29.3.17

22.3.17

#JusticeforTahirAlam is justice for us all

Oh Knower of Subtleties, Master of Judgement, Just and Mighty Avenger, Protecting Friend and Everlasting Source of Life, strengthen the spines, bonds and arguments of the defamed, humiliated

It has been a few years since an extraordinary sh!tstorm was kicked up by the government and establishment press regarding schools in predominantly Muslim areas in Birmingham and the words Trojan Horse. This storm provided important political capital for British neocon politician and one time Education Secretary/Vandal Michael Gove (whose jaundiced treatise Celsius 7/7 even had a chapter called "Trojan Horse"). It is worth considering the role of the event in politically underwriting the deepening of the Preventitude State enveloping Muslims in this Cartographically United But Crumbling Queendom.

High impact letter writing

In case you've been living under a rock for the past five years, education institutions are now legally obliged to snoop, confuse and grass up students they reckon are at risk to council securocrats. Find me a defence of Prevent that doesn't draw on Trojan Horse imagery.

Operation Trojan Horse saw technocrats and hacks making mincemeat exegeses of WhatsApp group messages between rudeboy types, and the common sense being constructed that all Muslim community organisation in education was suspicious and deserved destruction. While some people are always going to be as thick as pigsh!t, incompetent and/or easy tools to manipulate, the damage political opportunists have wrought with this, to other people's futures is extraordinary. Imagine that your school was colonially invaded, dragged through the mud and dumped on because of the anti Muslim arrogance and prejudice of state institutions and politicians? Now try and sit some public exams that count.

The affair consumed the reputations and educations of hundreds of mainly young Muslim people, stigmatised and scarred by the disaster, which carries the hallmarks of the collaborative skullduggery of people with professional and political axes to grind. People with life experience of such axes in school governance, local authorities, central government or politics might easily empathise with more creative explanations regarding who really wrote the Trojan Horse letter that sparked it all off.

The importance of fighting back, not rolling over and dying

Since 15th March, one of the professionals ruined by the Trojan Horse/Hoax saga, Tahir Alam, has been having his appeal heard by the Educational Tribunal at the Royal Courts of Justice against the ban imposed on him by the Education Secretary from involvement in any schools for 'Violating British Values'. Tahir Alam is widely acknowledged as a wide minded, decent, hardworking and honest educationist in the Muslim community and has done a lot to develop community engagement with education in this country. This is why his crowdjustice funding campaign has raised so much. It is widely felt that he was the primary target of the whole bureaucratic assassination operation.

The Tribunal will make public evidence and alternative understandings of the current establishment view of one of the most important political attacks on Muslim community organising in the past decade. There are a few days left until the hearing ends, Court 23 generally.

I doubt whether corporate media editors will cut their pet Muslim reporters and/or radicalisation hacks some slack on this, but I hope people of justice will take this on, just like many did in order to campaign for the release of poet Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmad from supermax detention in the US.

Long term we need sophisticated, mature and distributed expertise in educational institutional development and legal defence, this tough legal-political battle is definitely a good one for learning and connecting the dots.