Derby Muslim Post

Subtitle

Keeping you up to date with all the latest news in and around Derby ...

  Hadith        

The Prophet (sallallahu aleihi wa sallam) said:

"Allah does not punish the individuals for the sins of the community until they see the evil spreading among themselves, and while they have the power to stop it, do not do so." (Ahmad)

                                                                          


Latest News

The Al Madina School , The New Islamic ? School Coming to Derby 2012.

Most or all Mosques in Derby have refused to Support it ?

No Imams Are backing this project ones who were have pulled out ?

Teaching Sex Education ?

                                                                              Free Mixing of Boys & Girls ?

                                                                              Head Master is Non - Muslim which is fine in a non - Islamic School ?

                                                                              Are trustees creditable ,  what is there motivation if it is the Islam then Brilliant ?

                                                                              Trustees and founders refuse to answer communities Questions ?

                                                                              Will you gamble your childs Iman by sending them to Al Madina without knowing all the Facts ?


                             What is the school really about, read the very detailed article below and You Decide ?

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Coming Soon information about  DMTG "Derby Muslim Task Group" who are they ? They say they are going to solve the  prostitution, Drugs & Education problems in our community , I really hope these guys do, but are they just wasting there time and getting our hopes up and will deliver NOTHING , the news team is reviewing them and we will keep you up dated !

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        Al-Madinah “Islamic” School - Government ideology in sheep’s clothing?

Executive Summary

A policy of ‘free schools’ has been introduced by the coalition 
government following the 2010 general election making it possible for
teachers, parents, charities and businesses to set up their own 
schools. This endeavour is part of the Academies Act 2010 and is a
means to improve educational excellence within England. The scheme,
however, has received immense criticism from a number of quarters,
especially because the schools are not bounded by the jurisdiction of
any local authority and are entirely funded by the taxpayer.
Furthermore, doubts are cast concerning the standard of teaching
within the schools. Derby is set to host two such free schools: Derby
Pride Academy and Al-Madinah School.

This paper aims to shed light on the nature of Al-Madinah School and
analyse the significance of the school in relation to the Muslims of
Derby as well as the statements made by many a politician concerning
Islam and Muslim values. It is by examining this relationship that one
can understand the significance of the government wishing to establish
such a school. Moreover, reference will be made to the Al-Madinah
website in terms of the values and ideals it wishes to propagate to
the children. After citing such examples, it will be made clear that
the establishment of the school is based on a sinister agenda that
requires exposition; thereby parents and educationalists will be
better informed concerning the educational future for their children.

Al-Madinah Trust in Derby has submitted an application to the
Department for Education (DfE) to create an “Islamic” school in Derby,
to be opened on September 2012. The school is going through a
“consultation phase” following which the Secretary of State for
Education, Michael Gove, will make a final decision.

The application has raised concerns and even alarm amongst various
sections of the Muslim community as its political nature and agenda
are slowly exposed, revealing not an Islamic school but the beginnings
of a nationwide project to subvert Islam across Muslims communities by
taking the teaching of Islam away from mosques and independent Islamic
schools to government approved schools:

* The DfE application process for a free Islamic school demands
applicants demonstrate their respect for democracy, parliamentary
legislation and British values whilst rejecting the Sharia, various
Islamic values and the right of Muslims abroad to resist occupation.
The founders have failed to explain how all this was demonstrated,
* The founding team have refused to make public the application
forms, correspondence with the DfE and the content of various
governmental meetings they have attended,
* The main Mosque in Derby, Jamia Mosque, has publicly
disassociated itself from the project,
* The founding team and governors linked to the school have a
number of questionable links with the police, local council,
councillors and the government as well as historic involvement in the
controversial Prevent Violent Extremism (PVE)[1] project,
* The project has similarities to be the controversial and failed
Prevent Violent Extremism (PVE)[2] project. PVE attempted to prevent
terrorism and violence believing it originated in Islamic beliefs. The
government thus attempted to promote a secular form of Islam that they
believed was the “true” form of Islam and the PVE project failed as
most Muslims disagreed with this form of Islam. The trust is now
claiming it has a “true” version of Islam to counter extremism which
it will teach to young children under the government’s watchful eye,
marginalising all independent Islamic education in the community
(schools, mosques, charities etc.) and ensuring all educational
activities come under the direct control of the government all policed
through Ofsted,
* The founder has released comments saying he has been assured by
ministers that this is going to be first school of its kind in Derby,
which is seen as a hotspot of extremism and terrorism, and will be
approved regardless of any opposition. It will be part of a nationwide
rollout with the next school to be opened by the current founders in
Birmingham.
* The trust has legally designated the school as having an Islamic
ethos as opposed to an Islamic religious character. A vague “Islamic
ethos” allows values from a Liberal ideology to be promoted and the
selection of non-Muslim staff/students/subjects. An Islamic religious
character designation would have allowed Islamic values, selection of
staff/students according to Islamic criteria and the choice of
teaching Islam in RE whilst not teaching controversial subjects like
Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) and Citizenship Studies.
* The school has recruited a non-Muslim head, stated 50% of
children will be non-Muslims, confirmed the only teacher as Muslim
will be the Islamic studies teacher, will teach Sex and Relationships
Education in mixed gender classes, will teach other religions and
invite other faiths to teach RE, enforce the Christian calendar, have
a shirt/trouser uniform policy (not a modest Islamic dress policy),
will enforce segregation in a few subjects only, will not permit a
student to attend Islamic studies lessons if they do not do well in
curriculum subjects amongst a host of other similar policies -
rendering it a non-Islamic school in all but name.
* Questionable tactics are being used by the trustees to acquire
funding and approval, from doublespeak, manipulation of the
application process and deception of both Muslim and non-Muslim
parents – which may bring the entire community into disrepute should
the press find out,
* Introduction and reinforcement of new divisions in the local
community through the promotion of the pejorative and divisive
terminology, “moderate, extremist and terrorist”,
* Poaching of funds from other local schools where Muslim students
are taught, and,
* Alienating public opinion amongst the host communities,
including Teachers’ Unions, teachers, groups and the public with the
council opposing the school.

