More than 200 complaints of attempts to oust various school leaders in Birmingham, UK have resulted in an official investigation by the city government to get to the bottom of accusations that Muslim extremists are attempting to ‘take over’ a number of campuses.
According to an article written by Harriet Arkell for The Daily Mail, former head teacher Ian Kershaw has been appointed chief adviser by the Birmingham City Council specifically for the task of handling the complaints and getting to the bottom of what is being called the “Trojan Horse” inquiry.
The inquiry first sprouted legs last month when several documents, including a purported anonymous letter from one ‘extremist’ to another was turned into authorities, discussing techniques to take control of the schools – including making false claims that Muslim students were told to study Christian prayers or take classes on sex education.
According to Arkell’s article, the Ladypool Primary School had its annual visit from Father Christmas cancelled last year by Muslim headmaster Huda Aslam, who allegedly told teacher Vicky Hubble, the event’s organizer, that there would be no presents and no mention of ‘Jesus being the son of God.’
The investigation has drawn the attention of UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who was quoted as saying that schools could not be allowed to become “silos of segregation.”
Twenty-five schools are to be investigated both by Kershaw and in a separate investigation headed up by the Department of Education (DIE). Both investigations are taking some time to ramp up because of the way the education system is structured in the UK, according to Arkell’s piece:
The council’s leader, Sir Albert Bore, said the investigation was slowed by the two-tier school system, which meant the academies, which are at the center of the allegations, were answerable not to the local authority, but not the DIE, calling the situation, ‘frustrating to the extreme.’
Bore also said that he has talked to government officials in other municipalities, including Manchester and Bradford, who have reported similar issues, although neither city council is taking action with an investigation as of yet.
While the Birmingham City Council is taking the event very seriously, having hired Kershaw for six months to carry out the investigation, there are two sides to every story, and Mohammad Shafiq, leader of the Ramadhan Foundation, an organization dedicated to peaceful coexistence between Muslims and other religions, warns the whole truth needs to come out before action is taken.
“The allegations of alleged extremist takeover of schools in Birmingham are very serious, however, there is a wider concern that this is a witch hunt against the Muslim community,” Shafiq said. “I am very clear that if these allegations are proven that all stakeholders will need to work together to ensure that it does not happen again, but equally this could be a hoax dreamt up without any evidence.”