The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has been slammed for appearing to support an event where speakers were expected to defend the Trojan Horse plotters and argue the scandal was part of an anti-Muslim conspiracy.
The event – titled “Trojan Horse: The facts!” – was attended by the NUT’s general secretary Kevin Courtney, as well a journalist who argues it was “a lurid figment of the neo-Conservative imagination,” and the banned former school governor at the centre of the scandal.
The event was organised Friday night by Muslim lobby group Mend, who have been described as “Islamists posing as civil libertarians” who have promoted “extremism” and even justified attacks on British troops.
UKIP’s Education Spokesman, David Kurten, told Breitbart London: “It is gravely disturbing that members of the country’s largest teaching union are thought to be joining MEND at a conference where speakers are expected to defend the Trojan Horse plot.
“This scandal put thousands of British children in real danger of having their minds warped and damaged by Islamist ideology.”
He added: “The members and executive of the NUT should think long and hard before participating in this conference.
“It would be grossly irresponsible to help feed and fuel a grievance, victim narrative by Islamists and their sympathisers. It is wrong to give credibility to those who are seeking to perpetuate the failed experiment of multiculturalism or to fuel division by trying to prevent children from a Muslim background from assimilating into society.”
A 2014 government inquiry into Trojan Horse by the Education Commissioner for Birmingham found “a sustained and coordinated agenda to impose upon children in a number of Birmingham schools the segregationist attitudes and practices of a hardline and politicised strand of Sunni Islam.”
The “intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos” brought into schools included girls and boys being separated, “un-Islamic subjects” such as evolution reduced or removed, and secular head teachers bullied from their jobs.
BIRMINGHAM | #TrojanHoax
— MEND Community (@mendcommunity) October 28, 2017
Some of the teachers involved were also linked to a WhatsApp group called the ‘Park View Brotherhood’, which included anti-Semitic ideas and comments offensive to the murdered soldier of Lee Rigby and victims of the Boston Islamist bombings.
However, adverts for the Mend event describe Trojan Horse as driven by “a hoax letter, a media scrum, a forceful education secretary and political motivations in education regulation” and ask if it “led to the stigmatisation of a community, discrimination… and exam failure for a generation of children?”
These claims are demonstrably misleading as the school at the centre of the scandal, Park View, has markedly improved after a change of leadership was imposed.
One speaker at the event is Professor John Holmwood, who has said that official accounts of Trojan Horse provide a “false narrative” being used to “criticise multiculturalism”.
Another is Salma Yaqoob, a former Respect Party politician who has complained that Trojan Horse was used to “stigmatise Muslims.”
An unnamed source who works in counter-extremism among Muslims told the Telegraph the event is “extremely concerning”.
“This is exactly part of the narrative to create a deep sense of victimisation within the minds of Muslim communities rather than supporting confidence within institutions and structures of our country,” they said.
“It plays to an extremist mindset and creates suspicion. It is a way to play to the insecurities of people, exacerbate them and expand them. This is classic Islamist behavior.”
The NUT did not address concerns about Mend’s allegedly extremist views when asked about them specifically but confirmed to Breitbart London that NUT general secretary Courtney will speak at the Mend event.
A spokesman said they had “concerns about how the Trojan Horse affair was played out” and that it is “important that we keep debate open to ensure that we do not let divisions take hold in our communities.”