| ||The subject of two Muslim schools run by the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation, which the Conservative leader yesterday claimed had links to Hizb ut-Tahrir, features in many of today’s newspapers (Independent, Express, Mail, Telegraph), as Cameron retreats over claims he made that the schools were in receipt of money allocated from the government’s preventing violent extremism fund. |
In a letter to David Cameron, the Prime Minister yesterday wrote to say: “I can confirm that no funding related to Preventing Violent Extremism has been given to the schools.”
Other aspects of the Conservative leader’s disinformation relates to claims that the schools were disseminating ‘extremist’ teachings in their curriculum.
The Schools secretary, Ed Balls, refuted this citing evidence taken from Ofsted inspections into the schools. Balls said:
“The question is: were these schools promoting terrorism or extremism? We have sent in Ofsted advisers, who have gone in and said 'No'. I looked across the curriculum and the evidence was 'No'. In the last few weeks...Haringey and Slough looked at the facts and there was no evidence that extremism has been promoted.”
Ed Balls, criticizing the Tory leader’s misplaced and unfounded remarks, added:
“The issue here is that a very divisive allegation was made about two schools which splits communities, which divides our country, on the basis of false allegations.
“The responsible thing for David Cameron to do was to check the facts with me before he made smears and allegations which divide our communities.”
The headteacher of the school based in Slough, Farah Ahmed, said in a statement:
“Our school is being used as part of a wider political agenda and this type of vilification of the Muslim community needs to stop.”
“We would expect politicians to check the accuracy of the information they receive before using it. No-one from the Conservative Party has contacted the school to verify information.”
The Daily Express, never one to miss such an opportunity, splashes the story across the front page (pictured).
The opposition leader David Cameron's ill-informed remarks will aid only those given to scare-mongering and inciting anti-Muslim prejudice.
It is risible that David Cameron, Michael Gove, the shadow schools secretary, and Paul Goodman, shadow communities secretary, (see BBC Newsnight yesterday), should have engaged in their fishing expedition of ‘extremists’ on the same day that news broke that gravestones in the Muslim section of Southern Cemetery in Manchester were desecrated for the third time in as many months. Perhaps those in the Conservative Party so concerned with extremists and the threat to social cohesion might usefully turn their attention to those that actually are threatening community relations in the UK instead of manufacturing demons where none such exist.
You can read the statement of HT refuting Cameron’s allegations here.
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