British Islamic School In Bit Of A Tiff Over Textbook Stoning Lessons

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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A government inspection of an independent Islamic school in London found library textbooks advocating for stoning as a legitimate form of punishment.

An unannounced investigation from the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (OFSTED) found that the Jamiatul Ummah School’s library contains three books, which “undermine the active promotion of the rule of British law and respect for other people,” The Huffington Post reports. The United Kingdom considers the punishment of stoning to be illegal.

The reason for the investigation is that Jamiatul Ummah, an all-boys private school with annual tuition of $3,702, failed a previous inspection in March 2015 and was supposed to implement reforms. This recent visit by OFSTED was an attempt to determine if the school had followed a plan it submitted in October to remedy the deficiencies.

The U.K. officials discovered the books during this follow-up investigation. The school, home to 158 boys between the ages of 11 and 16, now says it has pulled the books and is conducting an in-depth review of other material in the library, adding that it condemns “all forms of extremism unequivocally and this is recognised by Ofsted.”

OFSTED stated that the books it found “do not reflect the schools ethos of tolerance and integration,” though the office blamed school staff for failing to be vigilant.

The school has failed three investigations since October 2014. Previous investigations said the school’s curriculum was overly narrow. Chief Inspector of Schools Sir Michael Wilshaw is on record as saying that students at these independent Islamic schools may be vulnerable to radicalization.

“I am extremely concerned about the large number of failings in each of the six independent schools inspected,” Wilshaw said. “I am not convinced that the leaders of these schools have sufficient capacity to bring about the necessary improvements to safeguarding, the curriculum and the quality of teaching and learning. I believe that, in all six schools, pupils’ physical and educational welfare is at serious risk.”

“Given the evidence gathered from these inspections, particularly in relation to the narrowness of the curriculum, I am concerned that pupils in these schools may be vulnerable to extremist influences and radicalization,” he added.

This most recent inspection took place Nov. 4.

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