TAHIR ALAM, who chairs the governors of Park View Academy,
Birmingham, at the centre of the so-called Trojan Horse plot to
Islamicise schools with large majorities of Muslim pupils, this
week strongly denied the allegations.
He told the Church Times on Wednesday that it was
barely credible that an anonymous document could have sparked three
official investigations covering 21 schools.
He described as "outlandish" accusations that Christians had
been described as "kaffirs" at school assemblies, or that there had
been expressions of support for terrorists.
None of the religious practices at Park View, where 99 per cent
of pupils are Muslim, were compulsory, and all were within legal
parameters, he said. Girls were not required to wear headscarves or
to sit at the back of the class.
"At Park View we are absolutely open and transparent. Most of
our pupils are from poor backgrounds. All we want to do is to give
them hope," he said.
During his 17-year tenure of the chair of governors, GCSE
results had risen from four per cent to 75 per cent of pupils
gaining five or more good passes.
Mr Alam also robustly denied allegations of extremism in an
earlier interview with the BBC Today programme. Asked in
the interview about extracts from his 2007 paper Meeting the
Needs of Muslim Children in State Schools, Mr Alam said that
they had been taken out of context. He agreed, however, that it had
raised concerns about pupils' swimming during Ramadan, as
swallowing water might involve breaking the fast.The paper was not
prescriptive, he said.
Many of the 21 schools investigated by OFSTED in connection with
the allegations received drafts of the inspectors' reports this
week, it is understood.
Asked by whether Park View's governors might be removed as a
result of the recent inspection, Mr Alam said that the report was
confidential and he was unable to comment.
Supporters of Park View this week raised doubts about the
fairness of official investigations that had, they said, been
compromised by the high media profile and the reporting of constant
leaks and accusations.
Birmingham City Council's own investigation into the allegations
found no evidence of extremism, but had uncovered several matters
of concern over school governance, according to leaked reports.
Question of the week: Is there a genuine Islamist threat in