Report finds Islamic plot to control UK schools

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REPORT FINDS ISLAMIC PLOT TO CONTROL UK SCHOOLS
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Report finds Islamic plot to control UK schools
Birmingham City Council House in Birmingham, England, Headquarters of the Birmingham City Council. Houses council officers, including the Chief Executive in a neo-classical style building in Victoria Square, Birmingham built in 1879 (Photo by: Universal H
Britain's new Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, the new arrives in Downing Street in London on July 15, 2014. Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled a new cabinet ahead of next year's general election. AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Muslim children at Islamia School, London UK. (Photo by: Photofusion/UIG via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 29: Members of the Muslim community leave the East London Mosque after conducting Tarawih prayers, during which long portions of the Qur'an are recited, before the start of the holy month of Ramadan on June 29, 2014 in London, England. Muslim men and women across the world begin to observe Ramadan, a month long celebration of self-purification and restraint, on Sunday. During Ramadan, the Muslim community fast, abstaining from food, drink, smoking and sex between sunrise and sunset, breaking their fast with an Iftar meal after sunset. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Muslim men conduct Tarawih prayers, during which long portions of the Qur'an are recited, at the East London Mosque on the evening before the start of the holy month of Ramadan on June 28, 2014 in London, England. Muslim men and women across the world begin to observe Ramadan, a month long celebration of self-purification and restraint, on Sunday. During Ramadan, the Muslim community fast, abstaining from food, drink, smoking and sex between sunrise and sunset, breaking their fast with an Iftar meal after sunset. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
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By Matthew Knight
LONDON (AP) - A British government investigation found evidence Tuesday that Muslim fundamentalists successfully gained control of some schools, raising fears that pupils are now vulnerable to radicalization.

It said there was an "effective take-over" by like-minded people of a number of schools in Birmingham, Britain's second-largest city, leading to "the reinforcement of Muslim identity to the exclusion or disparagement of others."

British Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said the report's findings were disturbing.

"What has been so upsetting about the history in this small handful of schools is that the success of efforts to encourage more British Muslims to take up governing roles has been damaged by the actions of a few," she said.

The report found "coordinated, deliberate and sustained action" by a number of people to introduce an "intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos" into some of the city's schools. It pointed to a pattern in which school authorities criticized well regarded head teachers and senior teachers were bullied, while new governing board staff members were rapidly promoted.

The investigation examined online discussions between one all-male group of teachers at Park View School and found them to have disparaged certain strands of Islam, expressed homophobic sentiments and sought to increase segregation at the school.

The report said Birmingham City Council failed to alert authorities of the practices that made some teachers worry pupils were learning to be intolerant of diversity, and may now find it harder to question or challenge radical influences.

As a consequence of the report, the council said its whistle-blowing processes will be strengthened and teachers involved face being barred from the profession.

Mohammed Zabar, a Muslim parent whose daughter attends Oldknow Academy, welcomed the report. He said parents did not speak out for fear of speaking "against Islam."

Investigators did not find evidence of violent extremism or terrorism.

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