The British city of Birmingham is bracing for a possible Muslim backlash as five of its schools were put under “special measures” over extremist threats.
West Midlands police, Birmingham City Council and the Department for Education (DfE) have recently held several high-level “gold command” meetings in the wake of investigations into “Operation Trojan Horse”, an alleged plot to inculcate extremist Islamist views in school curriculum.
According to the Sunday Times, there has been anger in Muslim areas of Bradford, Luton and the Tower Hamlets borough in east London where a further five schools are being investigated.
UK schools inspectorate Ofsted began inspections after claims that radical Islamists were trying to take over schools in Birmingham, which has nearly 22 per cent Muslim population according to the 2011 census, under the so-called “Operation Trojan Horse.”
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron reiterated his call for British values to be taught in schools with the historic Magna Carta charter to be placed at its heart.
In 2015 it will be 800 years since King John signed the Magna Carta, the document which first established the king was subject to the law.
Cameron said he wanted all pupils to take lessons on the charter to mark the anniversary.
“The remaining copies may have faded. But its principles shine as brightly as ever, and they paved the way for the democracy, the equality, the respect and the laws that make Britain, Britain,” he said.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday he added that in recent years, the UK had send out a “worrying” message: “That if you don’t want to believe in democracy, that’s fine; that if equality isn’t your bag, don’t worry about it; that if you’re completely intolerant of others, we will still tolerate you.
“This has not just led to division, it has also allowed extremism – of both the violent and non-violent kind – to flourish.”
Michael Wilshaw, chief inspector of Ofsted, had found in his report that “a culture of fear and intimidation has taken grip” at some Birmingham schools.
But critics have accused the education watchdog and the government of a “witch hunt”.