UK: Islamic School Where Teacher Showed ISIS Films Let Off with Warning

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: WITH "RELIGIOUS EDUCATION A FESTIVAL OF LIGHT IN BRITAIN" A young girl wearing a muslim headscarf listens to her teachers leason while in class at Featherstone Primary school 09 December2003 in Southall London. . Sitting cross-legged the children intone a Sikh chant accompanied by Punjabi instruments as …
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An Islamic school in London has been given a mere “official warning” and not shut down despite a teacher being jailed for showing students an ISIS propaganda film.

A former Islamic Studies teacher, Umar Ahmed Haque, who received a “life” sentence for terrorism offences in 2018, admitted that in his trial that he showed pupils Islamic State videos at the Lantern of Knowledge Educational Trust school in East London.

On Friday, a report from the Charity Commission, the state regulator of charities in England and Wales, found that the charity trustees who operate the Islamic school were “responsible for mismanagement and/or misconduct” in allowing Haque to show the jihadi propaganda to students, including beheading videos.

The report found that the former Islamic Studies teacher “grossly abused” his position of trust at the Isalmic school in order to promote “the ideology and tactics of a proscribed terrorist organisation to children.”

Tim Hopkins, the assistant director for investigations and inquiries at the Charity Commission, said: “Umar Haque’s action at this charity was appalling. It is completely unacceptable for any charity to be associated with terrorism and we are concerned by the corrosive effect this might have on public confidence in this and other charities.”

“Charities should lead the way in taking public expectations seriously and be distinct from other types of organisations in their attitude and behaviour, their motivations and methods.

“We expect the trustees of this charity to learn from the failings set out in our report, and to comply with the required actions to strengthen the charity’s administration. We will closely monitor the trustees’ compliance with these actions,” Hopkins concluded.

Instead of being shut down, however, The Lantern of Knowledge Educational Trust was just given an official warning from the Commission. The school has also had its rating downgraded from “outstanding” in 2015 to the lowest possible grade of “inadequate”.

During his trial, Umar Ahmed Haque was also found to have led role-playing scenarios in which students reenacted the terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge, in order to coach an army of young ISIS radicals to commit further attacks in London.

“He tried to prepare the children for martyrdom by making them role-play terrorist attacks. Part of that role-playing was re-enacting attacking police officers,” the head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, Dean Haydon, said in 2018.

“His plan was to create an army of children to assist with multiple terrorist attacks throughout London,” Haydon said, adding: “He tried and he did, we believe, radicalise vulnerable children from the ages of 11 to 14.”

One of the convicted terrorist’s former pupils said: “He is teaching us terrorism, like how to fight. If you fight for the sake of Allah, on Judgment Day, when you get judged for your good deeds and bad deeds, fighting is good.”

In his trial he argued that his actions were in fact self-defence preparation against a “fascist” uprising, claiming that there were “fascist police as well as fascist groups” that he needed to defend himself against.

Haque also told the jury that lying and jihad were a part of his religion.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka


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