Teachers at Trojan Horse school sent WhatsApp messages claiming Lee Rigby’s murder was a HOAX, inquiry reveals

Teachers at the centre of the ‘Trojan Horse’ plot to takeover Birmingham schools exchanged messages that the murder of soldier Lee Rigby was a hoax, it emerged today.

A damning report into Birmingham schools has unearthed ‘compelling evidence’ of an attempt by a group of hardline Muslims ‘to gain control of governing bodies’, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said.

The investigation, led by former anti-terror chief Peter Clarke, revealed details of a WhatsApp group called The Park View Brotherhood which also included a description of homosexuals as ‘animals’ with ‘satanic ways’.

Mr Clarke was called in to investigate claims that schools in Birmingham were taken over in a plot to impose hardline Islamic rule. His was one of four inquiries into the allegations.

During his probe he was handed a dossier of more than 3,000 messages posted in the WhatsApp group from April 2013 until it was shut down in March.

Some of the messages suggested the brutal murder of Liee Rigby and the Boston Marathon bombings were both faked.

One post above a YouTube link attributed to someone identified as Teacher L on 24 May last year said: ‘ATTACK ON ISLAM! Plz watch and share ASAP before they remove it!!!!! London butcher incident; It’s is a hoax And this is the link to reveal it.’

A message sent by Teacher C on 19 April said: ‘Watch PROOF! Boston Marathon Bombing is Staged Terror Attack on YouTube.’

The ‘core contributors’ to the group were identified as mainly teachers at either Park View School or other schools within the Park View Educational Trust and all were men.

The report said the group was established by Monzoor Hussain, the acting Principal at Park View, while Razwan Faraz, a former teacher at the school, was allegedly one of the two ‘most prolific’ contributors.

Mr Hussain confirmed that he set up the forum but said the purpose was solely to discuss items that could be included in school assemblies, Mr Clarke said.

He added: ‘A number of topics are discussed, often by a small group of contributors, which reveal the members’ attitudes towards education, homosexuality and gay marriage.

‘There is also an undercurrent of anti-Western sentiment, explicit antagonism towards the British military, a sceptical reaction to news of terrorist attacks (Lee Rigby and the Boston bombings), and numerous links posted to extremist speakers.’

In May last year Mr Faraz allegedly posted a link to a news article about gay marriage followed by the message: ‘These animals are going out full force. As teachers we must be aware and counter their satanic ways of influencing young people.’

Proble: Former anti-terror chief Peter Clarke was commissioned in April to investigate the alleged 'Trojan Horse' plot by a group of hardline Muslims to take over schools in the city

Proble: Former anti-terror chief Peter Clarke was commissioned in April to investigate the alleged ‘Trojan Horse’ plot by a group of hardline Muslims to take over schools in the city

CHILDREN TAUGHT NOT TO QUESTION HARDLINE ISLAM

The report by Peter Clarke highlighted revealed details of concerns raised by witnesses about the impact on pupils:

  • Teachers feared that children are learning to be intolerant of difference and diversity
  • While good academic results could be achieved by narrowing the curriculum, this meant that young people were not getting a broad education, and instead their horizons are narrowed
  • There was evidence of young people being encouraged to ‘adopt an unquestioning attitude to a particular hardline strand of Sunni Islam’

Mr Clarke found that there had been ‘co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action’ by a number of individuals to introduce an ‘intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos’ into a few schools in the city.

This had been achieved in some schools by gaining influence on the governing bodies, installing ‘sympathetic’ headteachers and senior staff, appointing ‘like- minded’ people to key positions and removing heads who were not ‘compliant’ with a particular agenda.

In a statement to the Commons today, Mrs Morgan told MPs: ‘What Peter Clarke found is 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.

‘Teachers have said they fear children are learning to be intolerant of difference and diversity. Instead of enjoying a broadening and enriching experience in school, young people are having their horizons narrowed and are being denied the opportunity to flourish in a modern multicultural Britain.

‘There has been no evidence of direct radicalisation or violent extremism.

‘But there is a clear account in the report of people in positions of influence in these schools, with a restricted and narrow interpretation of their faith, who have not promoted fundamental British values and who have failed to challenge the extremist views of others.’

Mr Clarke said he ‘neither specifically looked for, nor found, evidence of terrorism, radicalisation or violent extremism in the schools of concern in Birmingham’.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said the report in Birmingham's schools was 'disturbing'

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said the report in Birmingham’s schools was ‘disturbing’

But the report went on: ‘The existence of a common ideological stance among key linked individuals in this enquiry, the taking of control of governing bodies and the implementation of conservative religious practices in the schools where these individuals have influence, means that there can be no doubt that what has happened has been driven by a desire to instil a particular style of religious ethos into these state non-faith schools.’