This document aims to provide elaboration and substantiation for these
issues and concludes with the following recommendations, where the
Muslim community should:

* Ensure independence of community Islamic education from
political ideologies promoted through the guise of a school,
* Engage with the consultation process, raise questions and
provide feedback that will be reviewed by the DfE (see Recommendations
section for details),
* Alternatively, encourage cooperation and pooling of community
funding to expand existing independent Islamic schools, mosque
education and fund the creation of new schools and vocational
institutions,
* Applications made on behalf of the community relying on state
funding should be transparent and open to community scrutiny, with all
correspondence and applications made public and representation on such
projects reflecting the community makeup as opposed to self-selected
individuals with questionable agendas, and,
* Community institutions and high profile individuals should be
careful before endorsing projects where the aims, intentions and
members may bring their name into disrepute through their activities –
all paperwork, correspondence, brochures and similar material should
be reviewed thoroughly.





Government Agenda and Free Schools for Muslims

On February 2011, in an important speech in Munich, David Cameron said,

“We have got to get to the root of the problem, and we need to be
absolutely clear on where the origins of where these terrorist attacks
lie. That is the existence of an ideology, Islamist extremism… At the
furthest end are those who back terrorism to promote their ultimate
goal: an entire Islamist realm, governed by an interpretation of
Sharia. Move along the spectrum, and you find people who may reject
violence, but who accept various parts of the extremist world view,
including real hostility towards western democracy and liberal values…
I would argue an important reason so many young Muslims are drawn to
it comes down to a question of identity…

Some organisations that seek to present themselves as a gateway to the
Muslim community are showered with public money despite doing little
to combat extremism. As others have observed, this is like turning to
a right-wing fascist party to fight a violent white supremacist
movement. So we should properly judge these organisations: do they
believe in universal human rights – including for women and people of
other faiths? Do they believe in equality of all before the law? Do
they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own
government? Do they encourage integration or separation? These are
the sorts of questions we need to ask. Fail these tests and the
presumption should be not to engage with organisations – so, no public
money, no sharing of platforms with ministers at home…

I believe a genuinely liberal country does much more; it believes in
certain values and actively promotes them. Freedom of speech, freedom
of worship, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of
race, sex or sexuality."[3]

Despite the community leaders, researchers and advisors having advised
the government that the roots of terrorism lay primarily with the
government’s foreign policy, the government believes that the roots of
terrorism somehow lie in Islam.

The liberal values Cameron describes in his speech are political
ideals that are fundamental to the ideology of liberalism. They are
promoted as universal, however, are accepted by political researchers
and academics as contested due to their normative nature and
subsequently disputed. The acclaimed political scientist, Samuel
Huntington, elaborates upon the dubious nature of universal values in
his book, ‘The clash of civilizations and the remaking of world
order’. He eloquently relates how many values are a by-product of
European history and are considered to be alien to other cultures and
traditions. Interested readers are advised to refer to his works.

As for some of the values, an Islamic critique is provided for the
main concepts which are espoused to be ‘universal’:

* Tolerance – the view that all belief systems and lifestyles
should be respected and tolerated forms the fundamental premise to
such a label. It is essentially a term that arose from the
enlightenment period of European history, that attests that no one
view can have metaphysical assurance – hence a term coined within the
framework of secularism. The Islamic worldview however holds the
notion that Islam is the final and true religion and all other
religions, ideologies and philosophies are false and should be
rejected and refuted.
* Freedom – the belief that man if born free and free to choose
any beliefs and actions. The European philosophers regarded the
established Church to be a hindrance to intellectual activity and
progress, thereby sought to divorce church policies from state
affairs, so giving man ‘freedom’ to think, act and choose according to
his own interests and desires and not to be dictated to by rigid
dogma. Islamic orthodoxy rests on a fundamentally different philosophy
whereby man is created as a khalifah (vicegerent) and an abd (slave)
therefore given responsibility to represent God’s law within life
affairs and to worship the Creator.
* Equality – The belief that all humans are born equal and remain
so throughout their lives – in contradistinction to the historical
church’s designation of divine approval to the monarchs, and rankings
in society based on God’s approval with the heretics and disbelievers
at the lowest ranks. Orthodox Islam proposes humans are born in a
state of fitra, the best being the God conscious (taqwa) and the worst
being the disbelievers, polytheists and hypocrites.

It is worthwhile noting how the term ‘extremism’ has been defined by
the government. People are extremists if:[4]

* They advocate a caliphate,
* They promote Sharia law,
* They believe Islam forbids homosexuality and it is a sin
* They believe in the validity of armed resistance including that
of the Palestinians
* They fail to condemn the killing of British soldiers in Iraq or
Afghanistan.

Any Muslim would attest that the above statements concerning a
caliphate, Sharia law or homosexuality being a sin are intrinsic to
Islamic belief; therefore the terms ‘moderate’ or ‘extremist’ are too
vague and arbitrary. Opposition to such concepts is key to the secular
project that wishes to see a reformation of Islam, blocking meaningful
discussions with those who disagree – conveniently fitting into the
current Western mosaic as far as religion, politics and values are
concerned.



Michael Gove – Secretary of State for Education

Michael Gove began life as a journalist and authored the controversial
book “Celsius 7/7”, believing Islam to be a “secular Islam” that has
no say in social, political or economic matters – views adopted by
leading members of many members of the government after he sent them a
copy of his book.[5] He is the ex-chairman of the Policy Exchange,[6]
which published the infamous, “The Hijacking of British Islam”, making
false claims that mosques were selling extremist literature. Newsnight
found that to be incorrect - many of the receipts Policy Exchange had
shown as proof of purchases were forged.[7]

Famously he called for early intervention against Saddam Hussein,
stated in October 2004 of Tony Blair, "I can't hold it back any more;
I love Tony!" and called Islamism a totalitarian ideology which turns
to “hellish violence and oppression”. He believes and promotes Sufism
as “explicitly moderate” because they apparently “totally” oppose
Sharia and “are quietists and wish to see a properly liberal
separation between throne and altar”[8] – a view most Sufis would no
doubt question.

