Tiny Minority of Extremists Update. “Islamic fundamentalism promoted on websites at some Muslim schools in the UK, think tank finds,” by Tom Whitehead for the Telegraph, February 20:
Islamic fundamentalism that encourages children to despise British society is being promoted on websites at some Muslim schools in the UK, think tank Civitas has revealed.
It warns the messages are threatening social cohesion and could fuel “ghettoization” and segregation.
A site linked to one primary school said playing Monopoly or chess was forbidden and likened the latter to “one who dips his hands in the blood of swine”.
Another warned children in Britain were being exposed to a culture that was against everything Islam stands for, while a third school’s website had electronic links to alleged extremist sites.
Others had links to other sites or chatrooms that contain fundamental views such as forbidding the playing of cricket or even reading of Harry Potter books.
Many of the messages, sites or links mentioned in the report have since been taken down, but the Department for Children, Schools and Families last night said it would investigate the allegations it contained.
Representatives of Muslim schools angrily dismissed the study, labelling it “misleading, intolerant and divisive”, but the report will reignite the debate over the growth of religious schools in the country.
In a foreword to Music, Chess and other Sins, Civitas director David Green said: “The schools that give cause for concern are being run by religious fundamentalists.
“Their aim is to capture the next generation of Muslims for fundamentalism and to turn children away, not only from Western influence, but also from liberal and secular Muslims, whom they despise perhaps with greater vehemence than non-Muslims.”
The report said there are around 166 Muslim schools in the UK, which are a mixture or private or state funded, as well as around 700 part-time madrasas.
But it found some were promoting anti-Western views actively on their website.
The Madani Secondary Girls’ School in East London said on its website: “Our children are exposed to a culture that is in opposition with almost everything Islam stands for.”
The school was unavailable for comment but the sentence has since been removed from the site.
The Feversham College in Bradford had links on its website for two other sites, one of which allegedly advocated jihad.
A spokeswoman for the college said the two links have now been removed and insisted the college was “unequivocally committed to community cohesion and promoting strong responsible citizenship”.
“Our website pages have for some time had links with other sites which are generally informative,” she said.
“It has been brought to our attention that some of the content now on two of those sites could be misinterpreted. We have therefore reviewed the position and have removed any links to those websites.”
That’s how jihadist violence always happens, isn’t it? Misinterpretations and misunderstandings.
A third school, a primary, had links with a site which said games such as Ludo, Monopoly, draughts and chess should be forbidden.
The site added: “The Holy Prophet stated the person who plays chess is like one who dips his hands in the blood of a swine (pig).”
The site was not working last night and the school was unavailable for comment.
The report also found evidence of sites saying a woman who is raped is “jointly responsible” for the crime, that women should remain at home rather than study or that the greatest form of veiling for a woman was to stay indoors and keep herself hidden….
Read it all.