the idea that those claiming to witness extreme behaviours were simply disaffected teachers and headteachers.

• Parents do not have the confidence to argue against the articulate and forceful activists who seek to impose their views, for fear of being branded as disloyal to their faith or their community.

Rowena Mason

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/22/schools-face-curbs-extremism-birmingham-trojan-horse-affair

 

Leaked report reveals ‘aggressive Islamist agenda’ in Birmingham schools
Exclusive: Draft report from ‘Trojan horse’ inquiry uncovers evidence of coordinated plan to impose hardline Sunni Islam
Patrick Wintour, political editor
The Guardian | 17 July 2014

A damning report into extremist infiltration of Birmingham schools has uncovered evidence of "coordinated, deliberate and sustained action to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamist ethos into some schools in the city".

The conclusion emerges from a leaked draft of a report, commissioned by the former education secretary Michael Gove and written by Peter Clarke, the former head of the Metropolitan police’s counterterrorism command, which is due to be published in the next 24 hours.

Clarke said there was a "sustained and coordinated agenda to impose upon children in a number of Birmingham schools the segregationist attitudes and practices of a hardline and politicised strain of Sunni Islam".

The draft, marked as sensitive, added that: "Left unchecked, it would confine schoolchildren within an intolerant, inward-looking monoculture that would severely inhibit their participation in the life of modern Britain".

The uncompromising report may deepen community tensions in England’s second city and provoke a fierce debate on whether Britain has been sufficiently muscular in efforts to expose and uproot Islamism. It will also make uncomfortable reading for Birmingham city council as it accuses local politicians and officials of ignoring evidence of extremism for years, repeatedly failing to support bullied headteachers and putting the need to soothe community tensions ahead of all else.

The report represents an explosive parting gift from Gove to the new education secretary Nicky Morgan in only her second full day in post. Touching on one of Gove’s flagship reforms, Clarke calls for the Department for Education "to review the process by which schools are able to convert to academy status and become multi-academy trusts".

The former police chief said there were potentially serious problems in some academies raised by the Birmingham "Trojan horse" crisis. The draft states: "In theory, academies are accountable to the secretary of state, but in practice the accountability can almost amount to benign neglect where educational and financial performance seems to indicate everything is fine."

Ofsted has already published a report into the quality of Birmingham education after snap inspections at 21 schools revealed serious problems, leading to five schools being placed in special measures. Senior staff at Park View Educational Trust, who were identified in the Clarke report as central to the agenda, have also resigned.

In response to the Ofsted report, Birmingham local government officials and politicians accused Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools, of deliberately misrepresenting problems of governance in a small number of schools by associating them with a wider threat of Islamist extremism.

Last week Mark Rogers, the chief executive of Birmingham city council, said: "We’ve had to deal with a national political agenda that has deliberately conflated religious conservatism with an extremist agenda that is all to do with radicalisation and violent extremism."

On Friday, Birmingham is due to publish Clarke’s final report, in conjunction with its own inquiry, conducted by Ian Kershaw.

The crisis in Birmingham schools erupted in February when an anonymous letter claimed there was a "Trojan horse" conspiracy in which conservative Muslims aimed to infiltrate Birmingham schools. Although the letter is thought to be a hoax as regards the specific allegation, the broad notion of infiltration was felt to merit further investigation.

Lambasting the council, Clarke says: "There was never a serious attempt to see if there was a pattern to what was happening in school governing bodies. The council’s approach has been variously described to me as appeasement and a failure in their duty of care towards their employees."

With access to internal council correspondence, he said there was "incontrovertible evidence" that senior officials and elected members of Birmingham city council were aware of the practices set out in the Trojan Horse letter as early as 2012.

Clarke’s report is backed up by graphic evidence, including social media exchanges between senior staff, and disagrees with the council’s previously expressed view, saying the offending ideology "manifests itself as the imposition of an aggressively separatist and intolerant agenda incompatible with full participation in a plural secular democracy".

"Rejecting not only the secular and other religions, but also other strains of Islamic belief, it goes beyond the kind of social conservatism practiced in some faith schools which may be consistent with universal human rights and respectful of other communities. It appears to be a deliberate attempt to convert secular state schools into exclusive faith schools in all but name."

Clarke said that he neither sought nor found evidence of terrorism, but there was "very clear evidence that young people are being encouraged to accept unquestionably a particular hardline strand of Sunni Islam that raises concerns about their vulnerability to radicalisation in the future".

"Essentially the ideology revealed by this investigation is an intolerant and politicised form of extreme social conservatism that claims to represent and ultimately seeks to control all Muslims. In its separatist assertions and attempts to subvert normal processes it amounts to what is often described as Islamism."

Clarke’s investigation gained him access to transcripts of discussions on social media between senior figures at Park View Academy, one of the schools at the heart of the row. Heasserts: "The all-male group discussions include explicit homophobia, highly offensive comments about British service personnel, a stated ambition to increase segregation at the school, disparagement of Muslims in sectors other than their own, scepticism about the truth of reports on the murder of [soldier] Lee Rigby and the Boston bombings, and a constant undercurrent of anti-western, anti-America and anti-Israel sentiment."

A Birmingham council source said: "The performance of Birmingham in raising school attainment has recently been lauded despite the level of deprivation seen in the city."