Michael Gove’s approval of an “Islamic” school in Derby raise
suspicions given he is not short of controversy:

* Zionist tendencies: At a ‘United Jewish Israel Appeal’ (UJIA)
event in September 2011, Gove unashamedly said, “I'm proud to be a
friend of Israel.” In front of 700 UJIA supporters, he further went on
to add, “I was born, will live and die proud to be a Zionist.” Zionism
is a pernicious, violent racist ideology that has created
mass-insecurity, genocide and oppression in the heart of the Arab
World. Any politicians that holds such views, whilst supporting an
‘Islamic school’, is dubious, to say the least.[9]
* Stance against the building of a new mosque: The town of
Camberley, Surrey, home to a significant Muslim community, was set to
see the construction of a traditional mosque with a dome and minarets.
The criticism from Gove came in February 2010 after a prolonged
distancing from the issue, after some UKIP MPs, whose anti- Muslim
stances are well known, challenged him on the issue, he became
vitriolic against the potential mosque. Gove argued that the
application should be withdrawn for the sake of ‘good community
relations.’[10]
* Islamophobic: The former London mayor, Ken Livingstone, made an
accusation against the Education Secretary, "People like Michael Gove
and others have been stridently Islamophobic for some time, and they
assume there are votes in this." When asked to justify this statement,
Livingstone replied by saying, ‘Just look at his writings and the
general tone he takes is to depict Islam as genuinely a threat. He's
at the extreme end of this.’[11]
* Accusation of double standards: In 2009, Gove wrote an
emotionally charged and vitriolic article titled, “Public funds must
not be used to propagate an Islamic state.”[12] He cited the school,
Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation, and presented it as a front for the
Islamic political party, Hizb ut-Tahrir. Subsequent investigations
found the accusations to be overly exaggerated and unwarranted.
However, a number of Jewish schools that explicitly espouse Zionism as
part of their ethos have been defended by the DfE. In 2010, a
spokesperson for the DfE stated, “There is nothing at all remarkable
or contentious in a Jewish school stressing the spiritual and
historical connection of Jews to the land of Israel, and the
centrality of those connections to our faith.” A Jewish school can
preach a Jewish state but a Muslim School cannot mention an Islamic
state.[13]
* Association with discredited organisations: Gove sits on the
advisory board of the Quilliam Foundation – an ultra-secularist group
embarked on refuting Islam’s political aspects. He also has close
links with the Sufi Muslim Council and British Muslims for Secular
Democracy. Given these organisations are out of touch with mainstream
Muslims, condemned by the community and unrepresentative of the
community, Gove’s contention is “majority of Muslims are immoderate”.

More recently, in his speech to the Policy Exchange in relation to
Free Schools, he made clear his and his government’s position:

“…we are determined to ensure that those who receive public funding –
and especially those who are shaping young minds - do not peddle an
extremist agenda… we have set up a dedicated team within the
Department who will rigorously police any application for public
money, including Free School applications. And we make it explicit in
the application guidance that we will reject any proposers who
advocate violence, intolerance, or hatred, or whose ideology runs
counter to the UK’s democratic values.”

These views are embedded in the application process for the new
schools, the guidance notes stating:

“The Secretary of State will seek to ensure that only suitable
persons are permitted to establish publicly funded Free Schools… In
order to be approved, applications will need to demonstrate that they
would support UK democratic values including respect for the basis on
which UK laws are made and applied; respect for democracy; support
for individual liberties within the law; and mutual tolerance and
respect.”[14]



The Founders, Trustees and Directors

The school is being established by Al-Madinah Education Trust, a
charitable company limited by guarantee. The trustees (and directors)
comprise Ziad Amjad, Shahban Rehman, Shazia Parveen and the governors
currently comprise Faisal Hussain and Burhan Hanif.

The trustees and governors are from one group within the community
with no broad representation, the former three having previously
collaborated on a controversial mosque funded childcare project (as
directors of an-Noor Limited):

* Amjad is the founder and instigator of the project. Currently a
teacher and an ex-committee member at Jamia Mosque he has declared an
intention to take a teaching role at the school.
* Rehman has worked at McDonalds for a number of years and is
currently a manager at one of their outlets. Like Amjad, he is an
ex-committee member of Jamia Mosque. He controversially was drafted in
to open his store on Christmas, and is reported to have responded to
criticism from the Church by saying, “Who is the Church to
object?”[15]
* Parveen works as a nurse at Royal Derby Hospital, whilst of
studying for an Open University degree. She has been Chris Williamson
Fundraising officer, Labour campaigner and has previously stood as a
councillor failing to win any significant support. Along with Rehman
and Amjad, she was responsible for a crèche organisation funded by
Jamia Mosque.[16] She is also connected with Radio Ikhlas, undertaking
shows on a regular basis, is involved in a number of local government
panels and when asked who if given a free choice she would have as
mentor, replied, Labour Councillor, Ranjit Banwait or Alan Sugar.[17]
* Faisal Hussain used to work for the Derby Community Safety
Partnership facilitating the government’s ideological battle against
terrorism and extremism in Derby. He has been central to facilitating
controversial PVE funding for controversial community projects and
informers, creating an atmosphere of mistrust, insecurity and fear. He
was involved in the controversial Derby Muslim Forum (DMF) that was
exposed as spying on the community and has petitioned the community to
support homosexuals in opposition to Muslims who were condemning it.
Hussain is essential to the project, with Amjad refusing to
disassociate him from the project claiming he has significant work in
relation to the application and approval - no doubt true given his
questionable links within the security apparatus and government.

