Why Tories messed up in attack on Islamic school

Why Conservatives failed the test on Islamic schools - Education News, Education - The Independent

It appears that the Tories overlooked a number of things while criticising state funding for two schools supposedly linked to Hizb-ut-Tahrir in Slough and north London:

The most obvious mistake was the allegation that they appeared not to have been registered or inspected.

In fact, one of the two schools – in Slough, Berkshire – had posted a glowing commendation from Ofsted on its website. The report was easily accessible by Googling the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation, and its veracity could be confirmed with Ofsted.

It praised the school for its “broad and balanced curriculum” and for its commitment to the “spiritual, moral, social and cultural development” of its 55 four- to 10-year-old pupils.

The second error, over the allegation that state finance from a fund designed to combat terrorism was being channelled into an extremist school dedicated to the overthrow of Western culture, was perhaps more serious.

The waters here were slightly muddier, although the Conservatives were mistaken again. Money from a government fund was paid to both schools – the second is in Haringey, north London – but the £113,000 concerned came from a fund designed to promote nursery education and distributed by local councils; the fund just happened to have the same name, Pathfinder, as the anti-terrorist fund.

As for the links with HT, the head teacher of the Slough school said she was not a member, while the proprietor, whose husband is a member, has resigned as a trustee. Of course, a “member” of HT is not just an ordinary activist; you don’t become a member until you have been known to them for a long time. However, the measure of such a school shouldn’t be whether the school’s board of governors has one or two members of HT on it, but who they employ and what they teach.

However, the reason the Tories put their foot in it on this issue isn’t really explained in that article. The reason seems to be that they saw an opportunity to attack HT, or a group of Muslims with views too radical for their liking, and took it without letting the facts get in the way.

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  • Sameer

    salaam aleikum,

    you are overlooking the fact that Michael Gove got his information from Douglass Murray and the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC). This alleged “thinktank” put out this report by Houriyah Ahmed and Hannah Stuart:

    http://www.socialcohesion.co.uk/files/1257159197_1.pdf

    the lies assembled into claiming that HT was taking govt. funds designated under the “Pathfinder” program was FIRST put out by them along with the online blog staffed by Murray and his brown servants at spittoon.org:

    http://www.spittoon.org/archives/3880

    there are other lies spread against all manner of muslim personalities and groups on there as well.

    Sam

  • HT is not outlawed in UK, why must their members not be allowed to set up Islamic schools? Both these schools as far as I know are not inclusively ht, there are non-ht Muslims involved. The media and political propoganda we see here is so dangerous for the Muslim community because it will make Muslims fearful of their fellow Muslims for the views they hold when there is potentially nothing wrong. I heard on the newsnight how some Muslims and if I heard it correctly Sufi Muslims had a problem with 9 yr old being taught about the Khilafah. What’s so wrong about that? We can’t pretend Khilafah doesn’t exist in Islam. There is too much dishonesty and if I’m allowed to use the word ‘bitching’… reminds me of the story of the Bull.

    Btw Eid Mubarak, I hope you and your family had a good eid. :) .-= Salman´s last blog ..Eid Mubarak from Rumoured Blog =-.

  • LeedsLad

    Their target isn’t HT which is their friends but the humiliation of Muslim children and the disruption it causes to their studies. We should out Jewish schools for collaborating with IDF as they recruit children to volunteer with the IDF during summer time.

  • Sameer

    This statement is correct:

    >Their target isn’t HT which is their friends but the humiliation of Muslim >children and the disruption it causes to their studies.

    there are already noises being made about on spittoon (http://www.spittoon.org/archives/3880#comment-14294) Yusuf Islam having taken state funds for his Islamic school in Brent, London.

    This is interpreting the laws in such a way as to make Muslims and Islam the enemy.