He added: "Time and again people who have either been teachers or governors at Park View appear to be involved in behaviour at other schools that have destabilised headteachers, sometimes leading to their resignation or removal. The tactics that have been used are too similar, the individuals concerned are too closely linked and the behaviour of a few parents and governors too orchestrated for there not to be a degree of coordination behind what has happened."

Tahir Alam, the chair of governors of the Park View Trust, who is the subject of special criticism in the report, resigned earlier this week after claiming there had been a "vicious and coordinated offensive" against the trust. His fellow trustees also resigned en masse.

Timeline

December 2013 Birmingham council passes a letter to West Midlands counter-terrorism unit outlining a plot called "Operation Trojan horse", to oust headteachers and replace them with people who will run their schools on "strict Islamic principles".

7 March 2014 Counter-terrorism unit confirms it is looking into the alleged plot as details become public.

13 March Police reveal they are investigating whether the letter was a hoax connected to an employment tribunal involving a school named in the plot.

14 April The leader of Birmingham council says 25 schools in the city are under investigation following 200 complaints it has received in relation to allegations of Islamist "takeovers". Sir Albert Bore also announces that Ian Kershaw, a former headteacher with experience of leading independent inquiries, has been given a six-month contract by the council to "analyse further all Trojan horse material to enable us to see the whole picture".

15 April Michael Gove, the education secretary, appoints Peter Clarke, who served as head of the Met’s counter-terrorism unit and led the investigation into the 7/7 London bombings in 2005, to examine the claims.

9 June Five of 21 schools inspected by Ofsted are judged to be inadequate and placed in special measures: Park View, Golden Hillock, Saltley, Oldknow and Nansen. Ofsted’s chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw says "a culture of fear and intimidation" exists within the schools under investigation.

20 June The governors of Saltley resign in protest at the way their school has been treated.

15 July Trustees at Park View educational trust announce that they have quit in protest at a "coordinated and vicious" offensive led by Gove.

Haroon Siddique

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jul/17/leaked-report-aggressive-islamist-agenda-birmingham-schools

 

Report Cites ‘Aggressive’ Islamic Push in British City’s Schools
KATRIN BENNHOLD
NYT | JULY 22, 2014

LONDON — First there was an anonymous letter outlining an Islamic takeover of British schools in Muslim neighborhoods ominously called Operation Trojan Horse. Then the letter was found to be riddled with inaccuracies and widely deemed to be a hoax.

Now a report by a former antiterrorism chief suggests that some of the concerns raised by the letter — fake or not — may in fact be real, the latest twist in a tortured debate about how to reconcile Islam and Britishness in a country that has one of Western Europe’s largest Muslim communities.

According to the report by Peter Clarke, the former head of Scotland Yard’s counterterrorism command, there was “coordinated, deliberate and sustained action to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools in Birmingham.”

Mr. Clarke said there was no evidence of actual radicalization, violence or encouragement of terrorism. But he told the BBC that “there’s clearly been a wish to introduce what has been described as a conservative religious agenda into those schools.”

Islamic hard-liners had gained influence on school boards, he said, “installing sympathetic head teachers or senior members of staff, appointing like-minded people to key positions, and seeking to remove head teachers who they do not feel to be sufficiently compliant with their agenda.”

Among the concerns highlighted in the report were calls to Friday Prayer broadcast over loudspeakers that were apparently stopped during a school inspection and complaints that female members of staff were not treated equally.

Britain’s new education secretary, Nicky Morgan, reporting the results of the investigation to Parliament on Tuesday, called the findings “disturbing.” She said some teachers were likely to face disciplinary action and some might even be barred from the profession.

In Birmingham, a city in the English heartland where more than one in five inhabitants are Muslim, some current and former staff members at some of the handful of schools in question do not dispute that the teaching staff and leadership in majority-Muslim neighborhoods had become more diversified. But they said that what had been characterized as meddling by extremists was mostly Muslims advocating to improve their children’s educational performance.

One public high school at the heart of the Trojan Horse controversy, Park View Academy, was ranked as one of the worst schools in Birmingham in the 1990s, with most students failing their final exams. But by 2012 it had received top marks from school inspectors, and nearly four in every five of its students now go on to university.

Last week, members of the trust running Park View resigned collectively in protest at what they called a coordinated and vicious offensive. The chairman of the trust, Tahir Alam, said he and his colleagues were proud of the work they had done to turn around schools like Park View at a time when “no one much cared about the young people of east Birmingham, when their schools were failing them for decades.”

Reacting to Tuesday’s report, Mr. Alam said meeting the religious needs of students had been an important part of tackling “issues of low expectations and systemic failure” and there had indeed been “very stiff resistance from many heads in Birmingham schools.” He accused the previous education secretary, Michael Gove, who had commissioned the report but was removed from his post in a cabinet reshuffle last week, of being the driving force behind months of scrutiny that he said had brought the school’s reputation “to the point of destruction.” Early in the process, Mr. Gove had angered Muslims when he vowed to “drain the swamp” of extremism.

One teacher in Birmingham, a non-Muslim who declined to be identified for fear of losing his job, said Tuesday, “Clarke wrote the report that Gove wanted him to write.”

Some opposition lawmakers urged Ms. Morgan to win back the trust of parents. “We need ministers who drop the divisive rhetoric which Mr. Gove has used in the past,” Liam Byrne, a Labour lawmaker, told the BBC. “At times in east Birmingham we have felt like we are just a football in Michael Gove’s culture wars.”

