As the BBC reported at the time, “The letter … was apparently written by someone in Birmingham to a contact in Bradford, and goes on to outline ways and means by which schools can be taken over … It says: ‘We have an obligation to our children to fulfil our roles and ensure these schools are run on Islamic principles’”. There was more.
“It adds: ‘Operation “Trojan Horse” has been very carefully thought through and is tried and tested within Birmingham, implementing it in Bradford will not be difficult for you’. It says that Salafi parents should be enlisted to help, because they are regarded as a more orthodox branch of Islam and would be more likely to be willing to help”.
He doesn't seem fussed that it was a con ...
And that was where Zelo Street began to smell a rat. The vast majority of Muslims in Birmingham can trace their lineage to the Indian sub-continent, countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh. Although there has been a Salafist movement there since the 18th Century, most Muslims in Birmingham are not Salafi. Many won’t even know any Salafi.
Moreover, why does the supposed author of the hoax letter write to someone in Bradford? It’s almost as if the real author is just picking from a menu of items to frighten the press and politicians, and chucking in Bradford because, well, there are lots of Muslims there, aren’t there? Why not the North West? Why not London? Was the author even a Muslim?
... nor does he ...
It is as if the real author knew their audience would bite: then Education Secretary Michael “Oiky” Gove, who had previously written an inflammatory and anti-Islam book Celsius 7/7 (which included a chapter titled “Trojan Horse”), papers like not only the reliably Islamophobic Mail, and the Murdoch Sun, but also the Sunday Times of “Muslim Fostering” infamy, and the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph.
Chief among the hacks writing increasingly creative copy on the subject was Andrew “Transcription Error” Gilligan, whose attacks on Muslim targets have resulted in at least two defamation settlements having to be reached by the Tel. Meanwhile, Gove used the hoax as a means to suggest that then Home Secretary Theresa May was insufficiently robust on the threat of domestic terrorism. But there was no proof of this.
... and the Speccy probably doesn't care
The effects on thousands of students, and yet more thousands of their families, the teachers concerned and their families in turn, were shattering. Hundreds of thousands of pounds were expended in Ofsted actions, disciplinary actions against teachers and school governors, and investigations by local and national Government.
And yet none of those involved seem inclined to track down the author of the hoax. It is as if the false demonisation of an entire community was, and remains, acceptable. That they were really at it doing Scary Muslim™ things including maybe terrorism. Perhaps.
That’s not good enough. At the very least, the cops should be on the case. Like, now.
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