THE BLOG

Trojan Horse

12/06/2014 16:06 BST | Updated 12/08/2014 10:59 BST

The recent high profile media coverage of so called Islamist takeover of Birmingham schools has been really interesting to follow, yet equally depressing .There is a real Islamophobic drive within this some of the background and context of this. Notwithstanding the spat between two government departments and personalities? The Governance at the Schools? To add more to the debate, the potential conflict of interest and agenda of Mr Gove judging by his past stance on Islam. He has been linked to several think tanks that are very Islamophobic in nature and also has openly been a proactive advocate of so called Zionism.

He like all of us is allowed to have an opinion but as a government minister his duty is to be impartial to the latter of the law. The key questions above have been ignored by a largely Islamophobic media bar a few.

Let's start with some background on Mr Gove, he in 2011 at a UJIA dinner declared his undying support for Israel and Zionism, he was described as ""true and enduring friend of Israel and a poster-boy for the Jewish community when he wrote for The Times" and went on tyro add "In my 20s, I was a journalist. But I was born and I live, and will die, proudly a Zionist." See full article on below link:

http://archive.totallyjewish.com/news/gove-pledges-to-ujia-i-ll-always-be-a-zionist/

In 2012 in an article in the guardian by Rob Evans , Mr Goves department awarded some 2 million to the CST, an organisation that is dedicated to dealing with Anti Semitism and they are to be applauded for that , we all need to stand up for bigotry but I add ALL form of bigotry not just anti Semitism, racism. His department apparently declined a freedom of request to look at information regarding this use of public money. Within the article, David Miller, of the Spinwatch pressure group, which campaigns for greater transparency in politics, said: "It is blindingly obvious that he should have stood aside, as this is a potential conflict of interest. This is another example of transparency rules in the UK being ineffectual and in serious need of overhaul." Miller first drew attention to Gove's advisory work for the trust.

What's more damming is his link to the CST, in that there was an obvious conflict of interest. Within the article, an education department spokesman said: "Officials were aware that the secretary of state was listed as a member of the Community Security Trust's advisory board. The then permanent secretary was fully content that there was no conflict of interest in the secretary of state making the decision to award the grant."

Now I'm a big fan of the CST , because of what they are and what they do, but we need to be transparent in all government business, a point that Mr Cameron's continually used during his pre election campaigns.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/jan/27/michael-gove-funds-organisation-advised

Moving on to now, an article in June 2014 in the Independent by Richard Gardner and Oliver Wright, the article focuses on accusation of Mr Gove trying to use the Trojan Horse incident to further his own agenda of Anti Islam, Extract from article, One Whitehall source said: "Michael Gove's views are so incredibly black and white. It's either his way or no way. He seems to think that anybody who strictly follows Islam is not really integrated. "And he thinks anybody who holds conservative Muslim views is a bit of an extremist. He has been using Birmingham to pursue an ideological agenda that he's had for many years."

What was more interesting was the following quote Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers - who is representing several Birmingham head teachers - said he did not believe the allegations had the "widespread impact that some of the stories have suggested".

It is this that is more telling about Mr Goves real lack of impartiality, a common theme at times with some individuals who are in positions of power.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/michael-gove-accused-of-using-trojan-horse-row-to-push-antiislam-agenda-9488549.html

Add to this the vote of no confidence in Mr Gove by the Teachers union in an article in the Guardian by Jessica Shepherd, the following tells a tale of note. Teachers at union conference call for education secretary to resign, saying policy is based on 'dogma and political rhetoric'.A 1,000-strong audience at the National Union of Teachers annual conference in Liverpool heard that Gove had "lost the confidence of the teaching profession ... [and] failed to conduct his duties in a manner befitting the head of a national education system".

Teachers cheered "Gove must go" after the no-confidence motion was carried.

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/apr/02/nut-no-confidence-michael-gove

Shabana Mahmood the local Birmingham MP released a statement re Trojan Horse, within that is the following "But problems with governance are not the same as evidence of radicalisation and I am deeply concerned that the focus of the debate over the last few weeks has conflated these two things. As a result of this, the Muslim community in Birmingham and beyond has come under intense scrutiny, which has left people justifiably feeling under siege, demonized and isolated. Muslim parents are in despair that the education of their children is being viewed through the prism of national security.

The debate on extremism needs to be had, I wrote an article, re the growth of a real threat based on research about Racism and Islamophobia, not my personal views, you can read this below,

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/yousef-dar/islamophobia-hate-extremism_b_4679023.html

Maybe Mr Gove needs to look at the threats based on proper research rather than follow his own agendas or be guided by conjecture. I suggest he look at hate, Racism and Islamophobia within the schools and how he can ensure schools are no breeding ground for extremism and radicalisation of these racist and Islamophobic bigots.