There are a number of concerns in relation to this group:

* The team has not been selected from across the Muslim community,
all members having a commonality of political links and affiliations.
The school brochure is misleading when it states, “The Trust comprises
local parents, teachers and business owners…”[18] as it implies broad
community representation, whilst the trust comprises of a close knit
in-group with widespread criticism on this point across the community,
* The team lack experience running or managing a primary or
secondary school,
* There is a lack of experience in managing/safeguarding funds
that will be in the magnitude of millions each year, including around
£4 million to start the project and an anticipated £4 million each
year if the 1000 targeted children are recruited,
* Questionable political connections and associations with bodies
who are promoting political agendas (Community Safety Partnership,
Derbyshire Constabulary, Labour Party and the Derby Muslim Forum). The
above parties are known to have been antagonistic to the Muslim
community, having been involved in spying on them; therefore a
warranted mistrust exists concerning them.

Furthermore, there have been concerns raised in relation to the
individuals involved in the project:

* Ziad / Rehman:
o Questions surrounding acquisition of a social services
building on an interest based mortgage,
o Questions surrounding auditor criticisms and rejection in
relation to mosque accounts during their tenure as committee members,
and,
o Along with Parveen, questions surrounding
approval/usage/appropriation of over £90K of funds for a crèche
project.
* Faisal:
o Concerns regarding the involvement of a “conduit” of the
government’s controversial ideological PVE funding in an Islamic
school project,
o Lack of clarity in relation to what he has done, what his
contact and communications have been with the security services and
government to facilitate this project which saw others applications
made by other people from the community being rejected,
o Questions surrounding activities and projects funded in
the community via PVE, and,
o Lack of transparency in relation to projects, informers
and information gathered on community institutions, groups and
individuals.



Al-Madinah School

A cursory view of education reveals the notion that knowledge is
socially constructed, i.e. no area of human endeavour can ever be
neutral or value-free since it is always underpinned by the values and
beliefs of its proponents. Such sets of beliefs or worldviews are
examples of what sociologists call ideologies. Education itself can
therefore never be neutral or value free. In light of this, it appears
that Al-Madinah school are geared towards an Islam that is secular and
one that is compatible to liberal tastes and perspectives.

The school promotes itself primarily to the Muslim community in Derby,
relying on its “Islamic credentials”. It has relied primarily on the
Muslim community to show a parent led demand when presenting its
application to the DfE for funding.

However, on closer scrutiny, the trust appears to value an
anti-extremist and secular dimensions of primary importance and any
Islamic dimension marginal, in the design of school’s structure and
content (cultural and educational), evidenced by:

* “The key factor in parents deciding to send their children to
our school will clearly be academic achievement”,[19]
* “We will put Achievement and pupil Attainment first before
promoting faith. If pupils are not achieving academically they will
be taken off most Islamic Studies lessons.”[20]

This section considers and tests the trust’s claims of al-Madinah
being an “Islamic” school, primarily comprising of its claims of an
“Islamic ethos” and teaching of an “Islamic subject”. According to the
trust these elements will mean parents can dispense with after school
Islamic studies at local mosques, leaving them enough time to spend
with their family and integrate into the non-Muslim community.



Ethos without Character

As part of the application process, the trust opted for a legal “faith
ethos designation” as opposed to a “religious character designation”.
This is highly significant as it has a number of legal implications in
relation to the structure, staffing and content taught at the school.

If a school selects a religious character designation, it is able to
state a religious ethos, a set of religious values it follows, but
importantly it can also: [21]

* use an Islamic test to appoint, remunerate, promote teachers and
discipline/dismiss teachers for conduct incompatible with Islamic
precepts, something usually not allowed due to employment rights
legislation,
* discriminate admissions to the school on Islamic grounds,
* opt out of controversial subjects that conflict with Islamic
values and ideals. These include subjects like Personal, Social,
Health and Economic (PSHE) Education which includes the controversial
Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) component,[22] teach only Islam
in RE lessons without government permission.

If a school selects a religious ethos, the above exemptions would not
apply and it would simply cite its values.

Thus one would ask why a religious character determination was not
made. The answer appears to be the school wishes to publicly promote
secular ideological and political values. Carefully selected liberal
values, endorsed by the Secretary of State, appear across their
marketing material in such a way as to not invite further scrutiny of
the local community. These are ideological values promoted as
universal whilst in fact they belong to liberal ideology and can be
found across their classical texts over the past two centuries.
Contradicting their claims of these values being an Islamic
“ethos”,[23] the new non-Muslim principle says, “Al-Madinah’s vision
and ethos match my educational Philosophy.”[24]

The trust has not clarified the reason for the designation of ethos as
opposed to religious character. The questions on the DfE application
form are quite clear so as to preclude error, in line with the trust’s
intended recruitment agenda of non-Muslim staffing and teaching of
controversial subjects:

Do you intend that your proposed school will be designated as having a
religious character? (NB Please refer to the glossary of terms in the
‘How to Apply’ guidance for more information about religious
character/designation.)

Do you intend your proposed school to have a faith ethos (but will not
be designated as having a religious character)?

Consequently, the trust’s marketing and communications appear to be
misleading, dishonest and disingenuous. Vague rhetoric is used to good
effect keeping with its objectionable decisions being blamed on
governmental or legislative requirements rather than the trust’s
decision regarding the designation it has selected, some examples
being:[25]

* In relation to recruiting non-Muslim teachers, “It is important
to have competent teachers who will help raise achievement. We fully
respect the Equality Act and will adhere to this.”
* In relation to sex education, “We feel teaching a certain degree
of sex education is important for all pupils... We will also have
regard to any guidance given on this topic by the Secretary of State
for Education.”
* In relation to regulations, “We will be bound by the funding
agreement we sign with the Secretary of State for Education. The
school will be inspected by OFSTED just like any other state and
private school.”
* In relation to admissions, “We are currently drawing up the
admissions policy; once this has been approved by the DfE we will have
all the admissions details on our website.”
* The trust has confirmed it will be teaching RE, PSHE and
Citizenship Studies, worryingly inviting guest speakers from other
faiths to teach the children[26]
* The school promotes Western universal values of “equality,
fairness, peace, tolerance and respect” instead of Islamic values of
“difference, justice, submission, truth and responsibility”. The
school’s website review shows similar political themes as promoted by
other approved “Islamic Schools”.[27]



Political Agendas

The trust appears to have adopted the government’s strategy, ideology
and political values.[28] The government’s narrative is all terrorism
lies at the door of Islam, and a new “true” Islam, one that denies the
Sharia and any socio-political dimensions, should be promoted.