Tensions have been notably on the rise since the killing last year of a white soldier on a London street by two British-born Muslims, and there has been growing concern about a steady stream of Britons heading to fight as jihadists in Syria. Hate crimes against Muslims have been rising, too.

But Ms. Morgan suggested that fear of being accused of racism and anti-Islamic views had allowed a “small number of people with a shared ideology” to take over schools.

These people had “a restricted and narrow interpretation of their faith,” and had failed to promote fundamental British values and to challenge the extremist views of others, she said.

Particularly shocking, she said, was evidence of a social media group, called the “Park View Brotherhood,” used by some staff members of Park View. According to Mr. Clarke’s report, the group’s online chats included explicit homophobia; offensive comments about British soldiers; a stated ambition to increase gender segregation in the school; and a constant undercurrent of anti-Western, anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiment. Untangling religiousness from extremism has proved especially tricky in a country that has never drawn a clear line between state and religion: The queen is both head of state and head of the Anglican Church. Public schools, while nondenominational, do not just tolerate the opportunity for collective worship, but require it.

That worship is to be “wholly or mainly” Christian in character, official guidelines say. But in schools where the overwhelming majority of students are Muslims, head teachers can request special dispensation to hold Islamic assemblies instead.

Some educational experts say the only long-term solution to the question of how much religion is too much is to end all worship in state schools.

The requirement has “led the community quite naturally to think that religion, apart from the agreed syllabus, had legitimate wider influence on the curriculum. It does not,” Tim Brighouse, a former chief education officer of Birmingham and schools commissioner for London, wrote in The Guardian.

“Legislation is now needed to replace the act of worship clause with the need to promote pluralism and respect for those with different faiths and none, while making sure that schools stand for those values that underpin a peaceful and civilized society.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/23/world/europe/report-cites-aggressive-islamic-push-in-british-citys-schools.html

 

Trojan horse inquiry: ‘A coordinated agenda to impose hardline Sunni Islam’
Investigation finds Islamist plan would have confined pupils in Birmingham schools to ‘intolerant monoculture’ if left unchecked
Patrick Wintour, political editor
The Guardian | 17 July 2014

clip_image001
Nansen primary was one of four Birmingham academies where teachers were told not to use images showing ‘even the slightest intimacy between the sexes’. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

An investigation ordered by the government has found a "sustained, coordinated agenda to impose segregationist attitudes and practices of a hardline, politicised strain of Sunni Islam" on children in a number of Birmingham schools.

A draft of the report, marked as sensitive, states: "Left unchecked, it would confine schoolchildren within an intolerant, inward-looking monoculture that would severely inhibit their participation in the life of modern Britain."

The inquiry, conducted by the former counterterrorism chief Peter Clarke, was ordered by the former education secretary Michael Gove and began in April. Clarke gathered 2,000 documents and generated 2,000 pages of interview transcripts from 50 witnesses, including former headteachers, teachers, council staff and school governors. He did not interview parents or pupils. "The level of distress and anxiety felt by the witnesses cannot be overstated," he says.

Clarke denies the report is Islamophobic, saying the evidence shows a group of governors and senior teachers represented a form of Muslim extremism rejected by most Muslims in east Birmingham.

He argues it was likely that most parents did not approve of the culture imposed in the schools, but they "did not have the confidence to argue against the articulate, forceful activists who seek to impose their views, for fear of being branded as disloyal to their faith or community".

He claims the offending ideology "manifests itself as the imposition of an aggressively separatist and intolerant agenda incompatible with full participation in a plural secular democracy".

It rejects not only the secular and other religions, but other strains of Islamic belief: "It goes beyond the social conservatism practised in some faith schools which may be consistent with universal human rights and respectful of other communities. It appears to be a deliberate attempt to convert secular state schools into exclusive faith schools in all but name."

He says there is "very clear evidence that young people are being encouraged to accept unquestionably a particular hardline strand of Sunni Islam that raises concerns about their vulnerability to radicalisation in the future. Essentially the ideology revealed by this investigation is an intolerant and politicised form of extreme social conservatism that ultimately seeks to control all Muslims. In its separatist assertions and attempts to subvert normal processes it amounts to what is often described as Islamism.

"The agenda, but not the tactics, involved stem from an international movement to increase the role of Islam in education." Two organisations identified by Clarke as being behind the movement are the Muslim Council of Britain and the Association of Muslim Schools – UK.

In the 90-page interim report Clarke attempts to answer questions about some of the incendiary issues prompted by the "Trojan horse" letter, an anonymous message sent to Birmingham council in November last year, claiming there was a hardline Islam-inspired plot to take over named schools in the city.

It was passed on to the Department for Education and the West Midlands police. In February, it was leaked to the press, prompting what quickly became a national outcry over Islamic influence in education, polarising the local community and many education experts, and also raising questions about whether it was a hoax.

"I found clear evidence there are a number of people associated with each other and in positions of influence in schools and governing bodies who espouse, sympathise with or fail to challenge extremist views," Clarke says.

Manifestations of extremism in the schools outlined in the report include:

• Anti-western rhetoric, particularly anti-US and anti-Israel.

• Segregationism – dividing the world into us and them, with them to include all non-Muslims and Muslims who disagree.

• Perception of a worldwide conspiracy against Muslims.

• Attempts to impose its views and practices upon others.

