Recently 25 schools in Birmingham, Britain became the focus of multiple investigations when reports of a plot by hardline Islamists to takeover state supported schools came to light. Birmingham, the second largest city in Britain with over one million residents has a Muslim population of approximately 22%. As news of the plot spread, investigators are also looking into new allegations of similar activities in other British cities including Bradford and Manchester.
The concerns stemmed when an undated and anonymous letter detailing a plot called “Operation Trojan Horse” surfaced last year. The letter revealed a plan by a group of organized Muslim teachers, school governors, and others to remove secular head teachers and staff and replace them with individuals who will run the schools according to Islamic principles. The letter claimed responsibility for changing the leadership in four schools, stating, “we have an obligation to our children to fulfill our roles and ensure these schools are run on Islamic principles.”
The letter was sent to the Birmingham City Council in November of 2013, but did not become public until March 2014 when it was leaked to a London-based newspaper. Since the letter has been made public, British authorities have received over 200 complaints from parents, teachers and school leaders about the imposition of strict Islamic practices in the publically funded schools.
An investigation by the Department of Education revealed that one of the schools under investigation, Park View, did practice forced discriminatory gender segregation in many classes with “boys sitting towards the front of the class and girls at the back or around the sides.” The school invited an extremist Islamic speaker, Sheikh Shady al-Suleiman to address an assembly of students. Al-Suleiman “is known to extol…the stoning of homosexuals, anti-Semitic views [and is] sympathetic to al-Qaeda.” The school is also accused of misusing taxpayers’ money to purchase loudspeakers for the playground to call students to Islamic prayers.
The curriculum in some schools was changed to adhere to Islamic values, and in at least one British school Arabic was compulsory for all students. After a non-Muslim head teacher was driven out by “a concerted campaign to remove her and Islamize her school,” Oldknow, holds Muslim prayers every Friday and has organized trips to Mecca at taxpayer expense. Considered un-Islamic, the school’s traditional Christmas tree and pantomime were cancelled in 2013. In addition, a teacher at the school led students in a chant mocking Christians who celebrate the holiday.
Britain is not the only European nation struggling with an attempt by Islamists to take over their publicly funded schools. According to German media reports, fundamental Islamic groups have infiltrated at least 25 schools in Hamburg, Germany. A leaked report to the German newspaper, Bild describes Muslim fundamentalists are “waging a religious war” against non-Muslim teachers and students. Schools are being pressured to set up Muslim prayer rooms, and one school reports that Muslim parents are being pressured by the more fundamentalist Muslims to make sure their daughters are dressing according to Islamic standards. The schools are also reporting students shouting Islamist slogans on school playgrounds and cases of religiously motivated violence.
Bruce Bawer, author of While Europe Slept, wrote, “The most important single element of stealth Islamization is the effort to convert Western schools from centers of secular education into hubs of Islamic indoctrination.” Because many Westerners naively embrace multiculturalism and do not understand the all-encompassing nature of Islam, our schools and ultimately our children are easy targets for the Islamist agenda.
Pray that the truth will continue to be revealed regarding the agenda of fundamental Islam in western nations.