Since the Trojan Hoax fiasco, project deconstruction of Islam has been complimented by project purge. Muslim teachers have had their careers and reputations ruined whilst teachers from evangelical Christian backgrounds remained unscathed despite similar allegations raised against them having been brought to light on this very blog.
Anti-Muslim Ofsted, Anti-Islam Wilshaw
Ofsted has allegedly undergone a complete change. A number of inspectors my sources have spoken to have stated that Ofsted has adopted an “Islamophobic agenda”, with a blatant focus on Islamic schools and schools in Muslim majority areas being made the focus.
My sources also state that there is a trend of Muslim inspectors who wear Islamic garb and visual cues like the beard being quietly dropped, with their contracts not being renewed.
Further, during the investigations into prisoner radicalisation some months back, Wilshaw was ferried in to give his views. One wonders why someone like Wilshaw would be commissioned to give his views on prisons and radicalisation, but given his obsessive nature in bullying Muslims, his selection is not entirely abstract. My sources state that he clearly regarded at least two orthodox Islamic views (sex separation and the general prohibition on musical instruments) as signs of “extremism” despite it being said that he was made well aware that these rulings were mainstream Islamic views.
(Incidentally, I challenge Wilshaw to declare sex separation practiced amongst Orthodox Jews as a sign of extremism.)
Trojan Hoax “Underground”
Gove’s hit man duly did his job. And is continuing to do so with his latest foray, reviving the dead and disproven Trojan Hoax and exhibiting one of the most visible examples of institutional invisible religious profiling.
In a letter to the Gove-driven education secretary Nicky Morgan, Wilshaw claimed that Bradford, Birmingham and Luton councils were doing too little to trace pupils who go missing from “mainstream schools”.
These three places have been highlighted because it is well-known that these three areas have high Muslim populations. Indeed, Bradford is neocon bugbear, with it being a massive laboratory for social experiments, and neocon philosophers like Roger Scruton commenting on how it is an example of the “problem of the integration of the Muslim community into our cities”.
Wilshaw is particularly worried about Birmingham stating that the mythical campaign to impose radical ideas on Birmingham schools has “gone underground”.
His premise is that children educated at home, in unregistered schools or in some independent faith schools can be at risk of exposure to extremist views:
“This, he says, leaves children vulnerable to “harm, exploitation or the risk of falling under the influence of extremist views”.”
Wilshaw, to make his point, draws attention to a figure of 253 missing children taken off the list without being located between September 2015 and January 2016.
The Omitted Council
The issue here (aside from the fact that the education select committee found that there was no evidence of a takeover plot, and the report – authored by neocon lapdog Peter Clarke – cited has been rubbished by academics) is that, I have yet to see such letters by the bigoted man, accompanied with multiple mainstream media coverage, making a pious hullabaloo about London’s Hackney Council, in the context of extremism. After all, his much vaunted Mossbourne Academy is based in Hackney – surely he is aware of ridiculous situation there?
You see, when it comes to the Orthodox Jewish community, the callous, hateful, and bullying approach to dealing with “the Muzlims” is morphed into a far more reasonable manner.
In 2012, the Jewish Chronicle reported that as many as a thousand boys, aged 13 to 16, “are thought to be missing” from the registered school system in the London Borough of Hackney. Wilshaw had taken charge of Ofsted by the time this news was made public. The Department for Education (DfE) is reported to have opted to take “a diplomatic approach rather than legal action to crack down on unauthorised religious institutions”. Why? Were there no concerns “harm, exploitation or the risk of falling under the influence of extremist views”? Or does the different religion and race all of a sudden lower these risks?
In 2014, even someone like Andrew Gilligan reported that around a thousand boys “disappeared” from the registered school system and that their parents sent them to “illegal religious schools” where English is not spoken and academic subjects are not taught.
In 2015, a Guardian article revealed that this DfE engagement process had been ongoing, with five meetings being held since 2012. It also revealed that according to some commentators, the DfE was “reluctant to take a hard line with the Orthodox Jewish community. Again, why the disparity between how the orthodox Jewish community is dealt with and how the Muslim community is intimidated?
In April this year, the scandal reached its zenith with an investigation by the Independent revealing that Hackney council’s education authority destroyed evidence of children being educated in “illegal faith schools” at the request of orthodox Jewish institutions. Further claims were made that the Jewish faith schools have been operating,
“in plain sight without government action for more than 40 years, despite the fact that running a non-registered school is a criminal offence, and physical violence and sexual abuse of children is alleged to have taken place inside the schools.”
