Report: Extremist Islamist schools continue to operate despite UK crackdown

Some five schools were discovered teaching material promoting extreme Islamist ideology or radicalization.

October 3, 2016 12:42
2 minute read.
An Afghan boy reads the Koran in a madrasa, or religious school, during the Muslim holy month of Ram

An Afghan boy reads the Koran in a madrasa, or religious school, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Kabul June 30, 2014. (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMAD ISMAIL)


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Nearly two-dozen "Islamic" schools found to be "unsafe," teaching extremist ideology or failing to instill "basic British values" have continued to operate despite a UK government crackdown, a Daily Mail investigation revealed Monday.

At least 18 schools were declared "unsafe" by government auditors due to the subject matter presented in class, including textbooks on stonings. Another 99 students were found to be at "risk of exploitation."

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Some five schools were discovered teaching materials promoting extreme Islamist ideology or actively radicalizing pupils.

Compounding the issue, the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), the UK government agency tasked with regulating Britain's school curriculum, has failed to shutter those schools due to legal challenges.

According to the Mail report, the findings were based off of research collected from 105 registered Islaimc faith schools, legal institutions under the auspices of Ofsted standards.

During its investigation, the Mail revealed that:

"At least nine Islamic schools have stayed open despite having 'limited or no' music teaching, and 16 do not teach art properly; Male and female staff were separated by a screen during meetings at one Islamic school; Another school was found to be teaching children in buildings infested with pigeons, mice and rats; Several treat boys and girls 'unequally' and allow sexist views to go unchallenged; Pupils at one Islamic school said they did not know what Christmas was; Several schools have been repeatedly rated inadequate with serious failings, but have been allowed to stay open."

At least one UK member of parliament called the revelations a "shocking scandal."

The Daily Mail added that of the 105 registered Islamic faith schools, 30 have not been audited by Ofsted while another seven have not entertained a visit in the last five years.

At one Birmingham Islamic high-school, leaflets on campus contained "highly concerning and extremist views’, such as ‘music, dancing and singing are acts of [the] devil and prohibited."'

In another Islamic based education facility in Birmingham, a girl's changing room was fitted with cameras.  Inspectors said pupils at the school were unsafe, "feel vulnerable and that their dignity as teenage girls is not fully respected," The Daily Mail reported.

Despite the revelation, the school continues to operate.

A number of the Islamic schools have challenged Ofsteds findings, calling them "racists," claiming the agency is conducting a "witch hunt" and have initiated proceeding to drag the UK government to court.

In response, a spokesperson for Ofsted said that: "Inspectors report on independent schools and it is the Department for Education’s responsibility to cancel their registration."

The Daily Mail also noted that thousands of students across the UK attend illegal or unregistered faith schools where they are indoctrinated with radicalized or extremist views.



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