Socialist Worker

Passports taken and schools probed in anti-Muslim panic

Hype over a ‘Muslim plot’ to take over schools is part of a broader racist attack, writes Judith Orr

Issue No. 2401

Tory education secretary Michael Gove has put a former counter-terror chief in charge of an investigation into Birmingham schools

Tory education secretary Michael Gove has put a former counter-terror chief in charge of an investigation into Birmingham schools (Pic: Regional Cabinet/flickr)


The media frenzy over anonymous allegations that Birmingham schools are being taken over in an Islamist plot has prompted three investigations.

Headlines abound alleging Easter and Christmas were cancelled. 

Local people are being encouraged to ring a newly established council hotline with their allegations.

Muslim parents, teachers and governors feel they are being targeted because of their religion.

Rahma is a mother from the Sparkhill area of the city. 

She told Socialist Worker, “I don’t agree with Islamic teaching in state schools. But is it true? The media just focus on Muslims.

“Schools in areas where Muslims live are now monitored. Police tell women to report anyone who might go to Syria. Every day there is something new on us.”

School managers have instructed staff not to talk to the media. 

But a senior teacher at one of the schools named in the allegations has spoken out using a false name. He denied there was any such plot to take over schools.

He said that there was a campaign to encourage more Muslims to become teachers and governors in the schools. But he said this was about involving local people in improving education.

The row over the so-called “Trojan horse” takeover in Birmingham education is just one part of the current attack on Muslims in Britain.

Dangers

Warmonger Tony Blair declared last week that Islam is one of the greatest dangers facing the world. 

“The threat of this radical Islam is not abating,” he said. “It is growing. It is spreading across the world.”

Blair called for military intervention in Syria and complained that the West wasn’t imposing its will on the international stage. 

David Cameron had wanted to bomb Syria but couldn’t win the vote in parliament last year. Apparently it’s fine for Blair to try and intervene in Syria. 

But the government treats young Muslims wanting to defend people from the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad as criminals and potential terrorists.

Police last week seized the passports of Muslims they claimed were intending to travel to Syria to fight. 

They have stepped up surveillance of Muslims in ten cities. And they have called on Muslim women to report their sons to the authorities if they have suspicions about their activity.

The police raided the London home of one man, named as Abu Haleema, taking his passport and accusing him of planning to go to Syria.

Abu told ITV news that he was now effectively “stateless” and never had any intention of going to Syria.

He said the raid was part of a “war against Islam” and that the police were “trying to create a climate of fear”.


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