The trust states, “Extremists emerge from the lack of understanding of
Islam.”[29] It does not attempt to define the term “extremist”,
failing to notice the irony of the government’s definition of the
term, which includes them as “extremists”.[30] It goes on to state,
“At Al-Madinah School we will teach Islam in its true form which is
interconnected with peace and love.”[31] It regularly cites it will
promote Liberal values guised as universal, “equality, fairness,
peace, tolerance, respect… integration… citizenship” as opposed to
Islamic principles of “halal/haram, responsibility, trusteeship,
honour, dignity, duty, justice, submission, truth…” reflected in:

* Rehman told the Derby Evening Telegraph on October 28 in an
article titled, “New Muslim school planned in fight against extremism”
that, “Various different groups all over the UK believe in terrorism.
The teachings at the school would show people what truth means.”[32]
He does not elaborate who these groups are or what this truth is.
* The trust argues, “We will also teach the true message of the
Prophet Mohammed (SAW), which was about persevering with peaceful
solutions and love for all human beings. Contrary to how he (SAW) is
portrayed by some extremists”, carefully omitting hundreds of Quranic
verses and ahadith citing laws in relation to “war and peace” and the
historical expansion of Islam from a city state in Medina to span an
empire, ranging from Spain to China.
* The trust states, “All staff employed at the school will be
appropriately vetted to ensure there is no staff recruited with any
religious extreme views…” with no clarification as to how it will
determine which views are extreme.[33]
* The trust states, “We want our school to be open to all as we
want to promote integration and not segregation”,[34] presenting a
false dichotomy – the choices actually being integration, interaction,
segregation, assimilation and isolation. Integration being the process
of replacing the community’s Islamic political values with Liberal
political values – something abhorrent and unacceptable to the
community.
* Whilst the trust denies being told what they can and cannot do
by the DfE, the following would appear to indicate the opposite:
o As part of the application procedure: “The Secretary of
State will seek to ensure that only suitable persons are permitted to
establish publicly funded Free Schools. He will consider each
application on its merits, and take into account all matters relevant
to the application. He will reject any applications put forward by
organisations which advocate violence or other illegal activities or
by individuals associated with such organisations. In order to be
approved, applications will need to demonstrate that they would
support UK democratic values including respect for the basis on which
UK laws are made and applied; respect for democracy; support for
individual liberties within the law; and mutual tolerance and
respect.”[35]
o The school has refused to make public copies of the
application form, correspondence and meeting minutes with the
government. They have however stated they will produce an edited
blueprint that will be available – raising questions as to what is
being concealed on the application form?
o The Trust is required to work with Appleyards, a
consulting firm appointed by the DfE, to “help” the trust through the
process leading up to opening.[36]
o One of the members of the trust has strong connections
with the Labour party, and one of the two current governors is an
ex-employee of Derby Safety Partnership which has ties with the police
and government and was involved in the distribution of PVE funds (used
to spy on the Muslim community).



Culture and Curriculum

There are a number of concerns in relation to the culture the school
will promote and its curriculum, resulting from its stated aims:

“The Trust members share a concern that many children of Muslim
families are spending long days either at school or at the local
Mosque, limiting their opportunities to be with their family or to
take part in enrichment activities which is ultimately affecting their
ability to become as successful as they can be at school.”[37]

“Young people leaving the school will be equipped with the range of
personal, social and learning skills needed to be successful in
Further and Higher Education and skilled employment.”[38]

The trustees provide no credible understanding as to the causes of
social problems amongst youth, both in the Muslim community and the
host society. Furthermore, as part of its solution, there is no
mention that these young people will have understood Islamic values,
morality, rules and visions that will help them to successfully
develop their personal, family or societal lives, leaving the
apocalyptic vision of a future generation suffering a similar fate to
that of the host community that is seen around us in modern Britain.

The trust cites no evidence or research to indicate any detrimental
effects on family life or success at school come from spending time at
the mosque, leaving the question, is there an agenda to close down
existing independent Islamic education. This section reviews the
culture and curriculum the trust is promoting:

* The national curriculum is not mandatory in the UK, but a “broad
and balanced curriculum” is. The trust has adopted to teach the
national curriculum as its main focus,
* The trust states, “We will put Achievement and pupil Attainment
first before promoting faith. If pupils are not achieving
academically they will be taken off most Islamic Studies lessons” and
“The Islamic studies program will have an ‘opt-out’ choice for parents
who do not want their child(ren) to be part of it” rendering “One of
Al-Madinah Schools’ distinct features” hardly distinct at all.[39]
* The trust will not make Islamic studies, prayers, jumuah,
fasting, Eids or segregation mandatory though they will allow students
to undertake them,
* The school uniform for boys and girls will comprise a blouse,
blazer, tie and trousers – as opposed to the Islamic hijab/jilbab one
would expect for girls. Strangely, as an exception, “Al-Madinah will
respect the wishes of parents who want their children to attend school
in Islamic dress and if requested to do so by a parent, the school
will support them in monitoring this. However, we do not want such
dress to be out of place so we expect Islamic dress to be all black
with a Salvar (trousers). The Kameez (extra long Blouse) will be up to
knee length with long arms.”[40]

However, the DfE makes it clear, “There is no legislation that deals
specifically with school uniform or other aspects of appearance… and
this is non-statutory guidance. It is for the governing body of a
school to decide whether there should be a school uniform and other
rules relating to appearance, and if so what they should be.”[41]

