By Dan Wooding, who was raised in Birmingham, England
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
BIRMINGHAM, UK (ANS) -- The final in a series of reports on the "Trojan Horse" plot by Islamist school governors and teachers to take over several schools in Birmingham, England, has revealed that City Council officials had failed to take action despite being aware of the plot two years ago.
Front Page of Birmingham Mail
According to Christian Concern (www.christianconcern.com), former counter-terrorism chief, Peter Clarke, reported this week that as a result of the cover-up, teachers at the center of the scandal were still keeping their jobs. His report says that council officials "failed to intervene appropriately" because they feared offending the Muslim community.
Mr. Clarke revealed that teachers forced out of three schools at the center of the "Trojan Horse" investigation were prevented from raising concerns because of gagging agreements.
A former staff member at a school involved in the scandal told the BBC that compromise agreements were being routinely used to silence teachers who were being forced out of their jobs. The teacher, who wishes to remain anonymous, said, "It's quite clear what the compromise agreement says. It's clear that I should not speak out about it to anybody or show the agreement to anybody."
The new British Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, told the House of Commons that teachers involved in allowing extremism in the Birmingham schools will face misconduct hearings in the light of Mr. Clarke's report.
Muslim girl students in Birmingham
The Economist (www.economist.com), said, "Peter Clarke, who used to spot terrorist plots for London's Metropolitan Police, has confirmed that something ugly has been happening in Birmingham, too. In a report on July 22nd he showed that teachers at several mostly Muslim schools in the city had exchanged messages on a mobile app disparaging gays, Israel and the West; they had also discussed how to foster an intolerant Islamist culture. Clarke's is the third report on this subject-and the one that, almost certainly, signals a partial retreat for the government's bold education reforms.
"Since 2010 the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition has freed some 2,500 schools from local-authority control, including some of the ones that went awry in Birmingham. Though all remain under the control of the Department for Education and must submit to inspections by Ofsted, the schools watchdog, head teachers have considerable power to shape the curriculum. In addition to these 'academies', parents have been encouraged to set up 'free schools'.
"Institutionally, it is the coalition's most successful public-sector reform: by contrast, changes to policing, health and welfare have been slow and troubled. But the education reforms have ruffled feathers, and posed a knotty question."
It added, "One sobering lesson from Birmingham is that academic results are often a poor guide to the health of a school. Park View School was rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted in January 2012-a glaring misjudgment. Nor was parent power much use. Some Muslim families seem to have been happy with the social conservatism of the school.
"Increased local oversight for England's schools now looks inevitable. Deciding what the new overseers should do-and just as importantly, what they should not do-will test the ingenuity of all school reformers."
Main mosque in Birmingham
In the wake of the inquiry, Sharia expert, Sam Solomon, co-founder of Christian Concern, said that evidence of the alleged "plot" to apply Islamic laws in schools should ring a "warning bell" about the strategic aim that drives Islam - the imposition of sharia throughout British society.
He warned that Britain must safeguard its value system against an on-going plan by Islamists to subjugate the British way of life to sharia.
He talked about the "Islamic Doctrine of "Education," stating, "Education is a very specific 'doctrine', or rather combination of doctrines within Islam, and as a tenet of Islam it is immutable and beyond negotiation once it is implemented, especially so once an Islamic community gains traction and critical mass within a host country.
"But be aware that it is in stealth mode in the early stages-by design-and thus appears to be compatible with the host educational system until it is established. It ultimately emerges at some point in time, and then-when it is perhaps almost too late-we find that it is in diametric opposition to all we hold dear, as we are currently discovering.
"One needs to understand this Islamic concept-not simply that of education per se, which is known in the Arabic 'Ta'leem' meaning 'education,' but also the Islamic concept of 'Tarbiya'. Tarbiya is commonly used to describe the 'upbringing of children'".
"However, when 'Tarbiya' is applied jointly with 'education,' i.e. 'Ta'leem', it means 'growth and refinement.' This 'refinement' is meant to shape and mold Islamic characteristics in a child.
"For example, a teacher at one of the schools in the study openly admits and celebrates his role as a 'molder' of young minds, as well as his commitment to core Islam."