A Summary of the Concerns around Star Academies Schools

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NOTE: I have updated this article with a sample letter than can be used by parents to send to Star Academies in order to highlight their concerns. The sample letter is available at the bottom of this article.


As years progress there does seem to be growing sections of Muslims that uncritically co-opt policies without the level of critical scrutiny usually reserved for endless, centuries old “debates” on the finer points aqida or indeed, in the context of the deformation of Islam brigade, the very essence of Islam itself.

If only this level of concern and hair-splitting was directed to the interactions of certain philosophies, policies and schemes that seek to reconstitute our sense of value of Islam, its place in our hearts and in society at large.

This indifference, or perhaps, plain ignorance of such policies, their aims, and impact on the faith of our future generation, has led many to adopt them. A post War on Terror world saw Muslim organisations and Islamic scholars themselves adopting Muslim-specific, state-defined policies around terrorism and loyalty. They engaged in identity-restructuring topics like integration, selective, British-empire-friendly history, legality of joining the army, and a plethora of assaults on the Islamic regulations. This indifference has a consequence: stripping of agency to develop and prioritise one’s own discourse and internalising a demonised identity, collective guilt and hatred which cyclically reproduces and perpetuates discriminatory treatment.

It is self-destructive.

This attitude to policies and their implications seems to be observed by Star Academies, formerly known as Tauheedul Educational Trust.

With noble intentions, Islamic principles and successful academic outcomes, Taudeedul should be lauded. However, when such schools are repeatedly thrust forth by biased media and the government through an Islam-related, agenda-driven lens to the British population as model success stories, scrutiny is not only inevitable, it is necessary.

In the case of Star Academies, this scrutiny is long overdue.

November last year, the Times reported that the CEO of Star Academies, Mufti Hamid Patel, was excited to launch a cadet unit at Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School (TIBHS).

Whilst many Muslims expressed consternation over such an overture, what was largely ignored was the shocking trajectory of the Trust over the years. In addition to this, the people involved, and the current activities have also escaped critical scrutiny.

This piece summarises the three detailed pieces which examine these themes and concerns.

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Star Academies – Tauheedul Islam or Tauheedul Neoconservatism and Neoliberalism?

 A report last month triggered some consternation in Muslim circles. On the 26th of November, Star Academies – formerly, Tauheedul Educational Trust – was reported in the Times as having started an army cadet force at Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School (TIBHS). It recorded a celebratory statement from the Star Academies chief executive Hamid Patel:

“They have recently been reflecting on the 400,000 Muslims who fought alongside the British Army for freedom during World War I…. So the launch of the cadet unit at TIBHS will be particularly poignant… We are excited that this will be the first cadet unit in the country established by a Muslim faith school.”

The report added that “local mosque leaders” had “given their blessing” to the militarisation of children and was being supported by parents and governors.

On the same day, a companion leading article with the subtitle “Cadet forces at Islamic schools could help to make the army more diverse” was also published in the same paper.  Both articles framed the news with three themes:

  1. “improving relations with Muslim communities”
  2. Selective history where Muslims are only seen to die for a dying British empire
  3. The army’s inability to “recruit from the Muslim community”.

The report was reproduced in a regional media outlet and the Asian ImageThe latter report usefully shared tweets from Star Academies and TIBHS’s Twitter accounts. Star Academies stated that they were “proud that [TIBHS] had become the first Islamic Faith School in the UK to start an army cadet force”.  TIBHS’s tweet claimed it was a “milestone”. The report also showed a Tweet from the racist Home Secretary Sajid Javid sharing the Times report declaring it to be “wonderful”.

There are deeply problematic issues with the activities of Star Academies and the psychological projects it is subjecting Muslim children to.  Pertinently, the Trust exemplifies a dangerous concoction of neoliberal and neoconservative policies.

In this piece, we will examine how the Star Academies has formed this troubling trajectory which has led to a disconcerting endpoint.

The trend is seeded in the period of 2011/12 when submissions were made to turn TIBHS into an academy. This was followed by waves of free school submissions. The submission forms reveal an insight into how Tauheedul has been pandering to detrimental policies from the outset.

Tauheedul states that it is “inspired by Deobandi Sunni Muslim values”. What will become apparent is that these set of values are not the only ones touted.

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Joining the Army? Qari Asim’s Support for Violence

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“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? ~Muhammad Ali on his opposition to the 1967 US military induction for Vietnam.