• Intolerance of difference, whether the secular, other religions or other Muslims.

Clarke says: "Time and again people who have either been teachers or governors at Park View [Academy] appear to be involved in behaviour at other schools that have destabilised headteachers, sometimes leading to their resignation or removal. The tactics that have been used are too similar, the individuals concerned are too closely linked and the behaviour of a few parents and governors too orchestrated for there not to be a degree of coordination behind what has happened.

"There has been a coordinated, deliberate and sustained action carried out by a number of associated individuals to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamist ethos into a few schools in Birmingham. This has been gained by achieving influence on governing bodies, installing sympathetic headteachers or senior members of staff, appointing like-minded people to key positions and seeking to remove headteachers they do not feel to be sufficiently compliant with their agenda. Whether the motivation reflects a political agenda, a deeply held religious conviction, personal gain or achieving influence within the communities, the effect has been to limit the life chances of the young people in their care and to render them vulnerable to more pernicious influences in the future."

Criticism of individuals and organisations

Tahir Alam

"He has exerted influence at Park View school for many years, and has been a governor since the 1990s. He promoted the concept that schools can be changed to accommodate the faith needs of Muslim pupils by increasing Muslim representation on governing bodies and insisting on changes to faith ethos. Many of the governors who have caused most difficulty on governing bodies have connections to Mr Alam and Park View school."

Birmingham city council

"A consistent theme that has emerged throughout the investigation is that for many years there has been a perception that Birmingham city council has been insufficiently supportive of headteachers – and indeed of governors when problems arise with the conduct of some member of governing bodies. There was never a serious attempt to see if there was a pattern to what was happening in school governing bodies. The council’s approach has been variously described to me as appeasement and a failure in their duty of care towards their employees."

Clarke adds that, on the basis of emails and correspondence he has seen: "There is incontrovertible evidence that both senior officials and elected members of Birmingham council were aware of activities that bear a striking resemblance to those described in the Trojan horse letter many months before it surfaced."

He concludes the practices referred to in the letter were known by senior officials as early as the end of 2012 and discussions took place between officials and elected members as early as July 2013, six months before the letter was received by the leader of the council. "Eight weeks after the letter was received there was no systematic attempt to deal with the issue."

Clarke discloses that "officers have conceded that it did not consider carefully enough, nor soon enough, whether there was a pattern in what was happening in a number of schools." The focus of the council was on the potential of the community cohesion aspects, he concludes.

Criticism of Department for Education

Clarke makes it clear he is not making a judgment on academies, and that some of the schools investigated were traditional schools overseen by the council.

He calls for reform to "the process by which single schools are able to convert to academy status and acquire a multi-academy sponsor status to ensure appropriate checks are conducted on the group and key individuals, and there is an accurate assessment of the trust’s capability and capacity. This happened too quickly and without a suitable system for holding the new academies accountable for financial and management issues."

The independence of academies is welcome, he says, but "it can make them vulnerable to those without good intentions. In theory, academies are accountable to the secretary of state, but in practice the accountability can amount to benign neglect where educational and financial performance seems to indicate everything is fine. This inquiry has highlighted there are potentially serious problems in some academies." He suggests: "The department’s systems need to be more sensitive to detecting changes in governance to make academies more effective in responding to warning signs to ensure they deliver the provision for which they are contracted for."

He says the DfE and the Education Funding Agency should not rely on whistleblowers to highlight problems. "The Department for Education should consider its response to whistleblowers and complaints regarding academies and use its powers to investigate more quickly and effectively where allegations about governance are made."

Specific evidence of extremism in the schools

Clarke says he "took possession of the contents of a social media discussion between a group of teachers at Park View that for much of 2013 was called the Park View Brotherhood.

"The evidence from 3,000 messages spread over 130 pages of transcripts shows this group either promoted, or failed to challenge, views that are grossly intolerant of beliefs and practices other than their own. The all-male group discussions include explicit homophobia, highly offensive comments about British service personnel, a stated ambition to increase segregation at the school, disparagement of Muslims in sectors other than their own, scepticism about the truth of reports of the murder of Lee Rigby and the Boston bombings and a constant under current of anti-western, anti-America and anti-Israel sentiment."

The report gives examples of this social media chat, and adds: "The endorsements of links to extremists speakers betray a collective mindset that can fairly be described as an Islamist approach that denied the validity of alternative belief".

He says that, based on their comments, some members of Park View staff seemed to believe the Rigby murder was a staged event or hoax and "exhorted their colleagues to spread videos promulgating this view ‘to all your contacts’ ".

The headteacher claimed the discussions were designed to consider items to be raised at school assemblies, and pointed out that one message stated Rigby murder had no place in Islam. Clarke says: "The total lack of challenge, however intolerant or obnoxious unless they are critical of other Muslims, is telling."

Detailed findings inside the schools

1. Improper employment practices

This concerns both the recruitment and promotion of staff.

2. Impact on headteachers

Citing bullying and intimidation of headteachers, the report says there is "a pattern in the process where people described to the inquiry as having an Islamist mindset join the governing body and sometimes volunteer to bring other governors with them. In time, the headteacher makes a decision the new governors dislike, for instance, refusing to alter a scheme of work, [refusing] to separate boys from girls, [refusing] to ban Christmas celebration, refusing to appoint an applicant related to a governor. In one case the fact that a fire alarm was not working was a pretext for suspending a teacher. The pattern then continues, with the headteacher being subjected to harassment and bullying which has included governors leading protests at the school gate or on social media. Eventually the headteacher is so worn down and distressed that he or she feel the only way to restore their mental and physical health is to resign."

