School breaks ties with group that hosted Islamic extremists

Posted: Thu, 14 Feb 2019


A school has ended a letting arrangement with an Islamic 'weekend school' after the National Secular Society raised concerns over its promotion of homophobic, anti-semitic and sexist messages.

Langley Academy in Slough said it would end its relationship with IslamHood, a group running the 'Youth Tarbiya Weekend School' on its premises, on Wednesday.

The weekend school delivers an "Islamic curriculum for 7-18 year olds", which includes "Islamic Sciences" and Qur'an recitation. It was running classes every Sunday at Langley Academy when a local resident contacted the NSS in December to raise concerns over speakers hosted by IslamHood.

In response the NSS contacted Langley Academy. In an email to Rhodri Bryant, the school's executive principal, the society said IslamHood has hosted "extremist speakers" whose messages contradict "fundamental British values" as well as Langley Academy's own equality policy.

Videos of the lecturers were posted on IslamHood's YouTube channel but were removed after the NSS contacted the academy. Some had been on the YouTube channel for over four years. Some of the lectures featured online had taken place at a local Church of England school, Slough and Eton Church of England Business and Enterprise College.

Imran Ibn Mansur, also known as 'Dawah Man', was filmed at a 2015 IslamHood conference addressing many young attendees and implying that Muslims with friends who are not observant Muslims will burn in Hell. Mansur was banned from the University of East London in 2014 after referring to homosexuality as a "filthy disease". He was also filmed making anti-semitic comments at a charity event in 2015.

David Cameron included him in a list of preachers who express views "contrary to British values" in 2015. Mansur continues to preach Islamic fundamentalist messages on his YouTube channel.

Shaykh Shams Ad Duha was filmed at the same 2015 IslamHood conference criticising Muslims who let their children delay marriage in order to go to university. A video from 2012 shows him stating "the most logical thing for anyone to want to protest against and to want to be critical about is homosexuality".

According to The Telegraph, he also delivered a lesson for IslamHood in which he said Muslim girls should have children rather than careers.

Videos also show Uthman Lateef giving a lecture at an IslamHood event. In 2007, he said: "We don't accept homosexuality… we hate it because Allah hates it". He also repeatedly referred to non-Muslims by the derogatory term "kuffar". Lateef held a course at Langley Academy in April 2018.

Haitham al-Haddad was also filmed at an IslamHood lecture in 2014, where he spoke about disbelievers being thrown in the fire of hell. He has also expressed approval of female genital mutilation, child marriage and stoning to death for adultery.

On Tuesday Bryant said Langley Academy's trustees had decided "to end our relationship with Islamhood immediately", adding: "This decision has not been taken lightly."

He said the academy would review its lettings policy "to ensure it is as robust as possible when it comes to ensuring our values are reflected in our community links".

He previously said he had been told by representatives of the IslamHood weekend school that the videos were "a mistake".

Stephen Evans, chief executive of the NSS, said: "We very much welcome Langley Academy's decision to terminate this relationship. Schools shouldn't be providing a platform for groups seeking to indoctrinate impressionable young minds with extremist ideology.

"IslamHood has a history of hosting lectures featuring well-known extremist speakers. In some of these lectures, speakers have said disbelievers and Muslims who have non-Muslim friends will burn in Hell, criticised Muslims who let their children go to university, and condemned the fundamental values of liberty and equality. It is inappropriate and potentially harmful to allow a group that endorses these messages to use an academy for hosting weekend classes for children.

"When working with third parties, schools must be aware that some groups may have an agenda that contradicts the school's ethos, and develop a strategy to prevent themselves from being exploited. Schools under pressure from religious groups to endorse their messages need to be supported in resisting this pressure, and in upholding their own values and ethos."

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Tags: Education, Islam