Peter Clarke, a former counter-terror chief, has published a report today which reveals that an ‘aggressive Islamist agenda’ was pursued in ‘Trojan horse’ schools in Birmingham. He has found evidence of a coordinated plan to impose strict Islamic teaching on pupils. This piece by Douglas Murray was originally published in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated :

Who’s up, who’s down? Who’s in, who’s out? While Westminster spent last week gossiping about which minister’s special adviser said what, in another city, not far away, a very different Britain was unveiled.

On Monday, the Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, published his damning investigation into the ‘Trojan Horse’ affair. Ever since allegations about an organised Islamist plot to take over Birmingham state schools emerged this year, they have been the subject of furious claims and counter-claims. The original document (a ‘widely accepted forgery’ as the BBC keeps calling it) seems most likely to have been written by a disgruntled Muslim teacher. Nearly every Muslim group and ‘spokes-person’ in the UK has spent recent months crying ‘witch-hunt’ and ‘Islamophobia’. Yet, whatever their origins, the claims now turn out to be mirrored by the facts.

The report found that Islamists had used ‘fear and intimidation’ to infiltrate school governing bodies in order to impose a ‘narrow faith-based ideology’. Children as young as six had been taught that western women are ‘white prostitutes’. Non-Muslim pupils were excluded from certain activities, including a trip to Saudi Arabia. There are accounts of anti-Christian chants being encouraged in morning assemblies. In one primary school, music was banned, along with raffles, tombolas and other ‘un-Islamic’ activities.

Further reports will be published, including one from former Met counter-terrorism chief Peter Clarke, which is expected to be even more damning. For his part, Sir Michael’s report concluded that ‘the active promotion of a narrow set of values and beliefs in some of the schools is making children vulnerable to segregation and emotional dislocation from wider society’. Indeed. A generation is at risk. But it is not just the Islamists, but this country, which is letting it happen.

Since the moment protests erupted over Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, Britain’s authorities have been caught off guard. It was a Conservative home secretary (Michael Howard) who disastrously encouraged British Muslims to organise as a community rather than as citizens, believing it best if government had a ‘go-to’ group for the Muslims in Britain. The result was to embed community differences and encourage radicals to believe their horizon was closer than it ever should have seemed.