Following the Trojan Horse Affair

With recent reports of the Trojan Horse affair in Birmingham quickly spreading it is strange to think that – as is so often the case following a drastic or unfortunate event – at least a few good things will come out of such an intense security breach. It can be easy to forget that the education and security of our children is just as important, if not more so, than digital data such as bank details and personal information.

What is the Trojan Horse?

Much like the well known Greek tale and the similarly named computer virus, Operation Trojan Horse is in reference to a number of associated individuals attempting to infiltrate a number of Birmingham primary schools in order to introduce an ‘extremist Islamist or Salafist’ ethos into their curriculum. While this in itself sounds very damaging, it brings to mind the question of the ‘Operation’s necessity.

catholic rbThe population of Birmingham is predominantly Muslim, so why should these ‘extremists’ feel the need to introduce Islam into the minds of schoolchildren who are already predominantly Muslim?

The answer is this; there are currently 51 Catholic aided primary schools in Birmingham and only two Muslim aided schools. There is a distinctly overwhelming lack of religious support in primary schools for Muslim children.

Perhaps Operation Trojan Horse was seen as an act staged by extremists, but it has opened up the eyes of many to a larger issue. In developing multi-cultural Britain, perhaps it is time that we started providing support for the religious majorities in our cities instead of simply glossing over the issue as an ‘extremist threat’.

However it is also important not to jump to conclusions. As a result of Operation Trojan Horse, security in protecting children from extremism has been vastly improved in Birmingham schools, and that it is important to remember that protecting our children and pupils from security threats, no matter how benign, should be first and foremost on the minds of our School Governing body.

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