Allegations have emerged of a plot by Islamic hardliners to take over a British school – the second claim in two weeks.
The headteacher of a school in Oldham, northern England, said he was forced out by the founders and governors of the Phoenix Free School, which he was recruited to launched.
Rick Hodge said he got wind of plans by governors – almost all of whom were Muslim – to implement conservative Islamic values on the school for children aged 11 to 16.
Phoenix was unique because it planned to recruit its staff entirely from former military personnel, a plan which received widespread support. Advocates for the school are pictured above.
It was also designed to help heal racial discord in Oldham, which is home to a large Pakistani community which rarely integrates with the white population. The problem is acute in schools, where many institutions have ended up almost mono-racial.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Hodge said he overheard plans to force female teachers at the school to start wearing the veil, and said he was ousted using a “Trojan Horse playbook”.
A similar plan was also mooted at nearby Clarksfield Primary School, which was subject to its own “Trojan Horse” accusations last week.
Hodge cited a “campaign of harassment to browbeat me” which ended in his resignation in 2013. The school was later denied Government funding and never opened.
Hodge recalled overhearing the conservation about enforcing the veil from an unnamed man linked to setting up the school.
He said: “He went completely off on one about how not wearing a hijab would effectively turn all Muslim women into whores”.
Hodge also accused the school’s founder, former British army officer Affan Burki, of constantly accusing him of lying and thievery, driving him away.
Burki denied doing anything untoward, and said his problem with Hodge is that he is incompetent.