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Your chance to help Trojan Hoax victim fight back

A landmark legal challenge is currently being fought by the first person to be affected by the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014.[1] Tahir Alam is the first person to have been “banned from having any involvement with schools” by the Department for Education, following the infamous “Trojan Hoax” scandal. Perhaps the most worrying aspect of his treatment – showing the importance of this test case – is that he was banned under the extremely ambiguous and contested pretext of “extremism” and undermining “Fundamental British Values”.

Whilst it is ostensibly Muslims that are bearing the brunt of these arbitrary restrictions and exercises of power under the banner of “extremism”, it is only a matter of time before more and more people are being labelled by these ambiguous and amorphous terms. As we have already seen in some parts of the country, even anti-fracking demonstrators have been affected by legislation and policies giving power to authorities to restrict the rights of so-called “extremists”.[2] Muslims are therefore somewhat of a vanguard for pushing back against arbitrary restrictions of citizens, and as such we have a great responsibility as a community.

Ideally the judiciary should be able to act as a safeguard to prevent citizens being unlawfully harmed by government institutions, and cases like Mr Alam’s would act as an important check and balance for all citizens. However, he is unable to match the power and legal resources at the government’s disposal, which is why he has been unable to mount a successful challenge so far against his banning. As a result, he has been given the opportunity to crowdfund for raising legal costs from the wider community for this important test case. He wrote the following for Islam21c to raise awareness about this case and its background.

For the past twenty years I have been committed to education both nationally and particularly for local children in Birmingham. When I was chair and school governor of the Park View Educational Trust, I was caught up in the “Trojan Horse” allegations and was accused of “Islamic extremism” and “undermining Fundamental British Values”, which I categorically reject entirely. As a result of these allegations I have been banned from having any involvement with schools.

I am fighting the ban against me in the courts, and I am appealing to everyone’s natural sense of justice for help. If this ban is left unchallenged, it will allow the government to arbitrarily accuse people of “extremism” and undermining “British values” with impunity, banning more and more people from public life.

What I stand for in education

I am a family man with two children. I have strong community links and have served as a volunteer governor in deprived inner-city schools for nearly twenty years. I believe that every child has the right to a high standard of education and the right to fulfil their potential. I believe in a pluralistic society that reject “extremism” in all its forms. I believe that schools should thus be inclusive and grounded in the communities they serve, providing an outstanding service to their constituency. I believe strongly that local people should serve as governors to help give direction to schools and hold leadership to account by being their “critical friends”. I am proud of what we achieved for children in our schools in deprived areas which had been failing historically for decades.

The Trojan Horse Plot

In 2014 allegations surfaced in the media that several schools had been taken over by extremists and that their curricula had been manipulated. This became known as the “Trojan Horse” plot because an anonymous letter accused me and others of being so-called “extremists” who had secretly forced Islam into the curriculum and taken control of state schools. I and others have strongly refuted these allegations and will continue to do until justice is served.

The allegations arose amidst a media feeding-frenzy – they took hold in an atmosphere where there were frequent unsubstantiated accusations of Muslims intent on taking over this country. After ‘investigations’ into these allegations, I became the first person to be banned by the Department for Education from having any involvement within education and schools.

I feel that I have been condemned and the decision to do so has been unfair, unjust and politically motivated.

Yet, in 2015, the Parliamentary select committee on Education said in its report, ‘Extremism in Schools: The Trojan Horse Affair’, that there was “no evidence of extremism or radicalisation…no evidence of sustained a plot…”[3]

Gove’s Trojan Hoax finally exposed by Education Select Committee

The Trojan Horse “plot” that never was, was a widely disseminated false accusation covered in mainstream screen and print media nationally. It continues to be the subject of discussions and recently was also the subject of a BBC1 documentary programme, The hunt for classroom extremists.[4]

Despite running highly successful schools in deprived communities; having committed no crime and being a law-abiding citizen, I find myself vilified, suffering massive reputational, professional and financial damage.

Why my case matters to us ALL, regardless of creed or colour

The decision to bar me is essentially a politically administered (ministerial) one made by the Secretary of State for Education, not a judicial one. In this manner, a person can be barred, with serious consequences of pariah status, without any rigor of an open judicial process.

The Department for Education has chosen to continue to seek banning orders against governors and teachers.  It is based on arbitrary notions of British Values, and affects anyone who does not ‘fit in’ or fall into line. This is a massive distraction from the day-to-day problems of many failing schools in our communities.

