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Gove’s Trojan Horse Hoax finally exposed by Education Select Committee

We are pleased that the Trojan Horse Hoax has finally been exposed by a welcomed cross-party Education Select Committee report, but has too much damage already been done?

Last year the sensationalist spotlight fell on Birmingham. [1] Amidst the barrage of accusations lay an ideological agenda, [2] one which rubber-stamped an existing narrative in the minds of people. That narrative says Muslims are here as a pervasive fifth column whose long-term goal is to take over this country and overturn its institutions. In an attempt to indoctrinate the minds of the general public, every new controversy (actual or manufactured) is recruited as proof for this narrative by such ideologues.  A welcomed report by the influential Education Select Committee shatters much of what was claimed to be true in the Trojan Hoax affair, namely that there was no evidence of any ‘radical’ or ‘extremist’ plot. [3]

These events drive home the fact that whilst much of the media acts as the delivery mechanism for the radicalisation of the masses, it is some politicians who manufacture the necessary outrage.  It is the claim of extremism that was evident in the Ofsted leaks to the press, but were absent in the inspection reports that remains the clearest example of how institutionalised the securitisation of Muslims has become.

Now that the Trojan Hoax affair has done its damage, the intervention by the Education Select Committee is a welcome, albeit late intervention.

Michael Gove, the neoconservative politician, who was at the helm of the Department for Education during the affair has been accused of politicising Ofsted. His book Celsius 7/7 has been accurately described by Geoffrey Wheatcroft as a ‘Muslim – bashing diatribe’. [4] The fact that Celsius 7/7 contains a chapter titled ‘Trojan Horse’ – let’s just say the irony was not lost on Muslim parents in Birmingham.

MPs on the cross-party Education Select Committee criticised Gove’s response to Trojan Horse, he was adamant there was an extremist takeover of schools in Birmingham and used Ofsted to establish his neocon standpoint. Gove’s removal was a means to repair relations with stakeholders but if—as it has been claimed [5]—that the neocons, including Gove, are still shaping policy in the Department for Education, the direction of education policy does not bode well for Muslims.

The Committee’s report makes clear,

“No evidence of extremism or radicalisation, apart from a single isolated incident, was found by any of the inquiries and there was no evidence of a sustained plot nor of a similar situation pertaining elsewhere in the country.” [6]

There were issues in those schools as there are in most schools. There are widespread problems with governors rubber stamping the actions of the head teacher rather than acting as they should, an arm of accountability of the school and as a critical friend. There are also many failings in leadership of schools, as well as in relation to teaching and learning. Whilst in most schools Ofsted does its best to support schools to improve, unfortunately Muslim independent schools, as well as schools in which there is either a significant presence of Muslims on governing bodies or in the Senior Management Team, have been treated with a level of suspicion that suggests clear discriminatory practice.

Often there is a perceived suspicion or belief that children are being radicalised or there is extremism in schools and inspectors’ behaviour suggest they are looking for a reason to place the school in special measures.

Many perceive Ofsted to be politicised and that perception is damaging to its reputation. The report also suggests Ofsted needs to restore confidence in its position as an independent inspectorate. Its lack of consistency in inspections, the way it leaks sensational information, the manner in which it questions children have inflicted irreparable harm to its reputation.

The report concludes,

“Ofsted’s inability to identify problems at some Birmingham schools on first inspection when they were found shortly afterwards to be failing raises questions about the appropriateness of the framework and the reliability and robustness of Ofsted’s judgements and how they are reached. Either Ofsted relied too heavily on raw data and did not dig deep enough on previous occasions or alternatively the schools deteriorated so quickly that Ofsted reports were rapidly out of date, or it could be that inspectors lost objectivity and came to some overly negative conclusions because of the surrounding political and media storm. Whichever of these options is closest to the truth, confidence in Ofsted has been undermined and efforts should be made by the inspectorate to restore it in Birmingham and beyond.” [7]

If Ofsted is unwilling to act as anything other than a politicised arm of government, any remaining faith will be diminished and it will be clear to all that it is in fact Ofsted that will need to be placed into special measures.

