It’s sad to highlight the race and religion of the members speaking out for the statements to be given credence. However, the truth is that the weight of the words of the Muslim minority are not treated in the same manner, and therefore it is necessary to bring out the racial and religious attributes. Call it white privilege, racism, Islamophobia or minority discrimination; the reality is our voices are not equal. It is incredibly disgusting to malign Islam and Muslims on the basis of a fabricated plot, and it is worse for the government to act upon it despite voices to the contrary in the community and the school.
In a strong response to the fabricated Trojan Horse allegations (which the government is still using as a pretext to push policy), key members of the Trust and the children themselves do the talking, and the in doing so they bring out the true image of Park View school. The Guardian has also conducted their investigation and reported their findings which broadly reflect the video. The school is an outstanding school in terms of achievement and character building. The video highlights that in 1994, 4% of the children were achieving A*- C. In 2013, a whopping 83% of the students were achieving A*-C grades in Maths and English.
Practising Anglican Christian and the (white) Vice Chair of Park View Trust, David Hughes, said that he was proud that they offered halal food, the school offered prayer facility for children and it does ask them to respect honour and celebrate their culture. He confirmed that the school respects diversity and he is proud of the steps the schools has taken and the journey it has undergone to achieve that:
“It is the best performing school of its type in the country and the city.”
There is a strong need for an investigation into the compromised Ofsted and it’s procedures (which have been highlighted here). Inspectors in a Luton school recently caused distress and possibly subjected the children to abuse. The inspectors apologised to the concerned parents involved, however the psychological abuse of the children was apparent:
“He was sat with a male adult who looked him in the eye and said, ‘What do you know about gays?’ What that made him do, it made him panic, and he said ‘I don’t want to continue this conversation,’ because he felt scared, intimidated,” said Shah. “It’s horrible for a child to be in a room with somebody they’ve never met before, who’s not with a teacher and not with a parent.”
The parents who were absent during the questioning, should sue the Ofsted for causing psychological harm to a child.
There have been a catalogue of procedural irregularities. I conducted my own investigation and spoke to some of the teachers from the school who confirmed these attitudes amongst the Ofsted inspectors. One teacher was even asked about what mosque he attended.
An inquiry needs to be launched into the highly prejudiced conduct of the inspectors as well Michael Gove’s abuse of power vis-a-vis the manoeuvring-in of the like-minded current head of the Department for Education without merit and his hyperbolic and high-profile calls for investigation without evidence, which have only served to place the Muslim minority of Birmingham and more importantly, the children and parents under duress.