British police are investigating a letter allegedly written by radical Salafi Muslims that detailed a plot to takeover schools in Birmingham, England and run them according to "strict Islamic principles."
The letter details a plan called "Operation Trojan Horse" – a five-step plan to takeover schools with large Muslim populations with the help of "hardline" parents. It urges them to turn against the head teachers and leadership team. They would then replace those leaders with people who would run the schools according to strict Muslim principles.
Police were investigating whether the letter was a hoax, in part because it contained fact errors. It appeared to be correspondence between a Birmingham-based Muslim extremist and an acquaintance in Bradford, England.
It suggested that only four parents are needed to disrupt an entire school and that they should complain to their parliamentary representatives about their children's education. Parents were urged to claim that "the school is corrupting their children with sex education, teaching about homosexuals, making their children pray Christian prayers and mixed swimming and sports."
Four schools were identified as "success" stories. The author suggested that the "tried and tested" plan could be used in Bradford to force out the heads of those schools.
"We caused a great amount of organized disruption in Birmingham, the letter said, "and as a result now have our own academies and are on the way to getting rid of more headteachers and taking over their schools. Whilst sometimes the practices we may use may not seem the correct way to do things you must remember that this is say 'jihad' and as such all measures possible to win the war is acceptable."
The headteacher at Birmingham's Adderley Primary School was accused of "not being a good Muslim" for not being open to suggestions that the school follow strict Muslim guidelines. An investigation into the letter's contents started in December, Sue Southern, the head of the West Midlands' prevent and protect counterterrorism unit, told the Guardian.
Tahir Alam, one of the alleged plotters, called the letter "a fabrication and completely untrue."
The letter was condemned by Inayat Bunglawala, who chairs Muslims4UK, a group that aims to promote Muslim engagement in British society, who called it "disturbing."