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] https://www.islam21c.com/politics/michael-goves-trojan-hoax-plot-thickens/

[2] http://www.aa.com.tr/en/s/318232–an-ideological-war-against-uk-muslims-in-schools

[3] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmeduc/473/473.pdf

[4] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/mar/22/conservatives.comment

[5] http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/03/14/michael-gove-education_n_6868748.html

[6] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmeduc/473/47310.htm

[7] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmeduc/473/47311.htm

About Yusuf Patel

Yusuf Patel is the founder of SREIslamic, which provides advice, support and training to parents concerned with how Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) is taught in schools, particularly at the primary level. SRE Islamic has conducted seminars across the country since 2008 to inform Muslim parents of their legal rights in the area of SRE as well as running workshops covering the responsibility of Muslim parents to impart age appropriate sex education in line with their values. Yusuf works in an education capacity for a charity that supports homeless people, refugees, young people and families in need; he is also a trustee of a Muslim education center that provides nursery and primary education with an Islamic ethos.

8 comments

  1. This is pathetic. My children’s school is in tatters. Oldknow Academy has hit rock bottom. Staff morale is down, muslim teachers leaving, the brilliant ‘muslim’ deputy head removed and dismissed, ark have come in with no real consultation, OPA has been disbanded and seemed to have vanished, no one is sticking up for staff, staff are afraid to talk to speak out, trustees are being appointed randomly, rumours that Muslim staff have no voice and are being dealt with in an underhanded way has caused chaos in the school. The school is a horrible place to work.

  2. They should seek legal redress immediately, not just loss of earnings but for emotional distress caused for there reputations being tarnished, defamation and for wrongful termination.

    Also the Muslim community needs to work with the Teaching Unions and call for a Independent Judge led Public Inquiry into how the first batch of reports were so wholly different from the Education Select committee which itself is Chaired by Conservative politician. Which will should include Peter Clarkes report that was written up by him within a very short period of time at the bequest of Micheal Gove MP and was given legal protection that Peter Clarke the former head of the Met polices Anti Terror Unit couldn’t be legally held account for the content of the report and was given 36,000 very good reasons to produce his report in other words £36,000 for a months so called work. Ironically enough he is on the board of the Charities commission headed up by William Shawcross which has been disproportionately targetting Muslim Charities, as we all know Shawcross was a director of the Neo Con, Islamophobic War Mongering so called think tank HJS, which has the raving Islamophobe Douglas Murray as its director.

    They are all linked into together through there web of fear, manipulation, deciet and Islamophobia.

    With regards to Peter Clarke, the trustees of the Schools and those teachers that have been tarnished should write to the Public Accounts Committee and its Chair Margret Hodge MP who is a Labour MP and ask her to hold Peter Clarke to account, to call him in front of Parliament and to demand answers for someone to be paid £36,000 of tax payers money, how can they write a report that has been completely contradicted by the Education Select Committee. Was his report fit for purpose or should he be put in special measures ie being charged with fraudlently misleading Parliament and the British people?

  3. Moreover, where is the alleged letter? If for one would like to be able to access it Online for my own perusal.

    Nobody seems to have seen it except for a small cabal of Gove blind followers in Whitehall and Gove himself. Curiouser and curiouser…

  4. BaarakAllaahu feekum!

    There just remains the little question of: who exactly wrote the alleged letter?! An issue apparently not addressed by the Education Select Committee.

  5. Assalam alaikam

    I was listening to the Radio and watching TV news for pass 2 days looking out for media pundits and so called experts to apologize to the muslim community for slandering them and their children as swell as accusing teachers and all parties with an interest in the education of muslim schoolchildren in particular as this was the groups under attack.

    From Boris johnson to LBC radio presenters from David cameron to the Daily mail and all in between not one of them had the guts to apologize or even say we re sorry we hold our hands up we made a mistake by attacking the muslim community with these wild accusations and slandering them.

    We should make a list of all the media outlets and contact them one by one asking for explanation of why they don’t dedicate as much time to reverse the anti muslim publicity and mileage they got from this hoax. these cowards could not even dedicate one hour on a radio phone in show yet when the accusations were flying around the radio shows was accusing muslims of extremisim hour by hour day after day.

    wasalam

    • You have my views. That is exactly what I was thinking for the past two days. How can we or rather them reverse this damage.

  6. Assalaamu ‘Alaykum,

    The horrendous repercussions of this whole affair is that teachers have lost their jobs and had their careers totally destroyed by Ofsted last year. Now that this has been proven to be on false grounds, suspicion placed upon them in a highly political environment, who is going to give them their jobs and respect back??

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