LONDON : Schools in some parts of Birmingham were exposed to a “sustained and coordinated” effort to impose a hardline Muslim agenda on pupils, a government investigation led by London’s former counter-terrorism chief said on Tuesday.
The report was commissioned to look into an alleged campaign by Muslim extremists, dubbed “Operation Trojan Horse”, to force some majority-Muslim schools to adopt a more Islamic culture by installing governors and teaching staff who would support a conservative religious agenda. “There has been co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action, carried out by a number of associated individuals, to introduce an intolerant and aggressive ethos into a few schools in Birmingham,” said the report by Peter Clarke, former head of London Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan told parliament the report’s findings were “disturbing”.
“His report sets out compelling evidence of a determined effort by people with a shared ideology to gain control of the governing bodies of a small number of schools in Birmingham,” she said.
The Trojan Horse allegations were first made in an anonymous letter to Birmingham Council. The letter’s veracity has since been disputed, but the government has taken its claim seriously and launched a series of investigations.
A report by schools inspectors last month found a culture of “fear and intimidation” existed in some Birmingham schools, but was criticised by the Muslim Council of Britain, who said the inquiry could be viewed as a witch hunt.