Trojan Horse scandal: Teacher appeals indefinite ban claiming ‘Islamophobia’

Trojan Horse scandal: Teacher appeals indefinite ban claiming 'Islamophobia'

A teacher banned from the classroom in relation to the alleged Trojan Horse plot will appeal the decision, with his union claiming the prohibition order is an example of “Islamophobia”.

On Friday, the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) gave prohibition orders to teachers Akeel Ahmed and Inamulhaq Anwar. They both taught at Park View School in Birmingham.

Several teachers from schools implicated in the alleged Trojan Horse plot have attended disciplinary hearings with the NCTL. The cases concern allegations that hardline Muslims were attempting to “take over” Birmingham schools.

So far, three teachers, including Mr Ahmed and Mr Anwar, have been banned from the classroom.

Mr Anwar said: “I am extremely disappointed and upset with the ban and the level of injustice that has taken place. I feel the whole Trojan Horse scandal was politically motivated and this led the panel to be influenced by media hype and hysteria.

“I did my best as a teacher and served the pupils I taught at Park View School with commitment, passion and wanted them to achieve their best in life. I am proud of my achievements as a teacher and contribution I have made to the lives of young people. I would like to thank my union and legal team for their support and I look forward to clearing my name at an appeal in the High Court.”

The NCTL panel heard Mr Anwar contributed to a group, called the Park View Brotherhood, on the phone messaging service WhatsApp.

Among a range of alleged misconducts, which the NCTL said were “seriously affecting” the education and wellbeing of pupils, he reportedly sent messages describing homosexuality as a “filthy crime” and reformed the curriculum to exclude the “proper teaching” of sex and relationship education.

Mr Anwar denied all of the allegations.

In response to the prohibition order, for which Mr Anwar can apply to have set aside after six years,  his union representative Tony Pearce said it was a “total miscarriage of justice”.

He said the National Union of Teachers, which represented Mr Anwar in the case, was concerned about the use of the word “violent” in reference to extremism within the hearing documents and the “attitudes shown in the judgment towards Muslims and Islam”.

Mr Pearce said: “It is utterly inappropriate of a lay panel to make such a statement about Muslim children and their preparedness for life in modern Britain, and goes way beyond their remit.

“We feel that it is this inherently negative view of Muslims and Islam, promoted by the Department of Education (DfE) and the press in general throughout the Trojan Horse affair, that has influenced the panel to make inaccurate findings against Mr Anwar.

“The statement [about violent extremism] suggests that Muslim children who have a mainstream Muslim upbringing in a Muslim community and who attend a majority Muslim school in that community, which informs those pupils about the orthodox beliefs of their faith, are inherently at risk of falling into extremism.

“It suggests that Muslims are unable to practice their faith whilst also becoming well-prepared for life in modern Britain. This appears to be Islamophobic.”

The department said it takes accusations against professional intergrity very seriously and the independent panel members receive independent legal advice.

A DfE spokesperson said: “It would be inappropriate to comment on this case ahead of an appeal.”