Holding the children’s attention is a man in Islamic dress wearing a skullcap and stroking his long dark beard as he talks.’You’re not like the non-Muslims out there,’ the teacher says, gesturing towards the window. ‘All that evil you see in the streets, people not wearing the hijab properly, people smoking… you should hate it, you should hate walking down that street.’
He refers to the ‘non-Muslims’ as the ‘Kafir’, an often derogatory term that means disbeliever or infidel.
A snapshot of the worst kind of schooling imaginable – training in hatred of all people who are outside the favored group.
This school is required by its inspectors to teach tolerance and respect for other faiths. But Dispatches’ Lessons in Hate and Violence filmed secretly inside it – and instead discovered that Muslim children are being taught religious apartheid and social segregation.
We recorded a number of speakers giving deeply disturbing talks about Jews, Christians and atheists. We found children as young as 11 learning that Hindus have ‘no intellect’. We came across pupils being told that the ‘disbelievers’ are ‘the worst creatures’ and that Muslims who adopt supposedly non-Muslim ways, such as shaving, dancing, listening to music, and – in the case of women – removing their headscarves, would be tortured with a forked iron rod in the after-life.
It sounds like an imaginary school dated c. 1950 if the Nazis had won the war. It’s hard to come up with anything more poisonous. Given recent history in the UK, it’s terrifying.
‘Salma’ and ‘Ayesha’ are a mother and daughter whose identities we are protecting. Ayesha is now sitting her A-levels but when she was seven she was beaten at her Koran classes. She says: ‘The teacher would sit there, tell me what to read, pronounce it to me – then if I said it wrong he would hit me on the hands with a ruler.’ Her younger brother, only five at the time, would be hit on his feet with a stick.
They dreaded going to those classes but did not tell their mother. Salma eventually withdrew her children from attending madrassas for a completely different reason: she learned that they were being taught an intolerant version of Islam.
‘They were using terms like ‘Kafir’ just because somebody isn’t of the same religion,’ she says, ‘and I’m teaching my children to integrate and not be racist so I pulled my children out.’
Humans can be so ugly. It gets me down.
we have a government that, on the one hand, gives grand speeches about tackling the causes of extremism, as David Cameron did last week, while, one the other, encourages local communities to set up their own schools – including faith schools. It’s time to stop these mixed messages. And Muslims can no longer sweep this under the carpet – they need to face up to what is happening behind closed doors.Many warn that if we don’t all tackle this toxic mix of hatred and violence head on, we will reap the whirlwind in years to come.
Very few years in fact. Children can carry bombs in backpacks.