“The Truth always comes out. On the side of Truth is Time”. These simple yet powerful words will forever remain the bane of every act of injustice and oppression.
A recent New York Times’ (NYT) Podcast discussed the fateful ‘Trojan Horse Letter’ at great length. Astonishingly this letter, which panicked the operational apparatus of The United Kingdom, turned out to be a bogus document. Perhaps even more astonishingly, the fabricated nature of the letter was well known to the media, the police, local and government officials – including Cabinet Ministers. Yet was afforded the credibility of an existential threat that was poised to shake the very social fabric of the UK.
The glaring question is: why did such an apocryphal and destructive letter, falsely attributed to members of the Muslim community, come to be deliberately overlooked? Why is it that unearthing the perpetrator of a most outrageous lie no longer matters? We can only assume that this is the case because the victims are Muslims fighting for equitable treatment in a climate of virulent Islamophobia.
Senior politicians, journalists and investigators despicably served Islamophobic and political interests by peddling, unchecked, a lie that Muslim ‘extremists’ had infiltrated schools in Birmingham to further an extremist Islamic agenda. The British public was duped into believing that ‘a plot’ so real and heinous had been uncovered that countermeasures that were equally draconian, drastic and far-reaching were required.
Muslim Headteachers, Governors, Teachers in Birmingham and those on the front line have always maintained the lie of the accusation, yet and in spite of the lie, many were banned for life as educators and governors, their lives and careers utterly ruined, and Muslim families and children became subjected to the most invasive surveillance of thought and action.
The Deputy Prime minister’s recent assertion that “We have absolutely zero tolerance for any discrimination of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party” seems to be empty rhetoric when considered in light of the Trojan Horse Scandal. If this is truly the case who from government is going to be held accountable to this standard of ‘zero tolerance’ when it comes to the Trojan Horse Scandal?
Mountains were moved, and quite rightly so, when antisemitism raised its ugly head in the Labour party but, it seems that casual and systematic Islamophobia is the order of the day for the Muslim community. We can never consider ourselves equal until Islamophobia is treated just as seriously as any other form of discriminatory behaviour. And Muslims will always struggle to feel part of a society in which we are marginalised and maligned for our faith.
The podcast further lays bare the cavalier attitudes of notable figures who knowingly or unknowingly encouraged the Islamophobic conspiracy with hardly any remorse from them for the lives and careers devastated by it.
At the very least, the Muslim community in Birmingham are long-overdue an apology, with restitution offered for the lives and livelihoods destroyed. We urge the Muslims in Birmingham, in the UK and beyond, to continue as diligent and passionate educators to turn the lives of marginalised children around and give them a fighting chance at life success. We only need do our best. Allah does the rest.
As the Prophet Jacob reminds us (upon him be peace):
No, your minds have made up a tale. Patience is best. It is Allah whose help should beQuran Ch12, V18
sought against what you assert.