3. Changes to the curriculum and education plans, including increasing the faith component

The choice of modern language teaching has been restricted to the study of Arabic or Urdu at several schools. "At PVET [Park View educational trust] academies – Park View, Golden Hollick and Nansen – and at Oldknow academy, teachers have been told they must not use images in any subject which show even slight intimacy between sexes. Terms such as condom, the pill and so forth have been banned."

4. The role of governors

"At Park View and other schools, governors have overstepped their responsibilities by restricting schemes of work and insisting on an Islamic approach to subjects, such as PSHE [personal, social and health education], science, religious education, and sex and relationships education.

Governors in several schools pay lip service to the Prevent strategy, while continuing to restrict topics, such as forced marriage and female genital mutilation."

5. Teaching belief as fact

"Staff have said creationism has been taught as science lessons at both Park View and Golden Hillock and also in assemblies. One child said she had been taught that she was made of clay because there is no evolution."

6. Secular status of schools

"In Park View, Oldknow and some other schools, Islamic slogans and instructions are openly displayed in many classrooms, including instructions to say short prayers before and after lessons. Friday prayers have been introduced at a number of schools. Their part in the central life of the school is growing, as is the pressure on students and staff to attend. The Christmas fair was stopped, drama lessons removed from the timetable, children banned from playing instruments and art curriculum changed to remove full faces or immodest images, such as paintings by Gustav Klimt."

7. Intolerance

Student ambassadors, known as "religious police" by some staff, are appointed at Park View to report "the names of staff or students who exhibit behaviours deemed unacceptable by conservative Muslims". There is witness evidence from several schools of intolerance to those who are lesbian, bisexual or transsexua. Park View governors and staff have displayed openly homophobic behaviour. Senior staff have been shouted at in governing body meetings when they attempted to discuss the LGBT agenda.

8. Racism

At Anderton Park school incidents of racism were reported. A three-year-old in a nursery said his family were poor because all the Jews and Zionists had all the money. When the school enrolled a white child, a Muslim parent told staff to "get a white chair and white desk and put the white kid in a white corner with a white teacher and keep him away from the others. If that fails get rid of the white kid."

9 Financial transparency

Clarke says he "recently became aware of invoices at Oldknow for large sums of money, £4,000 or £5,000, paid out for crisis management training to an organisation that is not a registered company and appears to have no track record in training". The report says: "While academies may rightly spend money for the benefits of schools, they have also a responsibility to the public purse to use their resources carefully."

Recommendations

• Birmingham council must consider intervention in all cases and it must review its training and appointment of school governors.

• The Department for Education should review its guidance to governors so there is a clear difference between strategy setting and running the school. A governor should only be a governor at a maximum of two schools at a time.

• The secretary of state should be able to take clearer powers to consider banning individuals from being involved in the management of schools and whether action should be taken against some individual teachers.

• The DfE should review the process by which schools support individuals to gain and award qualified teacher status.

• The DfE should review "the process by which schools are able to convert to academy status and become multi-academy trusts to ensure appropriate checks are conducted on the group and key individuals, and that there is an accurate assessment of the trust’s capability. It should also consider urgently how best to capture local concerns during the conversion process and review the system through which schools are matched with sponsors."

• The government should consider "whether other areas of country are similarly vulnerable and respond effectively and promptly if concerns are raised, ensuring there are resources to do so".

• The Ofsted inspection framework needs to be more sensitive to changes in governance and its impact on the school.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jul/17/birmingham-schools-inquiry-hardline-sunni-islam-trojan-horse

 

Rift Deepens in Britain Over Claims of School Infiltration Plot by Islamic Extremists
STEPHEN CASTLE and KIMIKO DE FREYTAS-TAMURA
NYT |JUNE 8, 2014

A dispute over how to combat the threat of homegrown Islamic extremism in British schools has provoked a political crisis, prompting the personal intervention of Prime Minister David Cameron, a public apology from one senior minister and the resignation of an adviser to another.

The rift followed allegations that Islamic fundamentalists had plotted to infiltrate and take over schools in Birmingham, home to a significant Muslim population. The claims are as yet unproved, but they have divided ministers on whether they should concentrate on tracking suspects thought most likely to commit acts of terrorism or wage a broader cultural battle at the community level against the spread of fundamentalist theology.

The disagreement within government underlines the sensitivity of the issue in a country in which Muslims radicalized in British cities have committed acts of terrorism, including the murder last year of a soldier, Lee Rigby, on a street in south London.

Like many European nations, Britain has debated how to assimilate minorities while maintaining freedom of religion. One issue is the extent to which schools should tolerate symbols and clothing associated with religious beliefs, such as Muslim head scarves. In British schools, much discretion remains with head teachers.

Last year, the Birmingham City Council received an anonymous document outlining a plan called Operation Trojan Horse, in which fundamentalist parents would raise concerns about the staff and curriculum — particularly over issues like sex education — infiltrate the governing bodies of the school and then promote a leadership sympathetic to their views. It is unclear what steps schools took in response to the document, and several government bodies are looking into the case. In all, 21 schools are being investigated over claims that male and female pupils were segregated, that sex education was banned and that, in one case, a cleric linked to Al Qaeda was praised in a school assembly.