“If you look close enough at these medals, you can see the reflections of dead Iraqis. You can see the embers of Libya. And you can see the faces of the men and women of the British armed forces who didn’t return and also those who did with lost limbs and shattered souls. I no longer require these medals. ~ Daniel Denham, Former RAF, 2015

There has been a concerted effort to militarise Muslims.  This has ranged from cultivating a militarist, state-worshipping mind-set in schools where the pupils are predominantly Muslim, to parading the Army in mosques, and now, using religion to encourage Muslims to join the army.

Times-assigned “leading Islamic scholars and imams” attended a conference with the military at Sandhurst to encourage Muslims to join the British Armed Forces. The article quotes Qari Asim, the Imam at Makkah Mosque in Leeds, as reportedly saying,

“The armed forces are seen as a noble profession and it follows there are no inherent tensions.

The report further adds that he said scholars were agreed that Islam does not prohibit Muslims from serving in the British Army.

To better understand the validity of Qari Asim’s reported blanket proclamation, there is a need to understand the idea of violence from the perspective of a neocon state and its political domain.

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A Review of the Louise Casey Review (2): A Paper Influenced by the Transatlantic Neocon Hate-Network

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Part 1: A Review of the Casey review (1)


As the introductory part of this series showed, a timeline of events and the PM’s proclamations had pretty much predetermined the outcomes of the Casey Review. The government now needed a person who could see this agenda through to its toxically racist end. Casey, based on her history, was the right person to get this done.

Louise Casey – Violently Averse to Evidence-Based Policy

Casey is referred to as a “Tsar”. A 2009 Commons Select Committee noted that a “Tsar” differs from a civil servant in two respects; “first the direct appointment by the minister or Prime Minister and second a degree of public personal identification with a particular policy or piece of work which would not normally be expected from a civil servant or special adviser.” In effect, the process shuns Parliamentary parties, and therefore potential opposition in the formulation of a policy in favour of individuals that operate as cronies.  In written evidence submitted to the Committee, Professor Martin Smith of Sheffield University highlighted that Tzars like Casey “are not morally neutral; they have an explicit function to achieve particular government objectives”.

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What did you learn at Rockwood Academy Today, Dear Little Boy of Mine?

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What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned our government must be strong.
It’s always right and never wrong.
Our leaders are the finest men.
And we elect them again and again.
That’s what I learned in school today.
That’s what I learned in school.

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned that war is not so bad.
I learned of the great ones we have had.
We fought in Germany and in France.
And some day I might get my chance.
That’s what I learned in school today.
That’s what I learned in school.

~ A satirical protest song by Tom Paxton, 1963


Part 1 of the Rockwood Academy Series: Rockwood Academy is run by Trojan Horse Beneficiaries and Endorsed by “Extremists”


In this article, we will examine what is being done to the children at Rockwood Academy, Birmingham, and the implications of the initiatives pupils are being subjected to by the school.

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Douglas Murray’s PREVENT Tantrum

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There has been somewhat of media blackout around CAGE’s blistering report exposing the lack of credible, scientific foundations underpinning PREVENT, as well as the accompanying 150 academics, professors and activists supporting the findings.  At the time of writing, only the Guardian and the Independent (albeit indirectly without credit to CAGE) have actually picked up the story.  When one considers that the entirety of Britain’s counter-extremism strategy which has resulted in a trail of societal damage is based on mumbo jumbo, this news should be headlining throughout Britain.  Yet, the silence from major media outlets like the BBC, Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail et al is ear-piercingly deafening and is tantamount to keeping the public uninformed about the reality of policies which affect them greatly from a civil liberties point of view.

It has, though, triggered the ire of, and quite clearly annoyed, neocon policy architects and supporters.  The loudest defence of PREVENT in light of the damaging CAGE report comes from the premier, fascist neocon kingpin of anti-Islam hatred: Douglas Murray.

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Neocon Fascist Douglas Murray’s Script for a Divisive Britain

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Using the recent spate of attacks in Europe as a pretext, Douglas Murray bolted for his bubble of comfort like a greyhound and proceeded to blame Islam in two particularly vitriolic anti-Muslim pieces.  At first my thoughts were *sigh* this is getting really old, can someone really take such a hate-filled hypocritical neocon fascist seriously?  Then of course you drink some coffee and realise that yes, nutcases, loons, opportunistic individuals and organisations who feed off such rhetoric – financially and egotistically – do exist.  They operate as cogs in a well-oiled machine which perpetuates global wars and fosters a closed society at home through the use of such decrepit narratives.   A comment to document such ludicrous statements of a man who runs a hate-financed think-tank, which has influenced domestic and international security, is unfortunately necessary.

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