Earlier this month it was widely reported that pupils at an illegal Jewish faith school almost drowned on a hiking trip in Dover. The Hackney Council had known that the school was operating illegally since 2011 but had not acted to shut it down.
Is Wilshaw not concerned about this “failing” council, in the context of “harm, exploitation or the risk of falling under the influence of extremist views”? Or is his politically motivated, prejudiced “concern” only paternalistically and hubristically directed at the “backward” Muslim minority?
Culture of Fear and PSHE Resistance
Wilshaw has been having meetings with head teachers, who have revealed their concerns about a “culture of fear” and “overt intimidation from some elements within the local community”. In support of this they specifically highlighted,
- Resistance to for instance sex education (PSHE)
- “Pressure” to change school curriculum and staffing
The culture of fear and anti-Muslim intimidation has been faced by Muslim teachers as a direct consequence of the Trojan Hoax fiasco (see here and here), which normalised anti-Islam hate. This intimidation is not of Wilshaw’s worry.
As for the examples which have been highlighted, this certainly seems like a case of exploitation of an opportunity arising from a weakened target – that target being the Muslim minority.
Resistance to aspects of PSHE, for instance, is not specific to the Muslim community; Christians oppose teaching materials on homosexuality as do orthodox Jews, seeing it as liberal indoctrination.
Sex education is not compulsory. If the issue is that Muslims are opposing it, then as Nicky Morgan revealed, the Prime Minister of the country blocked the education secretary’s moves to have the subject made statutory – is this a Trojan Hoax concern too?
The Christian Institute stated,
“A national curriculum for sex education would see control taken away from schools and put in the hands of those who advocate the use of material which most parents would find unacceptable.”
Last year, Christian organisations in Birmingham campaigned against CHIPS (teaching material on homosexual relationships) but Muslims were mainly blamed. Clearly Christians can oppose such subjects or at least influence its delivery. The Orthodox Jewish groups also welcomed Cameron’s decision stating,
“most schools include study of these subjects through parent education and the Limmudei Kodesh [Jewish studies] curriculum, as mandated by governors and parents”.
Why is it seen as a problem if Muslim parents and governors do the same? Why indeed is it dragged into a plot fomented in far-right conspiracy theories about Muslims taking over Europe?
As for “continual pressure from some parents to change schools’ curriculum and staff”, then is this not what parents generally do? Engage the schools with their concerns?
It is worth recalling the blustering of Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, a head teacher at a Birmingham school. She took to the papers to claim various acts of “intimidation” against her. As I exposed at that time, none of her claims linking to the Trojan Hoax could be substantiated.
When non-Muslim parents complain about non-Muslim teachers, is this pressure a sign of “Trojan Hoax” concerns too? Parents at a Roman Catholic independent primary school in Kent for example complained of a culture of bullying among the pupils, with their concerns vindicated through an Ofsted inspection.
The attitude Ofsted and these head teachers seem to want is, if you are Muslim, then put up and shut up and let us indoctrinate your children because we clearly know better.
The reality is that such complaints by teachers are part and parcel of being a teacher. As one teacher writes,
“Other colleagues, in my school and elsewhere, have received complaints ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, such as the teacher’s name being too hard (or foreign) for the child to say”.
Wilshaw’s latest outburst reveals discriminatory assumptions: if you are Muslims and/or your concerns relate to your faith, then well, you are part of the far-right narrative of the Muslim subversive who, like crime, “goes underground”; parents of Muslim pupils cannot be trusted and maybe the cause of radicalisation; and a watchful eye must be kept on the views of Muslim families not just inside school, but outside too.
Given the anti-immigration sentiment in Britain today, where young football fans wreak havoc in other European countries, MPs are shot and killed in broad day-light, and anti-Muslim attacks have become massively more prevalent and violent, one would think snap inspections in schools in “isolated” white communities would be taking place all over the country. Not so.
Given the state of orthodox Jewish faith schools in Hackney, one would also think that Wilshaw would have named Hackney Council in the letter to Morgan. With the government turning a blind eye, there is still not even a comparative squeak from the DfE about the issue. Contrast this with the government’s response to Wilshaw’s letter, where it has stated that it will be taking “tough action on unregistered schools”. Yes, tough action only materialises when the areas being highlighted contain high Muslim populations.
This is Wilshaw’s finest example of his own inherent prejudice against the Muslim minority.