UK: Plot to 'Islamize' British Schools
British authorities are investigating the source of a document that purportedly outlines a plot by Muslim fundamentalists to Islamize public schools in England and Wales.
The four-page document describes a strategy—dubbed Operation Trojan Horse—to oust non-Muslim head teachers and staff at state schools in Muslim neighborhoods and replace them with individuals who will run the schools according to strict Islamic principles.
A copy of the undated and unsigned document was sent to the Birmingham City Council in November 2013, but its existence did not become publicly known until March 2014, when it was leaked to the London-based newspaper, the Sunday Times.
According to document, which can be read in full here, the five-pronged strategy is to:
The document adds that the tactics to be used are:
The document—which claims responsibility for recent takeovers of four schools and says it would be easy to do the same elsewhere—concludes: "We have an obligation to our children to fulfil our roles and ensure these schools are run on Islamic principles."
Speculation is rife about the source of the document. The Sunday Times believes the plot is the work of "disaffected parents" belonging to the Salafist branch of Islam who want to Islamize British society.
The Birmingham Mail says the document was probably written by a jihadist in Birmingham to an accomplice in Bradford because it contains the following sentence: "Operation Trojan Horse has been very carefully thought through and is tried and tested within Birmingham, implementing it in Bradford will not be difficult for you."
In an editorial, the Birmingham Mail also writes:
By contrast, Tahir Alam—a Birmingham school governor and prominent member of the Muslim Council of Britain who is mentioned in the leaked document—told the Guardian newspaper that the document was "a malicious fabrication and completely untrue."
Even if ongoing police investigations eventually conclude that the document is an elaborate hoax, what remains beyond dispute is that it addresses genuine problems linked to the growing assertiveness of Islam in the British school system.
For example, the Guardian—an otherwise inveterate enforcer of British multiculturalism—quotes senior teachers and school officials in Birmingham who say they recognize the tactics outlined in the document as having been used by Islamic hardliners to try to gain influence in the city's schools for over a decade.
Other accounts (here and here) reveal how British teachers have been bullied, smeared and driven from their jobs for resisting Islamic extremists. They tell of demands for strict dress codes, including long sleeves and wearing of the hijab for women teachers and girl pupils, and calls that Christmas celebrations, Easter eggs and any reference to Christianity should be banned.
An investigation by The Telegraph newspaper documents how an organized group of Muslim teachers, education consultants, school governors and activists is dedicated to furthering what one of them describes as an "Islamizing agenda" in Birmingham public schools.
Social media messages leaked to The Telegraph show how Muslim activists participating in a closed discussion group called "Educational Activists" describe their goals and tactics. In a typical entry—dated February 5, 2014—one member, Nasim Awan, an Islamic bookshop owner, political activist and former chair of the city's Springfield Neighborhood Forum, boasts:
Other messages from different members include Islamic supremacist or anti-Semitic rhetoric. "JEWS have intentionally developed some websites to spread wrong information about the Koran," says one. Another message, sent from the mobile number of the deputy head of Carlton Bolling School in Bradford, Akhmed Hussain, says: "Al-Islam will prevail over all other ways of life. Look at how [the] Muslim population is increasing in the UK."
Still another message leaked to The Telegraph shows that educational excellence is not the main priority for the so-called educational activists. Awan writes: "First agenda item [for the new head teacher] is to apply for a determination," an official procedure to establish Islamic forms of worship at the school.
But Razwan Faraz, a deputy head teacher in Birmingham, advises Awan to pursue a more tactical approach:
"She [Shanaz Khan, a new Muslim head teacher at Small Heath, a secular state secondary school in Birmingham] is a very astute lady. She knows her game," Faraz writes. "Please don't pressurize her to start the Islamizing agenda first. That will be a lot easier when she is respected as leader. She has to establish herself with minimum controversy for the first six months, and lead the people to believe in her before they believe in her policies."
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