I fear few children other than those educated at Harrow or Eton will understand the legend of the Trojan Horse today so may be puzzled about the equine link with Islamic fundamentalists in Birmingham schools.
We should be very, very grateful to two people for exposing this Trojan Horse operation which shows the lengths to which Islamic fundamentalists will go to promote their dream of a world-wide caliphate.
First thanks are due to Michael Gove for having the courage to expose this conspiracy and to set up a formal inquiry into Islamic infiltration of Birmingham Schools. What a shame to see this brave and forthright politician sidelined to the role of Chief Whip while the school unions that have comprehensively wrecked state education in this country are whooping with joy at Cameron’s demotion of Michael Gove, the best schools’ Secretary of State we have had for years.
Second thanks are due to Peter Clarke (certainly not to Europhile Ken Clark!) for his forensic examination of and report on the Birmingham schools, that plotted to promote unacceptable Islamic fundamentalism.
What saddens me is the failure of Birmingham City Council to deal with this Islamic menace when they were first made aware of it. I am very proud of my quarter century in local government with eleven years as council leader but it means I understand local government’s weaknesses. If this had been C of E or Roman Catholic schools caught promoting unacceptable doctrines, I have no doubt the whole education establishment would have descended on them like a ton of bricks without hesitation. Given this was Islamic fundamentalism and the ethnic make-up of the Birmingham population, I am afraid Birmingham Council seems to have behaved in a craven manner, driven by political correctness rather than political integrity.
Michael Gove and Peter Clarke have taught us a valuable lesson. Islamists, promoting their caliphate, will seek to subvert our democratic processes to achieve their undemocratic ends – an undemocratic caliphate that promotes a mediaeval concept of religion that this country rejected five centuries ago and that denigrates women in general and punishes young women in particular for demanding an education.
A number of councils have found themselves embroiled with Asian men who have ensnared young white women in abusive practices, drugs and prostitution. Oxfordshire was one of them. If this had been white men menacing Asian women, I have little doubt the issue would have surfaced sooner and been dealt with much more speedily. I suspect the fear of being branded “racist” may have intimidated council, health and police managers to hold back until they were 250% sure of everything. There is a lesson here. We must not be intimidated by Islamist fundamentalists who will use the race card against our gentler and kinder natures to enable them to promote their out-of-date and unacceptable views about women and sexual mores.
There is an important role here for the vast majority of moderate Muslims in this country. I have listened to their concern with what they see as western decadence and falling moral values and I think they are right. When I plough through TV channels and see the top shelves of newsagents, not to mention the appalling language and violence that is endemic on radio and TV, I think they have some very valid points. However, they need to be brave enough to distance themselves from many of their leaders and fundamentalists to speak out against unacceptable and mediaeval Islamist views.
I also remember attending an Asian event in East Oxford some years ago in a Moslem community centre when I was Leader of the Council. We were all invited to stand for “the national anthem” which I willingly did but was surprised to find that those present were not singing “God Save our Gracious Queen” but something entirely foreign and in a foreign tongue. Either this is their country and their Queen or they should be thinking of moving back to a country that better reflects their instincts and patriotism even if at the price of a lower standard of living.
When I walk to Banbury station and pass the taxi rank, I can’t help noticing that all of the drivers are Asian and, while this is not a problem in itself, I am puzzled that there are not other nationalities who would aspire to this form of self-employment and wonder what barriers prevent us from having a more racially mixed collection of taxi drivers? More fundamental is the fact that they never appear to speak English except when driving a passenger. Many of them must have been in this country for quite some time now; am I alone in feeling their use of a foreign language at least unfriendly and unhelpful and bordering on the offensive if they have made England their home?
If the aim of Islamic fundamentalists is to inculcate a hatred of western values in the minds of the young and if their parents would like to prevent this radicalisation, I believe the best approach they can take is to demonstrate a harmonisation with our English lifestyles to the point where English is the spoken language in the home. At the same time, they could become much more vociferous in supporting a raising of moral standards and the eschewing of the worst aspects of our TV and other media. We could all have something to gain from this.
I conclude as I started. Thank God for Michael Gove’s integrity and Peter Clarke’s forensic analysis. The sooner MG is back in a cabinet post that matches his skills and reminds us that he has the courage of his convictions and the means to express them, the better for the country. While some suspect his public arguments with Theresa May might have been his downfall, I have a suspicion that increasing numbers could see Michael Gove as just what this country needs – a politician who speaks the truth, takes on vested interests and would make a fine Prime Minister in the Thatcherite mould when the time comes for a change. I suspect that may have been his downfall and I hope it is temporary.