The report was also highly critical of Birmingham City Council.

It found the authority was ‘aware of the practices and behaviours that were subsequently outlined in the ‘Trojan Horse’ letter long before the letter surfaced’.

The report continued: ‘Officers have conceded that it did not consider carefully enough nor soon enough the question of whether there was a pattern in what was happening across a number of schools.’

Instead, the council was said to have persisted in approaching incidents ‘on a case-by-case basis’.

Mr Clarke’s report is the last of four separate probes into the allegations in Birmingham.

The row was originally sparked by the ‘Trojan Horse’ letter – now widely believed to be a hoax – which referred to an alleged plot by hardline Muslims to seize control of a number of school governing boards in Birmingham.

Park View Academy was among five schools placed in special measures by Ofsted last month

Park View Academy was among five schools placed in special measures by Ofsted last month

HOAX UNEARTHED THE TRUTH

School inspections in Birmingham were triggered by a mysterious letter which described ‘Operation Trojan Horse’ – an apparent plot by Muslim fundamentalists to take over the city’s schools.

It was passed to Birmingham City Council, head teachers, teaching unions and media outlets, sparking four separate investigations, two of which – by Ofsted and the Department for Education – have now reported.

Purportedly written as a guide for fellow hardliners in Bradford, the unsigned and undated letter is now widely seen as an elaborate hoax.

But Ofsted has now found genuine evidence of an ‘organised campaign’ to change the character of some schools, while calling for further investigation to substantiate claims of ‘organised infiltration and manipulation of governing bodies’.

Mr Clarke’s conclusions differ from those contained in Ian Kershaw’s inquiry for Birmingham City Council, which found there was no evidence of a ‘conspiracy to promote an anti-British agenda, violent extremism or radicalisation in schools in east Birmingham’.

Mr Kershaw’s inquiry concluded that key individuals were ‘promoting and encouraging certain Islamic principles’ in Birmingham classrooms amid poor oversight from education chiefs.

Last month Ofsted issued a damning verdict on the running of a number of Birmingham’s schools as it declared five failing and placed them into special measures.

The watchdog inspected 21 schools in the city, concluding that a ‘culture of fear and intimidation’ has developed in some schools and, in several, governors exerted ‘inappropriate influence’ over how they are being run.

The five placed in special measures as a result of the recent inspections are Golden Hillock School, Nansen Primary School and Park View Academy – all run by the Park View Educational Trust (PVET), as well as Oldknow Academy and Saltley School. A sixth, Alston Primary, was already in special measures.

The Education Funding Agency has also conducted its own inquiry, publishing highly critical reports on PVET and Oldknow Academy.

Earlier a Labour frontbencher claimed schools in Birmingham are as deeply divided as the Balkans.

Liam Byrne, Labour’s universities spokesman and an MP in Birmingham, accused the government of using ‘divisive rhetoric’ to fuel ‘culture wars’ in the education system.

Labour frontbencher Liam Byrne warned government rhetoric was fuelling division in Birmingham 

Labour frontbencher Liam Byrne warned government rhetoric was fuelling division in Birmingham

Outspoken: Shahid Akmal, who until recently was chairman of governors at Nansen Primary School (pictured), told an undercover reporter that white children are lazy, and white women have the 'least amount of morals'

Outspoken: Shahid Akmal, who until recently was chairman of governors at Nansen Primary School (pictured), told an undercover reporter that white children are lazy, and white women have the ‘least amount of morals’

FACT BOX TITLE

Four different investigations into the Trojan Horse allegations of a hardline Muslim takeover plot at a number of Birmingham schools have reported back. Here are the main findings of each:

Peter Clarke report, ordered by former education secretary Michael Gove

Mr Clarke’s inquiry did not look for, or find, evidence of terrorism, radicalisation or violent extremism in the schools of concern.

It concluded there was a deliberate effort by a number of individuals to introduce an ‘intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos’ into a number of Birmingham schools.

This was achieved in some schools by gaining influence on governing bodies, installing ‘sympathetic’ head teachers and senior staff, appointing ‘like-minded’ people to key positions, and removing heads who were not ‘compliant’ with a particular agenda.

The 129-page report was highly critical of Birmingham City Council, accusing the authority of failing to support under-pressure head teachers who were dealing with inappropriate behaviour by governors.

Ian Kershaw report, ordered by Birmingham City Council

Found no evidence of a ‘conspiracy to promote an anti-British agenda, violent extremism or radicalisation in schools in east Birmingham’.

It concluded that key individuals were ‘promoting and encouraging certain Islamic principles’ in Birmingham classrooms amid poor oversight from education chiefs.

He suggested problems were allowed to run ‘unchecked’ due to what he branded ‘weaknesses in the system and poor oversight of governance’ mainly by the city council, but also by Ofsted, the Education Funding Agency and the Department for Education.