* The school calendar will reflect the Easter, summer and
Christmas holidays rather than holidays for Ramadan, the two Eids or
the Prophet’s birthday,[42]
* The trust aims to recruit up to 50% of non-Muslim students
stating, “Our school is not exclusively for Muslims, as a requirement
we are obliged to admit 50% of pupils without reference to their
faith...”[43] something which is untrue as the obligation only comes
about if the school is oversubscribed – the trust has set 50% intake
of non-Muslims regardless. Most non-Islamic schools in the inner city
area of Derby will potentially have a larger percentage of Muslims
than the Islamic school,
* The school will be teaching sex education, guided by the
Secretary of State, even though this is not a mandatory subject.[44]
The Children, Schools and Families bill, requires state schools to
teach pupils about contraception, stable relationships, civil
partnerships, and forbid promotion of homophobia – with faith schools
permitted to teach according to their own faith. The school has yet to
clarify how they will be teaching controversial subjects such as
homosexuality,
* Students will be encouraged to set up events at “Help for
Heroes”,[45] a charity founded in 2007 to help wounded servicemen
returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.[46]



Management and Staffing

In relation to recruitment, staffing and management of the school:

* A non-Muslim head teacher, Andrew Cutts-Mckay, has been
appointed, who has no experience of a principle role, having
previously been a deputy head. This raises the concern that the
institution will comprise non-Islamic values in senior decision making
throughout the organisation,
* An Islamic Director will be appointed to monitor Islamic issues
– begging the question, would this role not be redundant if the head
was a Muslim and the funds spent on the children’s education rather
than wasted on redundant roles,
* A Muslim teacher will be appointed for Islamic studies only –
other teachers will comprise a mix of non-Muslims, raising the concern
of their suitability and role models for children,
* The trust says, “Being a faith school we will also provide
support for pupils and parents via a qualified Chaplin and Imam” –
Muslim staff could fulfil this role, rendering an Imam role
redundant,[47]
* The trust claims, “analysing schools in Derby shows that faith
schools are doing better than their counterparts”[48], however fails
to mention research stating, “it seems clear that whether or not a
primary school is religiously affiliated has little bearing on its
effectiveness in educating children in core curriculum subjects”
amongst other reasons, “faith schools may have operated some forms of
‘covert’ selection in their admissions procedure” [49]
* A personal profile has been created for the school on Facebook,
with claims the individual studied at al-Madinah school, in what
appears to be a misguided attempt at building a mailing list for
publicity purposes. This is in violation of Facebook’s Terms of
Service, allowing allegations of deception to be made,

* The DfE states, “We are looking for evidence that parents would
send their children to your school... You must show that this demand
is for your specific school and you must have engaged directly with
the community you will be serving… and demonstrate how you have
engaged actively with parents of other faiths and none in establishing
demand for your school.”[50] Questions have been raised of malpractice
in gaining evidence of parental demand and expressions of support
thereby misleading the DfE. East European parents may have been
deceived in order to fulfil DfE requirements to demonstrate 20% of
non-Muslims wanted an Islamic school in the area. The school however
claims evidence of demand from more than 600 parents and expressions
of support from more than 2,000 people from the community.[51] The
DCIE state:

“Al-Madinah claims to have "consulted" with various people. We know of
no-one, outside the Muslim community, who supports the school. Even
the CofE is keeping a low profile (understandably it doesn't want to
rock to boat in relation to its own schools - but there is a huge
difference between fairly open-minded and liberal CofE schools and the
proposed Islamic school.) When Al-Madinah claims support, who exactly
does it claim support from - outside the Muslim community?”[52]



Local Response

The project has generated considerable debate and discussion from the
local community and the host community, provoking two of the biggest
teaching unions (NASUWT and NUT) to oppose the project and others to
set up a Derby Campaign for Inclusive Education (DCIE) to challenge it
through creating public opposition:[53]

* The project is not a collective community effort, but one driven
by a small number of self-selected individuals promoting their agenda
as opposed to a community generated one, a concern raised amongst the
trustees themselves and the Muslim community,
* Taking state funds to fund an Islamic school, as opposed to
funding it organically from within the community, appears to be the
ratcheting up of anti-Islamic rhetoric and Islamophobia and an
undesired scrutiny of the community yet again.

The local community have expressed grave concerns over the process,
the speed of which everything is happening, the lack of genuine and
broad representation and questions surrounding the individuals
establishing the project.

The committee of the main mosque in the community, Jamia Mosque, has
expressed reservations and concerns in relation to the project, when
asked to endorse the project by the trust members. This reflects the
concerns that generally exist across the community that have been
expressed to them. They have requested the trust make public all
correspondence in relation to the project and have elicited a promise
that the trust are willing they review the material at the mosque, but
no copies are retained of any material. The mosque subsequently made a
formal announcement on 13th September 2011 at a Friday congregation to
clarify their relation with the trust, the project and the school.
They stated that they were in no way associated with the project, the
trust or the school, or any individual involved the project or any
content that will be taught and would not provide any endorsement
whatsoever.

Numerous comments have been posted on articles appearing in the Derby
Evening Telegraph and other websites reflect the general mood and
sentiment of the non-Muslim host community who view the use of state
funds for religious schools with extreme hostility, indicating a
dangerous increment in public opinion:

“As a recently retired teacher, I am disappointed and depressed that
Muslims wish to open Islamic schools (funded by us, taxpayers).”

Dave Wilkinson, Derby branch secretary of the National Association of
Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers, said his organisation's
national policy was to dissuade parents from sending their children to
free schools. He said: "You could end up with children being taught in
what are very controversial schools by unsuitable people.”

by janine2011 “I agree it is a really bad idea all it will do is
segregate children, and given children are our future how can there
ever be harmony between cultures if they are educated in different
schools.”

by DeVlaeminck “Such a bad idea that we should allow a Muslim school
to be set up in Derby. We live in the same country and to an extent we
should share the same culture. Of course people have freedom to follow
their own religion but children should be schooled in a broadly
non-religious environment reflecting the broad culture of the UK.”

by Angela, Derby “…The difference with a Muslim school is that
non-Muslims, whilst they would be accepted, in reality would not
apply. The children would also only learn about Islam, it would not
teach about other faiths.”[54]



Recommendations

It appears that Al-Madinah “Islamic” school will be little different
to any other school in terms of content or pupil intake, and there is
little if any evidence, what this school will do to raise attainment
aside from superficial adjustments to the length of the day or the
school year. It lacks the cumulative experience and competencies
developed by other local schools over the last several decades,
something it will develop through social educational experiments on
the children who will attend. Worryingly, it appears to be little more
than a vehicle used to promote governmental political ideologies to
young children, undermining independent educational structures in the
Muslim communities and enticing children away from independent fee
charging Islamic schools, as well as fermenting anger and opposition
from the host community.

