The alleged ringleader of the Trojan Horse plot wrote a detailed blueprint for the radical “Islamisation” of secular state schools which closely resembles what appears to be happening in Birmingham.
Tahir Alam, chairman of governors at Park View school in the city, called for “girls [to] be covered except for their hands and faces”, advocated gender segregation in some school activities, and attacked a “multicultural approach” to collective worship.
Park View School, Birmingham (Joe Giddens/ PA)
He described how state schools must be changed to “take account of Muslim sensitivities and sensibilities with respect to sexual morality” with “girlfriend/boyfriend as well as homosexual relationships” treated as “not acceptable practices according to Islamic teachings”.
The disclosure comes as teachers at Park View said a boy and a girl in their GCSE year have been suspended after being spotted holding hands, only weeks before they were due to take their exams. “They have done this to quite a few students in Year 11,” said one member of staff. “That they should continue with it, even with all the scrutiny we are under, just beggars belief.”
It can also be disclosed that as recently as this month, one part of the Department for Education was proposing to give Mr Alam’s Park View Education Trust another Birmingham school to run – even as another part of the department was mounting emergency inspections of the three it runs already.
A spreadsheet, dated April 2014, on the DfE website says Park View has received “ministerial approval in principle” to take over al-Furqan, a failing faith primary school in Tyseley, converting it into an academy with a “proposed opening date” of June 1. A DfE spokesman said that the deal had now been cancelled.
The so-called Trojan Horse plot involves the alleged takeover of secular state schools and the removal of secular head teachers in Birmingham by radical Muslim staff and governors. Five non-Muslim heads have left their posts in a tiny area of the city over the past six months. Twenty-five Birmingham schools are being investigated by the council and 18 have already been inspected by Ofsted of which at least six, including Park View, will be rated “inadequate” for leadership and management.
A separate inspection report by the DfE, leaked to The Telegraph, found that girls at Park View were made to sit at the back of the class, GCSE syllabuses were “restricted to comply with a conservative Islamic teaching” and an extremist preacher was invited to speak to children.
In his 72-page document, published by the Muslim Council of Britain in 2007, Mr Alam and his co-author, Muhammad Abdul Bari, attacked many state schools for not being “receptive of legitimate and reas-onable requests made by Muslim parents and pupils in relation to their faith-based aspirations and concerns.”
They described how Muslim governors could be activated to press the “views and aspirations of Muslim parents and the local community” on reluctant schools.
Among the “aspirations and concerns” for schools were that they should not teach “potentially harmful forms of music” which “promote immoral behaviour” or include “unethical and un-Islamic lyrics”.
Schools should also avoid teaching any art involving “three-dimensional imagery of humans”, the document says, and should discourage any play that involves “physical contact between males and females”, “girls dressing as boys or vice versa” or any play “associated with celebrating aspects of other religions”.
Mr Alam’s document says that aspects of the National Curriculum, such as dance, should be ignored as “not consistent with the Islamic requirements for modesty”. It adds that “dance performances before a mixed-gender audience may be objectionable”.
Schools should “try to avoid scheduling swimming lessons during Ramadan”, the document says, to avoid Muslim pupils accidentally swallowing water and breaking their fast. “School balls, discos and fashion shows that might inadvertently exclude pupils from the Islamic faith background” should be avoided, it adds.
Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, said: “Mr Alam … has been planning this for 15 years. He goes around making these schools religious by manipulating governors, and bringing in certain teachers. He was able to hone the [tactics] in Birmingham that he drafted in this report.”
Further evidence has emerged of radicalisation at Park View. Speaking to The Telegraph, a former member of staff said that a “member of staff” at the school last year put up posters in the corridors with the message: “If you do not pray, you are worse than a kafir” an insulting term for non-Muslims. “Those were the exact words”, the former staff member said. “Many staff, including some of the Muslim staff, complained and the posters were taken down.”
Echoing the findings of the DfE inspectors, the former member of staff said that “several girls complained to me about gender segregation. The girls are not treated as equals by the school. Many of the male Muslim staff direct questions mainly to the boys and the girls are left out. The female staff have also been sidelined for years.”
One teacher handed out a worksheet stating that women “must obey their husbands,” and told Year 10 boys that wives were not allowed to refuse their husbands sex, the former staff member said. Park View insisted last night that the boys had “misunderstood” what the teacher was trying to tell them, and had subsequently been told in a special assembly that sex without informed consent was rape.
The teacher concerned, Maz Hussain, is the brother of the headmaster, Mozz Hussain, and was later promoted to head of science at Park View’s sister school, Golden Hillock.
In the leaked DfE inspectors’ report, Maz Hussain’s experience was described as “not commensurate with his responsibility”. His teaching was “rated as inadequate by the lead practitioner for teaching and learning at the academy, but no action was taken,” the report said.
Mr Hussain has now been suspended. Even then, however, his well-qualified deputy was not given the job, the report said.
“Instead, it was given to the sister of a deputy head teacher at Park View.”
The former staff member said that Park View had manipulated its 2012 Ofsted inspection, which awarded it the highest rating of “outstanding,” by bringing in a science teacher just for the two days of the inspection.
“The students are special young people. They deserve the best and they’re just not getting the best,” she said. “The Islamic ethos is overpowering and it’s dominating everything. The school has turned inwards and they’re just not preparing the kids for the wider world.”
Park View and Mr Alam declined to comment on any of the other allegations.
Mr Alam has said there is no plot, attacking the investigations as “Islamophobic” and a “witch-hunt”.
One of his close allies, Achmad da Costa, chairman of governors at Oldknow school, last night attempted to rally local mosques with a special meeting to protest against the inspections.
Oldknow is another school expected to be rated “inadequate” by Ofsted after the successful secular head teacher, Bhupinder Kondal, was driven out and hardline teachers recruited.