BY ALEXANDER MELEAGROU-HITCHENS
Now that the Conservative Party has admitted that David Cameron made a small error when criticising the government for giving public funds to the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation (ISF) – a charity which runs schools that teach Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) ideology – the ball is right back in Labour’s court.
Schools Secretary Ed Balls managed to delay having to actually deal with this issue by seizing upon a small error made by David Cameron regarding the exact source of the public funds. Yesterday, his Tory counterpart, Michael Gove, commendably admitted the mistake on Newsnight, thus deftly disarming Labour and bringing the focus back to the very serious problem of HT schools receiving public funds and passing Ofsted inspections.
Newsnight also featured a piece by Richard Watson, where he reveals the Islamist nature of the ISF curriculum and its author – and headmistress of ISF’s Slough School – Farah Ahmed:
In a 2003 pamphlet written by Amhed, she refers to democracy as a ‘corrupt tradition’ and describes western education as ‘a threat to our beliefs and values’. She also sets out HT’s role in ‘protecting’ young children from such filthy kuffar teachings as Shakespeare. The curriculum, also authored by Ahmed, is, as Shiraz Maher puts it in his interview with Watson, ‘an exact replica of HT’s core texts.’
The Newsnight piece also has a hilarious clip of Watson grilling HT big wigs Abdul Wahid and Taji Mustafa (6.05 minutes in), where his questions leave these two usually smooth operators looking uncharacteristically flustered.
It is now up to Labour to show the same kind of humility displayed by Gove and admit their (much bigger) mistake. Once that is done, they can move on to finding out how ₤113,000 of tax payer money was given to a group that wants to overthrow liberal democracy, and why Ofsted gave the school the all-clear despite such clear signs of extremism.