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Anti-Semitic material being taught in UK Islamic schools


Islamic schools in Britain are teaching anti-Semitic material to high school children, with some exposed to extremist preachers and extremist Islamist groups, a BBC documentary was set to reveal on Monday evening.

According to its flagship documentary program "Panorama," around 5,000 Muslim children are being taught from a Saudi Arabian textbook which teaches that Jews are transformed from pigs and apes and asks them to list the “reprehensible” qualities of Jews.

The documentary, titled "British Schools Muslim Rules," will expose the part-time schools where hate is on the curriculum.

“The program asks why school inspectors have missed the warning signs and examines the impact this could have on young Muslims' ability to integrate into mainstream British life,” the program makers said.

It will show a textbook that uses a diagram to show how the hands and feet of thieves are chopped off according to Sharia law. Another asks what happens to someone who dies who is not a believer in Islam – the answer given in the book is “hellfire.”

One textbook says that Zionists want to establish world domination for Jews, a charge leveled in the anti-Semitic pamphlet, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The main goal of the “Zionist movement,” according to the textbook, is “for the Jews to have control over the world and its resources,” which will be achieved by “inciting rancor and rivalry among the great powers so that they fight one another.”

The textbooks are being used to teach the Saudi national curriculum at more than 40 weekend schools and clubs, to Muslim children aged six to 18 from across the country. They are run under the umbrella of “Saudi Students Clubs and Schools in the UK and Ireland.”

The Saudi government said it had no official ties to the schools and clubs and did not endorse them.

“Any tutoring activities that may have taken place among any other group of Muslims in the UK are absolutely individual to that group and not affiliated to or endorsed by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia,” the embassy said in a statement on Monday.

However, the program will show that a building in Ealing, west London, where "Panorama" obtained one of the text books, is owned by the Saudi government.

British Education Minister Michael Gove said that the government would not tolerate any anti-Semitic ideas being taught to Muslim children in the UK.

“Saudi Arabia is a sovereign country, I have no desire or wish to intervene in the decisions that the Saudi government makes in its own education system. But I'm clear that we cannot have anti-Semitic material of any kind being used in English schools,” Gove said.

He suggested that it was time for the independent school regulators Ofsted to regulate and inspect weekend schools and clubs.

“Ofsted are doing some work in this area, they'll be reporting to me shortly about how we can ensure that part-time provision is better registered and better inspected in the future," he said.

Responding to the BBC investigation, the London counter-extremism think tank Quilliam said that while most Muslim schools in Britain do good work to prepare children to play a full and positive role in British society, the BBC program raises a number of difficult questions both for British Muslims and for society in general.

“While most Muslim schools are doing good work and are entirely unproblematic, there is clearly room for improvement in a minority of cases,” said Talal Rajab, a spokesman for Quilliam. “Schools should be places where young people learn to play a full part in the society around them. They should not be venues for indoctrination where young minds are taught hatred and intolerance.”

Rajab called on the Saudi authorities to tackle hate preaching and for the British government to review their procedures to protect school children.

“The Saudi government has recently taken much-needed steps to modernize religious education in its own country. It is unfortunate that these so-called Saudi schools in Britain do not seem to have similarly moved with the times. The Saudi authorities need to use their influence to ensure that hate-preaching is fully tackled both at home and abroad,” Rajab said.

“The government must also urgently review and strengthen its procedures to protect school children from being groomed by extremists, whether extreme Islamists or British National Party members.

“The government needs to balance the right of schools to set their own curriculum against the right of children to enjoy a rounded and balanced education that adequately prepares them for life in a diverse and complex society,” Rajab added.

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