An Islamic school in East London has failed a government inspection after literature promoting “inequality of women and punishments, including stoning to death” was found in the library, which could “unwittingly” promote “extremism”.
The private Jamiatul Ummah School teaches 158 boys aged 11 to 16 in London borough of Tower Hamlets, which became the first Muslim majority borough in Britain to elect a (now disgraced) Muslim mayor.
In 2014 the government’s chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw identified the school as one of six independent Islamic teaching institutions in Tower Hamlets at which more than 1,000 pupils were said to be “at serious risk”.
Since then the school has failed two inspections. In October 2014 the inspectorate found the “curriculum was too narrow”, the “assessment framework was not systematic or effective across all subjects” and “students did not develop a broad knowledge of cultures and faiths other than their own”.
Inspectors were returning to ascertain whether or not the school had been implementing an action plan to correct the problems.
However, the report said: “The concern is that during a very brief tour of the library inspectors found three books that undermine the active promotion of the rule of British law and respect for other people.
“The books promote inequality of women and punishments, including stoning to death, which are illegal in Britain and which do not reflect the school’s ethos of tolerance and integration.
“Staff have not been sufficiently vigilant about the availability of inappropriate texts in the library or sufficiently aware of the potential for unwittingly promoting extreme views.”
The library had been locked since July 2015, the report insists, but students had previously had access to the books during meetings for which the space was used more recently.
In response, a school spokesman told the Mail Online: “Our position in respect to extremism is very clear, we condemn all forms of extremism unequivocally and this is recognised by Ofsted.
“We recognise the concerns raised by Ofsted in respect of three books in the library, however, as Ofsted rightly noted, the library is locked and current students have no access to it.
“Ofsted also recognised that the content of these books, “do not reflect the schools ethos of tolerance and integration”.
“Nevertheless, we are taking steps, and are at present auditing all materials in the library and those available within the school.”