Allegations that Islamic fundamentalists were plotting to infiltrate British schools has caused a political crisis.
According to The New York Times, claims that hardline Muslims were planning take over schools
in Birmingham, which has a large number of Muslims, have divided ministers, leading to a public apology from one senior minister and the resignation of an adviser to another.
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Some Muslims allegedly tried to impose such measures as separating boys and girls, banning Christmas celebrations, preventing students from singing or listening to music, and inviting speakers with known extremist views, according to Reuters
"There has been coordinated, deliberate and sustained action, carried out by a number of associated individuals, to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools in Birmingham," Peter Clarke, former head of London Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command, said, Reuters reported.
The New York Times reported that politicians were divided on whether to track individuals thought to be most likely to commit acts of terrorism or to approach the problem through a cultural battle against the spread of fundamentalist theology.
There is little evidence of a conspiracy, but 21 schools are being investigated, the newspaper said.
The issue is controversial as communities wrestle with how to assimilate minorities while maintaining religious freedom.
The investigations began after an anonymous letter sent to the Birmingham City Council outlined the alleged plan, called “Operation Trojan Horse.”
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