This issue is not just about justice – in word and deed- but an issue about human rights; the right to a fair hearing and equality. The case is of wide public importance and affects governors, teachers, parents and students. My case will set the standard for other cases to follow.  This is your – our -opportunity to overturn this blatant injustice.

The legal challenge

My only avenue to contest the ban is by appealing to the Education Tribunal. I do not have sufficient the funds to fight this on my own and I am not eligible for legal aid. I am therefore crowd-fundraising for an initial minimum of £10,000 (stretch target £18,000) to enable me to gather, document, prepare evidences, and to have legal representation at hearings so I can defend myself against these spurious allegations.

My appeal to the Tribunal is scheduled to be heard in March.  There will be a lot of evidence presented that my lawyers will need to comb through.  They will have to track down witnesses, take statements and agree a timetable.  Witnesses will be called and cross examined.  Legal submissions will be made.  This is likely to involve a two week – or may be longer – hearing which I will need barristers to represent me at.

I want to present evidence in the case to be able to defend my role as a governor and disprove allegations against me.  As I am the first person to be banned by the Department for Education from having any involvement with schools and stand accused of undermining fundamental British Values, my case is a test case.   It is vital that I have the chance of putting my side of the story. Only with appropriate legal representation do I have chance of a fair hearing.  I can only do that with your help.

M-R Solicitors who are have been dealing with my case said the following,

“There is no way that Mr. Alam can have a fair hearing under the present circumstances. A case of this importance and magnitude will require considerable person power and resources to come anywhere close to matching those of the Department of Education. It is vital that all the issues are aired and a just and unbiased decision is made. Without equality of arms this will simply not be possible.”

You can donate towards this case by visiting my CrowdJustice page. [5]

Thank you

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/3283/pdfs/uksi_20143283_en.pdf

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/dec/10/home-office-defends-anti-fracking-groups-extremism-claims-prevent?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

[3] https://www.islam21c.com/politics/goves-trojan-horse-hoax-finally-exposed-by-education-select-committee/

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPuCbKlqfO8

[5] https://www.crowdjustice.org/case/justice-for-tahir/

About Tahir Alam

Tahir Alam is former school governor and chair of Park View Educational Trust. He has been working to help improve schools in underprivileged areas for twenty years. He was at the core of the infamous Trojan Hoax scandal and has been vilified and banned by the Department for Education from working in education as a result.

5 comments

  1. Oh yeah, yeah! Introducing Salafist curriculum in British schools, and promoting Shariah Law- to all children irrespective of their background- as a divine law is hardly what British society, on overall, would be ready to accept. Yes, yes, the British politicians, with their “political correctness” are many times very stupid, however, not that stupid as some Salafists would like to think they are.. I would like me too as some of my customs from my Transylvian village to be accepted by the large British society. Yes, but if thy are not, I accept that because here is Britain and not my village. In the end, I am for the old saying: “When in Rome behave like Romans.” If not, the way back home is always disponible.

    • You are an idiot. Not even the most ridiculous news rags accused them of “introducing salafist curriculum in British schools, and promoting Shariah Law”. Your own Roman cliche refutes your point when one actually does a bit of research and realises the schools were 90%+ Muslim. So – according to your logic they SHOULD pomote shariah law then?
      Hah, idiot.

      • It is normal as an idiot to believe that others are idiots and not himself/herself. I will not comment more in this respect. ” Not even the most ridiculous news rags accused them of “introducing Salafist curriculum in British schools, and promoting Shariah Law,” you claim. Wrong! Do some research in the media of the time and you will find out I was right. Moreover, even Wikipedia, when refers to this plot, reads, ” …. an organized attempt by a number of associated individuals to introduce an Islamist or Salafist ethos into several schools in some British schools”. So, you are right and all the others are wrong!!! Really? You said that the schools were 99% Muslim. And so what!! Is that a reason as these Muslim children to get a different education from the that that the rest of British children get? When in Rome get the same education the Romans get. If not, back home is the best idea.

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

    Two teachers who were struck off for feeding pupils a ‘diet of Islam’ at a school linked to the ‘Trojan horse’ scandal are being allowed back into the classroom.

    Inam Anwar and Akeel Ahmed, who taught at Park View in Birmingham and were part of WhatsApp group ‘Park View Brotherhood’, were banned in February.

    But a High Court judge found the teachers were treated ‘unfairly’ and he overturned the ban today.

    They claimed they were targeted after the ‘Trojan Horse’ letter was published in 2013 – which detailed a plot to introduce hardline Muslim teaching into schools.