While one leaked report from school inspectors appears to have flagged concerns, evidence of a conspiracy is scarce. According to news reports, the leaked report from the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, or Ofsted, detailed several criticisms of one school, Park View, and said it had done too little to warn pupils about the dangers of extremism.

The issue spilled over into Mr. Cameron’s cabinet last week in a briefing published in The Times of London, which the prime minister’s office now acknowledges came from the secretary of state for education, Michael Gove, suggesting that the department of the home secretary, Theresa May, had been too tolerant of the efforts by hard-liners to infiltrate the Birmingham schools for fear of being seen as Islamophobic.

The briefing suggested that the Home Office was not confronting extremism until it developed into terrorism, and had failed to “drain the swamp” in which it bred. It was also critical of Ms. May’s counterterrorism adviser, Charles Farr. In response, the Home Office released a letter that Ms. May had written to Mr. Gove, accusing his department of inaction when related concerns about Birmingham schools were brought to his attention in 2010.

Adding to the combustibility of the issue is a political rivalry between the ministers. Ms. May is seen as a potential successor to Mr. Cameron, should he lose next year’s general election and stand down as leader of the governing Conservative Party. Mr. Gove is regarded as a supporter of a possible rival leadership contender, George Osborne, the chancellor of the Exchequer.

After days of semipublic sniping between Mr. Gove and Ms. May, Mr. Cameron stepped in to enforce discipline late on Saturday. After Mr. Cameron’s intervention, Mr. Gove apologized for briefing the newspaper, and one of Ms. May’s close advisers, Fiona Cunningham, resigned for orchestrating counter-briefings published in The Times of London. Mr. Cameron’s office issued a statement seeking to end the dispute, saying that “the secretary of state for education has written separately to Charles Farr and the prime minister apologizing for the original comments made to The Times newspaper.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/09/world/europe/rift-deepens-over-claims-of-infiltration-by-islamic-extremists-in-british-schools.html

The Trojan Horse Affair

Posted: August 3, 2014 in Islamism

Trojan Horse: Leaked report reveals ‘aggressive Islamist agenda’ in Birmingham schools
Draft report from ‘Trojan horse’ inquiry uncovers evidence of coordinated plan to impose hardline Islamist ethos
Keith Perry
Telegraph | 18 Jul 2014

A report into the "Trojan horse" scandal in Birmingham schools has uncovered evidence of "co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamist ethos into some schools in the city".

The conclusion is contained in a leaked draft of a report, commissioned by the former education secretary Michael Gove and written by Peter Clarke, the former head of the Metropolitan police’s counterterrorism command, which is due to be published in the next 24 hours.

Mr Clarke said there was a "sustained and co-ordinated agenda to impose upon children in a number of Birmingham schools the segregationist attitudes and practices of a hardline and politicised strain of Sunni Islam", according to a report by The Guardian.

The draft document, marked as sensitive, added that: "Left unchecked, it would confine schoolchildren within an intolerant, inward-looking monoculture that would severely inhibit their participation in the life of modern Britain."

The hard-hitting report may add to tensions in England’s second city and raise questions about whether Britain has taken adequate steps to expose and uproot Islamism. It will also make uncomfortable reading for Birmingham city council because it accuses local politicians and officials of ignoring evidence of extremism for years, repeatedly failing to support bullied headteachers and putting the need to soothe community tensions ahead of all else.

The report will provide a tough challenge for the new Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, in only her second full day in post. Touching on one of Mr Gove’s flagship reforms, Mr Clarke calls for the Department for Education "to review the process by which schools are able to convert to academy status and become multi-academy trusts".

The former police chief said there were potentially serious problems in some academies. The draft states: "In theory, academies are accountable to the secretary of state, but in practice the accountability can almost amount to benign neglect where educational and financial performance seems to indicate everything is fine."

Ofsted has already published a report into the quality of Birmingham education after inspections at 21 schools revealed serious problems, leading to five schools being placed in special measures. Senior staff at Park View Educational Trust, who were identified in the Clarke report as central to the agenda, have also resigned.

In response to the Ofsted report, Birmingham local government officials and politicians accused Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools, of deliberately misrepresenting problems of governance in a small number of schools by associating them with a wider threat of Islamist extremism.

On Friday, Birmingham is due to publish Clarke’s final report, in conjunction with its own inquiry, conducted by Ian Kershaw.

The scandal erupted in February when an anonymous letter claimed there was a "Trojan horse" conspiracy in which conservative Muslims aimed to infiltrate Birmingham schools. Although the letter is thought to be a hoax as regards the specific allegation, the broad notion of infiltration was felt to merit further investigation.

Criticising the council, Mr Clarke says: "There was never a serious attempt to see if there was a pattern to what was happening in school governing bodies. The council’s approach has been variously described to me as appeasement and a failure in their duty of care towards their employees."

With access to internal council correspondence, he said there was "incontrovertible evidence" that senior officials and elected members of Birmingham city council were aware of the practices set out in the Trojan Horse letter as early as 2012.