Ofsted

The watchdog inspected 21 schools in the city, concluding that a ‘culture of fear and intimidation’ had developed in some schools.

Warned that Birmingham City Council failed to support a number of schools in the area in their efforts to protect pupils from the ‘risks of radicalisation and extremism’.

Five schools placed in special measures as a result: Golden Hillock School, Nansen Primary School and Park View Academy – all run by the Park View Educational Trust (PVET) – as well as Oldknow Academy and Saltley School. A sixth – Alston Primary – was already in special measures.

Education Funding Agency

The EFA, which oversees academies, published highly critical reports on PVET and Oldknow Academy at the same time as the Ofsted findings were made public.

It said PVET had ‘many weaknesses’, breached its funding agreement, and had restricted its curriculum to a ‘conservative Islamic perspective’.

A separate report following the inspection of Oldknow Academy in Small Heath found it was ‘taking on the practices of an Islamic faith school’ and had excluded non-Muslim staff and pupils from an annual trip to Saudi Arabia for three years running.

Mr Byrne claimed problems in Birmingham had been exacerbated by former Education Secretary Michael Gove.

He said he wanted the city to ‘move on’, which included ensuring school governors do not promote ‘an ethos in which other faiths and ideas are done down’.

Mr Byrne added: ‘It does also mean that we need ministers who drop the divisive rhetoric which Mr Gove has used in the past, like ‘draining the swap’, or people on a ‘conveyor-belt to terrorism’.

‘At times in East Birmingham we’ve felt like we are just a football in Michael Gove’s culture wars.

‘That has been deeply damaging to parents’ confidence, they have felt alienated from what should have been a thorough inquiry into what was going on with their kids’ education.‘

He said Mrs Morgan now has to ‘bring people back together and crucially, they’ve got to tell us how we’re actually going to raise standards in Birmingham because our school system is so fragmented it feels at times likes the Balkans.

‘And what we now need is someone who’s going to take clear ownership of raising school standards.’

He rejected a suggestion that there had been ‘brainwashing’ at Birmingham schools, but said there had clearly been a threat to ‘unity in the community’.

The report’s release comes as a former school chief accused of being at the centre of the alleged plot has claimed white children are lazy, and white women have the ‘least amount of morals’.

Shahid Akmal, who until recently was the chairman of governors at Nansen Primary School, also attacked women politicians and defended the imprisonment or exile of gay people under Sharia Law.

Prior to his removal last week, Akmal headed the governing body at Nansen – which has been placed in special measures after it was rated ‘unsatisfactory’ by Ofsted inspectors.

The school had banned music from the curriculum and made Arabic lessons compulsory, while inspectors found governors were ‘overly controlling in the day-to-day running of the school’ in their scathing report.

Razwan Faraz – brother of Ahmed Faraz, a convicted terrorist – was recently made deputy head at Nansen, despite having limited teaching experience.

In the belief that he was speaking to a wealthy Asian businessman over the course of several coaching sessions in London hotels, Akmal revealed his hardline views to an undercover reporter from the Daily Mirror.

He agreed when asked if white children were lazy, before criticising white women, declaring: ‘I tell you, our women are much, much better consciously in the heart than any white women. White women have the least amount of morals.’

During another conversation, Akmal argued that girls should be taught to sew and cook to prepare them for a role looking after her house and children, while boys should learn skills such as mechanics and construction.

The report’s release comes as a former school chief accused of being at the centre of the alleged plot has claimed white children are lazy, and white women have the ‘least amount of morals’.

He agreed when asked if white children were lazy, before criticising white women, declaring: ‘I tell you, our women are much, much better consciously in the heart than any white women. White women have the least amount of morals.’

During another conversation, Akmal argued that girls should be taught to sew and cook to prepare them for a role looking after her house and children, while boys should learn skills such as mechanics and construction.

He then attacked leading female politicians, saying: ‘She has to sacrifice her family, she has to sacrifice her children, she has to sacrifice her husband, all in the name of equality. And there are so many marriages that have broken up because of this.’

Akmal also argued that homosexuals, adulterers and people who have sex outside of marriage should be exiled, saying the Sultan of Brunei was right to introduce the death penalty for homosexuality and adultery.

And he described British jihadis fighting in Syria and Iraq as freedom fighters, while saying alleged Trojan Horse plotters only wanted the best for Muslim children – and to stop them being suppressed by a lack of education.

He said: ‘It’s easier to control. If you get an education you get a mind. When you get a mind you ask questions. They don’t like that.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2701063/Schools-Birmingham-deeply-divided-Balkans-Labour-MP-accuses-Government-fuelling-culture-wars-ahead-new-report-Trojan-Horse-allegations.html#ixzz38DKx0GWx

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