The fundamental aspect which stood out from the Iraq war debacle was that a war was waged on the basis of lies which were held up to the world by neocons as legitimate reasons to kill and torture. Deceit, is a central to neoconservative thinking. As the war progressed, embedded journalists portraying one aspect of the war, the neoconservative side, diffused their biased reporting to nurture the patriotism of people: our men were fighting a noble war based on a “noble lie”.
Another war on a smaller scale was waged against the Muslim community of Birmingham. It was triggered by a fabricated letter, allegedly drawn by a group of evangelical teachers with an anti-Muslim bias, and nurtured by further lies, exaggerations and spin pumped primarily by propagandist Andrew Gilligan. Muslim teachers were smeared across national papers, thanks to untested and unverifiable information which was used to construct allegations to paint a picture of a “threat” posed by “Islamist extremists” who were taking over schools. This was coupled with the fact that a biased Ofsted, which had become by then a politicised tool of the neocons, placed a number schools, previously outstanding in Muslim majority areas, into special measures.
Indeed, the recent findings of the Education Select Committee inquiry into the Trojan Hoax allegations, supports my postulations. It concluded that,
“Either Ofsted did not dig deep enough on previous occasions . . . or it could be that inspectors lost objectivity and came to some overly negative conclusions because of the surrounding political and media storm.”
Throughout most of last year, I maintained my argument thusly: there was no plot to “takeover” schools and governance issues were being conflated with an “extremism” agenda to justify a broader, neoconservative policy. The level of scrutiny on the Muslim minority only was tantamount to Muslim minority discrimination. Once again, the former part of this position has been proven through the report, which states that “the Trojan horse affair is less about extremism than about governance.”
That broader, mind-policing policy is what we now understand to be the “British values” social engineering programme. The neocons, like anti-Muslim Michael Gove, in pursuit of their anti-Islam agenda, blustered hard in their speeches, Islam and Muslims were smeared across papers as anecdotal, and unverified, decontextualized “evidence” was being pushed as the gospel to the drowned-out voices of the accused Muslims. Folders of evidence, which I have personally seen, were ignored in the final report collated by Michael Gove’s lackey, Peter Clarke. It was a deceit-filled circus act designed to give substance to neoconservative aims.
I repeatedly referred to it as the “Trojan Hoax” plot as I had personally investigated the various lies pedalled in the media. There were failings as there were in many other schools, there was bitterness amongst some teachers which was being exploited, but there was no “Islamist takeover” plot; certainly nothing near what ARK Academies is currently doing in Birmingham.
Doubting the government = Extremism?
Hannah Stuart of the bigoted Henry Jackson Society indirectly referred to my blog in her paper on PREVENT and “extremism”. They highlighted a particular concern to my reference of the Trojan Horse plot as a “hoax” (see page 14). According to HJS, I was an “Islamist activist” who sought to,
“delegitimise both Ofsted and Charity Commission investigations into extremism-linked activities, presenting them instead as evidence of a state sponsored ‘war’ on Islam, the popular moniker for which is ‘Trojan Hoax’.”
Of course HJS was probably more upset about the “extremism” born from neoconservatism and gushing forth through the Henry Jackson Society being comprehensively exposed as a threat to Britain on this blog, than my ascription of the neocon-architected plot as a “hoax”. Another point to note is the flippant and elastic nature in which “Islamist” is used: it includes any individual who challenges government bodies, holds them to account and ensures their transparency.
The reality is though, my expositions and claims, thoroughly referenced and corroborated by with other transparency campaign organisations like Spin Watch, have (again!) been shown to be accurate. In perhaps the most damning of all conclusions found by the Education Select Committee,
The chairman of the education committee, Graham Stuart, said that apart from one incident in one school “no evidence of extremism or radicalisation was found by any of the inquiries in any of the schools involved”.
The implication of course is that Ofsted had no credibility (as already noted above) in its actions and “reliability and robustness” of its conclusions. Neither were the investigations ordered by Gove and led by Peter Clarke. So Hannah Stuart, are the cross-party MPs who have come to this conclusion also “Islamist activists” hell-bent on undermining “investigations into extremism-linked activities”?
There are more questions which require answers. How compromised is Ofsted and how closely are Gove’s brown boys in the form of the disreputable “counter-extremism” think-tank Quilliam, working with Ofsted? My sources state Quilliam’s Ishtiaq Husain was with the inspectors and influencing the outcomes of the decisions during Ofsted inspections at the height of the Trojan Hoax unravelling. Is this the aspect which has compromised the “reliability and robustness” of Ofsted’s judgements?
How were reports from Ofsted and Peter Clarke being leaked to the press and Andrew Gilligan in particular? Will this be investigated?
And who will be responsible for the aftershocks of this entire farce? Muslim teachers have been the subject of abject scrutiny and in some cases, anti-Muslim bullying by their superiors and colleagues, thanks to the anti-Islam atmosphere fuelled by Gove, Gilligan, Michael Wilshaw and Peter Clarke? Who will recompense for the psychological harm and pecuniary losses teachers may have incurred due to these allegations?
How is Michael Gove still able to “back-seat drive” educational policies? I recently revealed that decisions to circumvent standard disciplinary procedures for Muslim teachers accused in the climate of the “Islamist” fear, into a government-controlled domain, were being made “at the table of David Cameron”. This to some extent has been corroborated in another report published yesterday. David Laws has stated that Gove still has a “grip” on educational policies. Laws adds that “Number 10 and the Treasury” are still dictating education policy, neoconservative-style. Nicky Morgan is simply a front.
The question is, why is this being allowed to happen?
Perhaps the most important question of all is, how can the government continue with its “British values” policy, which was constructed on a basis – so often referenced as highlighting the enormity of “radicalisation” – now officially disproven?
The Trojan Hoax fiasco has evidenced state-sanctioned Muslim minority discrimination. The discrimination was exhibited by a neocon government minister, and neocon-compromised bodies vis-à-vis the Department for Education, Ofsted and the hamstrung Birmingham City Council. In an anti-Muslim storm of hype whipped up by Gove and his cohorts in the media, it was ultimately the children who suffered the slings and arrows of state structural discrimination.
No other community in this country would have tolerated this neocon war. People need to be held to account. Perhaps more shame worthy are those Muslims who joined in the bullying, and formed judgements before actually investigating the facts and analysing where the attacks were coming from.
Like the Iraq War, the Trojan Hoax fiasco should be lesson for us all.