Any parent considering sending their child to this school, any
institution looking to provide an endorsement or support for this
project, or anyone looking to associate themselves with the project,
must consider the concerns and issues surrounding this project.

* Parents who believe their child will receive an Islamic
education at this school are most certainly going to be disappointed
as the Islamic content is marginal at best, and detrimental at worse
as they will no doubt cease any educational studies at local mosques
(who have improved their Islamic syllabi considerably in recent years)
* Those endorsing this project or associated with this project
face repercussions on their intentions, reputations, and credibility
should this project be exposed as un-Islamic, fraudulent, agenda based
or failures, which is the trajectory that currently appears based on
the information gleaned

It would no doubt be constructive to be proactive in relation to this
school, as the implications are significant. The current Islamic
school in Derby, al-Akram School, is currently fee paying, as is much
of the religious instruction and education delivered by local mosques,
and will no doubt struggle to compete against a heavily funded state
school claiming to provide a similar education, albeit it being in
name only. Furthermore, the educational classes at the local mosques,
all of which have reformed their education content in the last decade
and seen significant improvements over recent years in the delivery of
Islamic subjects and results, would no doubt lose many students where
parents would believe that al-Madinah school is providing the
necessary Islamic instruction.

In effect it is the colonisation of the educational institutions
across Muslims communities in the UK. Akin to educational projects
colonialists undertook across the Muslim world, resulting in secular
individuals emerging from such institutions, steeped in foreign
ideologies, with marginal knowledge of Islam.

Currently the school is in its token consultation period and parents
would be urged to clarify the aims, agendas, ethos designation,
culture, appointments and rules of the new school through considering
the issues raised in this document and requesting the following be
made public and transparent by the school:

* Clarification and copies of all documented promises/commitments
made to DfE,
* Confirmation and copies of all contact with any organisations in
relation to the application including the local council, community
groups, education authority, government departments and security
related personnel including the police,
* Provision of copies of:
o Original application forms,
o All project related correspondence, meeting minutes and notes,
o Applications received in relation to all roles at the school,
o Copies of all material held by the DfE in relation to the project

The school’s consultation booklet contains a form for feedback in
relation to the project, including comments and concerns, which the
school is required to summarise in a report to the DfE. The DfE claims
to consider the contents before coming to a final decision – a claim
contradicted by comments revealed by Amjad, whereby he has claimed the
DfE has confirmed to the founders that the school will come about
regardless of the feedback from the consultation process which is
little more than a token gesture in reality.

The consultation booklet can be found online at:

http://almadinahschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Al-Madinah-School-Consultation-Booklet.pdf

The web based consultation form can be found at:

http://www.smart-survey.co.uk/v.asp?i=48310illyj

Comments in relation to the consultation can be sent by email to:

consultation@almadinahschool.org.uk









[1] The Counter-terrorism strategy aims to reduce the risk to the UK
and its interests overseas from terrorism. The Prevent strategy seeks
to stop people becoming or supporting terrorists/extremists.

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/counter-terrorism/, retrieved 9th April 2012





[2] The Counter-terrorism strategy aims to reduce the risk to the UK
and its interests overseas from terrorism. The Prevent strategy seeks
to stop people becoming or supporting terrorists/extremists.

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/counter-terrorism/, retrieved 12th April 2012



[3] http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/pms-speech-at-munich-security-conference/

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100074992/it-is-state-multiculturalism-that-is-racist-and-david-cameron-who-is-a-liberal/,
retrieved 14th April 2012



[4] http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/feb/17/counterterrorism-strategy-muslims,
retrieved 15th April 2012



[5] Author and historian William Dalrymple attacked the book as a
"confused epic of simplistic incomprehension" with Gove never living
in any Islamic country, knowing little about Islam and no sign of
having met any Muslims.



[6] The New Statesman named it as David Cameron's "favourite think
tank", a view shared by the Evening Standard, who referred to it as
"the intellectual boot camp of the Tory modernisers’"



[7] BBC's Newsnight presented material showing receipts purporting to
prove the sale of extremist material had been forged, and some
literature had come from bookshops unconnected to the mosques named in
the report.



[8] http://www.brucebawer.com/gove.htm, retrieved 12th April 2012



[9] http://www.thejc.com/community/community-life/55213/gove-tells-ujia-i-am-a-proud-zionist,
retrieved 9th April 2012



[10] http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/feb/15/gove-mosque-camberley-islam,
retrieved 9th April 2012



[11] http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/58968/livingstone-attacks-islamophobe-gove,
retrieved 14th April 2012



[12] The Telegraph



[13] http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/32222/muslim-group-objects-zionism-schools,
retrieved 12th April 2012



[14] DfE Application Form Guidance Notes,
http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/how%20to%20apply%20guidance%20-%20special.pdf,
pg 7, retrieved 16th April 2012



[15] http://www.britainfirst.org/campaigns/mcdonalds-opens-branch-on-christmas-day-with-muslim-manager/,
retrieved 15th April 2012



[16] http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Shazia-inspiration-Muslim-women/story-11649885-detail/story.html,
retrieved 14th April 2012



[17] http://www.radioikhlas.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=102:shazia-parveen&catid=40:presenter-profiles&Itemid=158,
retrieved 7th April 2012



[18] http://almadinahschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Al-Madinah-School-Consultation-Booklet.pdf,
retrieved 12th April 2012



[19] http://almadinahschool.org.uk/, retrieved 9th April 2012



[20] http://almadinahschool.org.uk/faq/, retrieved 15th April 2012



[21] J Rivers, The Law of Organized Religions: Between Establishment
and Secularism, Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 251-266

http://www.humanism.org.uk/_uploads/documents/schools-with-a-religious-character.pdf,
retrieved 12th April 2012



[22] Through tabling an amendment to the Children, Schools and
Families Bill in 2010



[23] The characteristic spirit as seen in its beliefs and aspirations.