Tahir Alam, the chairman of governors of the Park View Trust, who is the subject of special criticism in the report, resigned earlier this week after claiming there had been a "vicious and co-ordinated offensive" against the trust. His fellow trustees also resigned en masse.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/10975242/Trojan-Horse-Leaked-report-reveals-aggressive-Islamist-agenda-in-Birmingham-schools.html

 

Christians lie and wives must have sex or go to hell, Trojan Horse pupils told
Inquiry commissioned by Birmingham City Council reveals details of religious extremism in 13 schools
Steven Swinford, Senior Political Correspondent
Telegraph | 18 Jul 2014

clip_image001
Park View School in Birmingham, one of 13 schools where evidence of religious extremism was found Photo: PA

Children were taught that all Christians are liars and attempts were made to introduce Sharia law in classrooms as part of an alleged ‘Trojan Horse’ takeover plot of Birmingham schools, an inquiry has found.

The inquiry commissioned by Birmingham City Council found evidence of religious extremism in 13 schools as school governors and teachers tried to promote and enforce radical Islamic values.

Schools put up posters warning children that if they didn’t pray they would "go to hell", Christmas was cancelled and girls were taught that women who refused to have sex with their husbands would be "punished" by angels "from dusk to dawn".

The report found that the extremism went unchecked because the council "disastrously" prioritised community cohesion over "doing what is right".

It concluded that there was a "determined effort" by "manipulative" governors to introduce "unacceptable" practices, "undermine" head teachers and deny students a broad and balanced education.

Sir Albert Bore, Birmingham’s leader, apologised for the council’s handling of the scandal.

He said: "The actions of a few, including some within the council, have undermined the reputation of our great city.

"We have previously shied away from tackling this problem out of a misguided fear of being accused of racism."

A separate review by Peter Clarke, the former counter-terrorism chief, found evidence of "co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained" attempts to introduce an "intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos" in schools.

The review, which was commissioned by the Department for Education, found that the schools were trying to impose "segregationist attitudes and practices of a hardline and politicised strain Sunni Islam".

Birmingham City Council’s report found no evidence of a "conspiracy" to promote "violent extremism or radicalisation" values, but was still highly critical.

A detailed summary of evidence suggested that there was an attempt to introduce Sharia law at the Al-Fuqan school, and when a woman was recommended for a job on individual suggested a "man with a beard" was needed.

At the Golden Hillock School a teacher allegedly told children at an assembly "not to listen to Christians as they were all liars". The incident was referred to counter-terrorism police. One teacher at the school also reportedly told children they were "lucky to be Muslims and not ignorant like Christians and Jews."

At Nansen School the study of French was replaced by the study of Arabic and Islamic religious assemblies were reinstated. Christmas and Diwali celebrations were councils, and children were not allowed to use a doll to represent Jesus in a nativity play. A total of 28 female teaching assistants were dismissed.

At the Oldknow academy, children were told at an assembly that they should not send Christmas cards and that Mary was not the mother of Jesus. Children were asked whether they believed in Christmas and encouraged to chant "no we don’t".

At the Park View Academy children were taught that "if a woman said no to sex with her husband then angels would punish her from dusk till dawn". Girls were taught that a "good" Muslim woman wears a hijab and ties up her hair.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10977187/Christians-lie-and-wives-must-have-sex-or-go-to-hell-Trojan-Horse-pupils-told.html

 

Trojan horse plot report: ‘disturbing’ evidence of intolerant Islamic ethos
Schools in Birmingham subjected to "co-ordinated" action by extremists to impose an "intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos" on pupils, a report by Peter Clarke, the former anti-terror chief, finds
Edward Malnick, and Steven Swinford
Telegraph | 22 Jul 2014

An official inquiry into allegations of a "Trojan Horse plot" by Islamist extremists shows "disturbing" evidence of attempts by Islamist extremists to infiltrate a number of Birmingham schools, the Education Secretary has said.

Nicky Morgan announced that the Government was taking a series of measures "to put things right" after a review by Peter Clarke, the former anti-terror chief, concluded that there had been "co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action" by a number of individuals to introduce an "intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos" into a few schools in the city.

The inquiry, commissioned by the Department for Education, found "clear evidence" that there are a number of people, associated with each other and in positions of authority within schools who "espouse, endorse or fail to challenge extremist views".

Such people had gained influence on the governing bodies, installing "sympathetic" headteachers and senior staff, appointing "like- minded" people to key positions and removing heads who were not "compliant" with a particular agenda.

Mr Clarke warned that the exposure of pupils to hardline views at the schools raised concerns that they could be "vulnerable" to radicalisation in the future.

At Nansen Primary a "secondary model" was imposed on the primary school, with primary teachers becoming subject teachers. There were found to be no lessons in the humanities, arts and music, leaving the curriculum "restricted and unbalanced".

Tahir Alam, said to be a "prime mover" behind the alleged Trojan Horse plot, was reported to have "regularly challenged" attempts to introduce "whole school activities and wider experiences" at the school.

Staff expressed concern about the "lack of breadth and balance" of the curriculum and "the Islamic direction it was taking".

In a number of other schools religious education became a "central core subject" and a compulsory GCSE, which is rare for non-faith state schools.

At Park View, one of the institutions at the centre of the plot, and other schools governors "over-stepped" their responsibilities by insisting on an "Islamic approach" to subjects ranging from science to Personal, Social and Health Education.

Pupils at Park View "speak openly" about the fact that "boys and girls should not study certain matters together", the inquiry found.

