MANY parents who picked up their children from Park View Academy on June 9th took home something else too: an official report excoriating the school. Ofsted, England’s schools inspector, had downgraded the largely Muslim institution to “inadequate”, saying it had failed to protect children from extremism. But parents outside the gates were less alarmed at this than cross about the report and the disruption it was causing. “If he messes up his GCSEs, I’ll hold David Cameron personally responsible,” said an angry father, pointing at his son.
A few months ago Birmingham City Council received a letter purporting to advise Muslim militants how to take over a state school. The letter might be a hoax, but it struck some as painfully accurate. Stories appeared of staff pushed out by hard-line governors (elected amateurs who appoint head teachers and set schools’ strategic direction). As the row grew, the government ordered snap inspections of 21 schools. Some of their findings are damning. But British Muslims—many of whom are Pakistani—have damned the government.