A few days ago, I noticed a particular piece on my blog all of sudden receiving an increased number of hits. This blog highlighted allegations being made by teachers/parents at Al-Hijrah School – a Muslim faith school with an Islamic ethos based in Birmingham, which had its Muslim governing body purged by the Birmingham City Council and replaced with non-Muslims, and which has subsequently suffered allegations of deceitful practices and corruption. The allegations made by teachers/parents were against the interim head teacher Graham Hardy, then principal of Calthorpe Academy. What could have happened? Were changes being instituted at the school once again?
To recap, in October 2014, I reported that Hardy, who at the time had taken charge of Al-Hijrah School, allegedly threatened children as young as 6 and 7, that if they did not behave, then he would “chop off” their heads, and on another occasion, chop/pull off their ears. Parents claimed Hardy had admitted to this, but submitted that the comments were “in jest”. Inspector Paul Dutton of West Midlands graced the blog with his comment to clarify that this allegation had been investigated, and no criminal offences had been found. Of course, finding a crime on the one hand, and inappropriate conduct for a person of trust transgressing the school’s safeguarding measures are two separate things. The absence of the first cannot preclude the latter. There was a media blackout regarding the allegation, despite reporters from BBC and other outlets being notified and, I am told, taking interviews from Muslim parents. Clearly a white, non-Muslim threatening little children with beheading is not as thrilling as Muslim teachers having views which neocons judge to be “opposing British values”.