One Month of Islam in Britain: June 2014
by Soeren Kern
British regulators placed five Muslim-dominated state schools in Birmingham under “special measures” after inspectors found that pupils there were being systematically exposed to radical Islamic propaganda.
Ofsted, the agency that regulates British schools, carried out emergency inspections of 21 primary and secondary state schools in Birmingham after a document surfaced in March 2014 that purported to outline a plot—dubbed Operation Trojan Horse—by Muslim fundamentalists to Islamize state schools in England and Wales.
The inspection reports, which Ofsted made public on June 9, show that Muslim hardliners are indeed seeking to run at least five state schools in Birmingham according to a “conservative Islamic perspective.”
Sky News reported on June 3 that senior leaders at three schools in Birmingham alerted the government more than two decades ago about the rising influence of Muslim extremists in the school system, but that their concerns were dismissed because of political correctness.
Separately, the BBC reported on June 2 that Birmingham officials were warned that hardline Muslims were trying to extend their influence in Birmingham schools as early as 2008. Again, no action was taken.
On June 16, a new law entered into effect that makes forced marriage a criminal offense in England and Wales and is punishable by up to seven years in prison. The law also makes it a crime to breach a so-called Forced Marriage Protection Order (issued by courts to prevent people from being married against their will). This crime now carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.
In addition, the law makes it a crime to take British nationals overseas with the intention of forcing them to wed, even if the forced marriage does not ultimately take place. It is estimated that every year, hundreds of British girls are being taken out of school and flown abroad to be married, sometimes to men who may be two or three times their age.
Research commissioned by the UK Department of Education estimates that between 5,000 and 8,000 young women in Britain are the victims of forced marriages each year. But some charities say the actual number is far higher: many victims are afraid to come forward.
The BBC reported on June 12 that some Muslim families have begun hiring bounty hunters to track down the victims of forced marriage who try to run away. In one instance, parents in Scotland paid a gang to trace a 17-year-old woman who ran away from home after she was told she had to marry in Pakistan. The bounty hunters eventually found her and fearing for her life, she went through with the wedding in Pakistan.
|An image from the video “Right to choose: Spotting the signs of forced marriage – Nayana”, produced by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.|
Meanwhile, a radical Islamic group edged closer to building one of the world’s largest mosques in London after a star Muslim opponent of the controversial mega-mosque was intimidated into silence.
Tablighi Jamaat — a fundamentalist Islamic sect opposed to Western values such as democracy and equal rights, but committed to “perpetual Jihad” to spread Islam around the world — is fighting a no-holds-barred battle to build a massive mosque complex in West Ham, a neighborhood in the East London Borough of Newham….