Mr Clarke, who served as head of the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism unit, said he "neither specifically looked for, nor found, evidence of terrorism, radicalisation or violent extremism in the schools of concern in Birmingham".

But the report went on: "The existence of a common ideological stance among key linked individuals in this enquiry, the taking of control of governing bodies and the implementation of conservative religious practices in the schools where these individuals have influence, means that there can be no doubt that what has happened has been driven by a desire to instil a particular style of religious ethos into these state non-faith schools."

The report found that witnesses had highlighted three key concerns about the impact on pupils:

  • That teachers feared that children are learning to be intolerant of difference and diversity.
  • That although good academic results could be achieved by narrowing the curriculum, this meant that young people were not getting a broad education, and instead their horizons are narrowed.
  • That evidence of young people being encouraged to "adopt an unquestioning attitude to a particular hardline strand of Sunni Islam" raises real concerns about their vulnerability to radicalisation in the future.

The report was also highly critical of Birmingham City Council, which was found to be aware of concerns raised in the Trojan Horse letter around nine months before they emerged publicly.

The authority was "aware of the practices and behaviours that were subsequently outlined in the ‘Trojan Horse’ letter long before the letter surfaced", the report said.

It continued: "Officers have conceded that it did not consider carefully enough nor soon enough the question of whether there was a pattern in what was happening across a number of schools."

Instead, the council was said to have persisted in approaching incidents "on a case-by-case basis".

Peter Clarke was commissioned by Michael Gove, the former education secrretary, in April to investigate the alleged plot by a group of hardline Muslims to take over schools in the city.

His report is the last of four separate probes into the allegations in Birmingham, which were originally sparked by the "Trojan Horse" letter – now widely believed to be a hoax – which referred to an alleged plot by hardline Muslims to seize control of a number of school governing boards in Birmingham.

His findings differ from those contained in Ian Kershaw’s inquiry for Birmingham City Council, which concluded there was no evidence of a "conspiracy to promote an anti-British agenda, violent extremism or radicalisation in schools in east Birmingham".

Mr Kershaw’s inquiry concluded that key individuals were "promoting and encouraging certain Islamic principles" in Birmingham classrooms amid poor oversight from education chiefs.

Last month Ofsted issued a damning verdict on the running of a number of Birmingham’s schools as it declared five failing and placed them into special measures.

The watchdog inspected 21 schools in the city, concluding that a "culture of fear and intimidation" has developed in some schools and, in several, governors exerted "inappropriate influence" over how they are being run.

The five placed in special measures as a result of the recent inspections are Golden Hillock School, Nansen Primary School and Park View Academy – all run by the Park View Educational Trust (PVET), as well as Oldknow Academy and Saltley School. A sixth, Alston Primary, was already in special measures.

The Education Funding Agency has also conducted its own inquiry, publishing highly critical reports on PVET and Oldknow Academy.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10983109/Trojan-horse-plot-report-disturbing-evidence-of-intolerant-Islamic-ethos.html

 

‘Trojan Horse’ teachers deem Lee Rigby murder and Boston bombings hoaxes
RT | July 23, 2014

Thousands of anti-Western, anti-American and anti-Israeli WhatsApp messages were exchanged between teachers at the center of the Trojan Horse schools plot, claims a government commissioned report.

Hardline Muslims, who attempted to take over Birmingham schools, claimed in text messages that the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby and the Boston Marathon bombings were hoaxes.

One message, posted two days after Drummer Rigby’s murder, contained a YouTube link and the comment: “ATTACK ON ISLAM! Plz watch and share ASAP before they remove it!!!!! London butcher incident; It’s a hoax And this is the link to reveal it.”

Another, posted four days after the Boston bombing, said: “Watch PROOF! Boston Marathon Bombing is Staged Terror Attack on YouTube.”

clip_image002
Officials take crime scene photos a day after two explosions hit the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts April 16, 2013. (Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

Lee Rigby was murdered as he returned to the Woolwich barracks on May 22 last year. Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale mowed Rigby down with a car before attacking him with knives and attempting to hack his head off with a meat cleaver. Graphic video footage of Adebolajo with blood-stained hands circulated the globe.

During the 2013 Boston Marathon, three people were killed and hundreds injured after a pair of homemade pressure cooker bombs exploded near the finish line. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the one surviving suspect, is yet to face trial.

The WhatsApp group, called the Park View Brotherhood, contained more than 3,000 postings between April 2013 and March 2014 by teachers at Park View School and others within the Park View Educational Trust.

A report on 25 schools in Birmingham, written by the former head of the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism unit, Peter Clark, identified a “coordinated, deliberate and sustained action to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamist ethos into some schools in the city.”

The former Chairman of Park View Educational Trust, Tahir Alam, rejects the report’s conclusions, claiming the case is “politically motivated” and “does not reflect the realities on the ground.”

Reports of the Trojan Horse scandal in a Birmingham school first emerged in March when an unverified, anonymous letter thought to have been written by hardline Islamists found its way into government hands. The letter contains information on a plot to Islamize British schools from within.

Since then UK media has reported on various hardline policies being enforced in Birmingham schools, including segregation of boys and girls, forced praying and intimidation and bullying of teachers that did not share the same hardline ethos.

Last month, five schools in the area were placed on special measures in the wake of an Ofsted inspection that described a culture of fear and intimidation taking hold in some schools.

http://rt.com/uk/174988-trojan-rigby-murder-hoax/