[24] http://almadinahschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Al-Madinah-School-Consultation-Booklet.pdf,
retrieved 14th April 2012



[25] http://almadinahschool.org.uk/faq/, retrieved 9th April 2012



[26] http://www.atl.org.uk/policy-and-campaigns/policies/Faith-schools.asp,
retrieved 16th April 2012



[27] Schools such as the government funded Tauheedul School in Blackburn



[28] Members from and connected to the Derby Ikhlas Foundantion have
links to the group Minhaj al-Quran whose values resemble those of the
government’s. The group held a London Peace Conference on September
2011 (9/11), which a number of individuals from the Ikhlas Foundation
and Radio Ikhlas attended. The founder, Tahir al-Qadri, pronounced a
rehashed version of government ideology, in a derisory attempt at
reconciling Islamic values with Liberal values stating, “We the
signatories to this declaration send a message of peace… with a call
for respect, dignity, compassion, equality, solidarity and justice...
We address our call for peace, tolerance and respect to all people
everywhere… We call on the Muslims, the governments and the elites of
the West to promote integration and citizenship…”
http://www.peaceforhumanity.co.uk/london-declaration, retrieved 14th
April 2012



[29] The school’s website claims, “Extremism is a complex phenomenon
with numerous interrelated causes. One of the reasons people become
extremists is the lack of understanding about the Islamic faith. At
Al-Madinah School we will teach Islam in its true form which is
interconnected with peace and love.”



[30] All of the founders believe in the Sharia, the Caliphate, the
sinfulness of homosexuality and the right of Palestinians to
resistance. It is unclear how they have been approved by a
governmental department as by its own definition they would fall into
the category “extremists”



[31] http://almadinahschool.org.uk/faq/, retrieved 15th April 2012



[32] http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/New-Muslim-school-fight-extremism/story-11584060-detail/story.html,
retrieved 9th April 2012



[33] http://almadinahschool.org.uk/faq/, retrieved 12th April 2012



[34] http://almadinahschool.org.uk/faq/, retrieved 12th April 2012



[35] DfE Application Form Guidance Notes,
http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/how%20to%20apply%20guidance%20-%20special.pdf,
pg 7, retrieved 7th April 2012



[36] http://almadinahschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Al-Madinah-School-Consultation-Booklet.pdf
pg 18, retrieved 14th April 2012



[37] Ibid.



[38] http://almadinahschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Al-Madinah-VP-Applicant-Pack.pdf
pg 3, retrieved 12th April 2012



[39] http://almadinahschool.org.uk/

http://almadinahschool.org.uk/faq/, retrieved 16th April 2012



[40] http://almadinahschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Al-Madinah-School-Consultation-Booklet.pdf
pg 11, retrieved 14th April 2012



[41]http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/schoolethos/b0014144/schooluniform,
retrieved 7th April 2012



[42] “We will operate using 3 terms, with 2 weeks holiday to mark the
end of term at Christmas and Easter. We will have 4 weeks holiday in
the summer.” http://almadinahschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Al-Madinah-School-Consultation-Booklet.pdf
pg 8, retrieved 15th April 2012



[43] Ibid



[44] Ibid



[45] http://almadinahschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Al-Madinah-School-Consultation-Booklet.pdf
pg 9, retrieved 12th April 2012



[46] http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/index.php, retrieved 14th April 2012



[47] “Will you only employ Muslim teachers? No. We are going to
employ people who are good at what they do. We will not discriminate
on the basis of anyone’s faith, unless it is essential for the role.
We will employ the most appropriately qualified staff and ensure we
have a diverse workforce.” http://almadinahschool.org.uk/faq/,
retrieved 9th April 2012



[48] Ibid



[49] S Gibbons and O Silva, Centre for the Economics of Education
(CEE) at CEP, ‘Faith Primary Schools: Better Schools or Better
Pupils’, Discussion, Paper No. 72



[50]http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/how%20to%20apply%20guidance%20-%20mainstream.pdf
pg 21, retrieved 15th April 2012



[51] http://almadinahschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Al-Madinah-VP-Applicant-Pack.pdf
pg 2, retrieved 12th April 2012



[52] http://www.dcie.org/muslimschools.htm#dofe, retrieved 12th April 2012



[53] http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Muslim-schools-say-start-signing-pupils-January/story-14154879-detail/story.html,
retrieved 14th April 2012



[54] http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Muslim-schools-say-start-signing-pupils-January/story-14154879-detail/story.html,
retrieved 7th April 2012

http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Free-schools-admit-Islamic-Studies-teachers/story-14019020-detail/story.html,
retrieved 12th April 2012

Hadith

The Prophet (SAW) continued to say : 'By Allah you have to enjoin good (Maroof) and forbid evil (Munkar), and hold against the hand of the unjust ruler (Zalim), and force him on the truth strongly, or you have to limit him to the truth'. By this evidence, which is the hadith commenting on the verse, Allah (SWT) has prohibited us from remaining silent against the evil (Munkar), and He commanded us to remove it. Allah (SWT) commanded the Muslims to enjoin Maroof and deny Munkar, and made it a duty upon them to do so. Allah (SWT) said; 'Let it be from among you a group who call to the good, enjoin Maroof and deny Munkar'. Allah (SWT) also said: 'You have been the best nation (Ummah) brought to the people, because you enjoin Maroof and deny Munkar'.  [Musnad of Ahmad]

We are Trying our best to bring you up to date News in Our community Please forgive us for any mistakes , we are not here to attack anyone but just trying to seek the truth , Inshshallah ALLAH forgive us for our mistakes and except our good intentions.