    Both men were struck off this year after a National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) panel found they exercised ‘undue religious influence’ on pupils.

    The panel heard the pupils at the 600-strong secondary school were never taught about safe sex, relationships or contraception.

    Anwar, the head of modern languages, and Ahmed, in charge of religious studies, were accused of changing the curriculum so sex education was not taught.

    NCTL officials also said Ahmed organised religious assemblies where boys were segregated from girls.

    He was also said to have encouraged prayer during the school day through posters and a call to prayer on the school’s loudspeaker system.

    Both men were also accused of taking part in a WhatsApp chat that discussed the murder of soldier Lee Rigby and the Boston Marathon bombings.

    They were cleared of distributing or using leaflets, promoting the view that a married man has an ‘entitlement’ to have sex with his wife.
    The NCTL said their misconduct was serious and Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, agreed that they should be banned from teaching in England indefinitely.
    But Mr Justice Phillips today ruled at London’s High Court that the men’s treatment had been ‘unjust’.

    He accepted that important evidence had not been disclosed to the pair and there had been ‘serious procedural impropriety’ in the NCTL’s fact-finding process.
    Upholding the pair’s judicial review challenge, he ruled their treatment had been ‘unfair’ and they were reinstated back into the profession.
    As a further hearing of the men’s cases by the NCTL was possible, the judge expressed no view on ‘the underlying merits of the allegations’.
    Park View was placed in special measures by Ofsted after the ‘Trojan horse’ allegations came to light, and it has since been renamed Rockwood Academy
    IA
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

  3. British society must learn to respect and tolerate those who are different. God has created diverse human beings to live in this tiny global village of one family. Creation by its very nature is diverse with different species, different communities, different cultures and languages. These differences represent the beauty and wonder but diversity is sometimes not fully appreciated, resulting in all sorts of clashes. The British society and Establishment must learn to respect and accommodate others, as if in a family. A report by the Institute for Community Cohesion found that native parents were deserting some schools after finding their children outnumbered by pupils from ethnic minorities. Schools in parts of England are becoming increasingly segregated. The study focused on 13 local authorities. Many of the schools and colleges are segregated and this was generally worsening over recent years. This is RACISM because British society is the home of institutional racism. A study by Bristol University reveals that a high level of racial segregation in Oldham schools and tension between communities resulted in recent riots in 2001. The solution is that those schools where Muslim children are majority may be designated as Muslim community schools. The native parents do not want their children to be educated along with migrant children. As soon as they find that the number of other children is on the increase, they remove their children to those schools where native children are in majority.

    This Islamophobic (Micky Ofsted Wilshaw) has been systematically targeting Muslim schools: either down grading them or failing them over minor shortcomings. The w…itch-hunt which started with Trojan hoax continues unabated. Many Muslim schools have been served closure notices unjustifiably by trigger happy inspectors who view Muslim schools and children through the prism of extremism and terrorism. The aim is to try to save them from Islam. What has happened to this school in Birmingham is a tip of the iceberg of intimidation and bullying affecting many other schools.

    Trojan Horse is an attempt to put Muslims back in their place, at the bottom of the Job market heap,

    Thanks to the hard and brilliant efforts of the Muslim Governors, the school grades amongst the Asian Muslims shot up from a RESTARTED 20% to a respectable 80%.

    What gives OFSTED the right, or indeed any Brits, to preach to minority groups about how they should live their lives. This is a cosmopolitan country, the Muslim community have the right to educate their children how they choose. What has being British got to do with your religious belief? In Britain there are Hindus Sikhs pagans Jewish Buddhists atheist Zoroastrians Rasta’s and many more should they all change there religious beliefs because they are British? Studying the Qur’an will certainly help towards these children becoming fully integrated citizens of the UK.

    The problem is the Islamification of schools through the sheer weight of numbers of Muslims in them. Attitudes to gays and terrorism may be some kind of litmus test for such Islamification but Ofsted seem to have approached this in a clumsy and insensitive way. The elephant in the room is that if you have a school full of Muslims then it is always going to be an Islamist school. It’s too late to avoid that now. Islam outlaws homosexuality. It’s perfectly reasonable to ensure children forced into a religion and a religious school by their parents are educated and accepting, and generally set up to become good citizens. It’s also reasonable to suspect a Muslim school, wouldn’t encourage acceptance of homosexuality, or discourage playground negativity towards it.
    IA
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk/..

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