British Inspector Warns of 'Islamist Plot' in Some Schools
The top school inspector in Britain said on Monday that a culture of "fear and intimidation" exists in some British schools due to an alleged Muslim extremist plot.
According to Reuters, a government investigation, launched after an anonymous letter reported a campaign dubbed "Operation Trojan Horse", found evidence of a drive to impose Muslim cultural norms in some schools in the central city of Birmingham.
Michael Wilshaw, head of the Ofsted schools inspectorate, was quoted as having said that the investigation heard from some head teachers that the campaign, whose organizers were not named, aimed to alter the "character and ethos" of their schools by appointing members to school boards and staff who wanted to favor Muslim values.
"Some of our findings are deeply worrying, and in some ways quite shocking," Wilshaw was quoted as having said.
"In the most serious cases, a culture of fear and intimidation has taken grip," he added, according to Reuters.
The Muslim Council of Britain questioned the criteria used to inspect the schools and said, "There is a strong fear that these reports will be considered the results of a witch-hunt."
In his nine-page report sent to Education Secretary Michael Gove, Wilshaw said some schools had shirked their responsibility to protect children against religious extremism.
He cited a school that invited a guest speaker with known extremist views to address pupils. In another case, a school subsidized a trip to Saudi Arabia exclusively for Muslims.
Summarizing reports on 21 schools, Wilshaw highlighted concerns that boys and girls were not treated equally.
"In one school, some members of staff actively discourage girls from speaking to boys and from taking part in extra-curricular visits and activities," his report said, according to Reuters.
"In this school, boys and girls are also taught separately in religious education and personal development lessons."
The report comes nearly three months after England's Department of Education said it would take "special measures," after reports unearthed a systemic campaign of an organized takeover of public school by Islamists in Birmingham.
At the time it was reported that one teacher at assemblies praised Al-Qaeda senior terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, who was involved in recruiting Westerners, and copied Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden DVDs using school facilities.
In recent years, Muslims have become dominant in several neighborhoods in London, to the chagrin of the native locals, and there have been reports that fundamentalists have been trying to enforce Sharia law in the neighborhoods.
Hate preacher Anjem Choudary is reportedly behind the “Sharia neighborhoods”, and has said he plans to flood specific Muslim and non-Muslim communities around the UK and “put the seeds down for an Islamic Emirate in the long term.”
Choudary is the founder of two Muslim groups in Britain that were banned by the British government after being declared terrorist organizations. He has threatened British Jews who support Israel, stating that it is an “Islamic obligation upon Muslims everywhere to support the Jihad against those who fight Muslims anywhere in the world or who occupy Muslim land.”
Police in London recently began investigating a sign telling pet owners to stay out of an east London park because "Muslims do not like dogs."
The sign was branded "unacceptable" and "provocative" by Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick who called in police after being alerted to the sign by a concerned dog walker.