Main Article Content
In 2014, an alleged “Trojan Horse” plot to Islamise education in a number of schools attended predominantly by diverse Muslim pupils in the inner-city wards of Birmingham raised considerable questions. Ofsted investigations of 21 schools explored these concerns at the behest of the then Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove MP. At the head of this so-called plot, a certain Tahir Alam, once a darling of New Labour’s policies on British Muslim schools, faced the brunt of the media and political furore. Based on a series of face-to-face interviews with Alam in 2015 and 2016, this paper provides a detailed insight into the allegations, the context in which they emerged, and the implications raised for young Muslims in the education system. Ultimately, as part of the government’s counter-terrorism policy the accusations of the “Islamisation” of education in these “Trojan Horse” schools foreshadowed the additional securitisation of all sectors of education. However, there was neither the evidence nor the legal justification to ratchet up anti-extremism education measures that eventually followed; namely the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. The consequences of the negative attention heightened existing Islamophobia but, paradoxically, they also limited the opportunities for de-radicalisation through education.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.