Across Britain, upwards of 5,000 Muslim club members as well as many more attendees of private Islamic weekend schools are being exposed to extremism. These are the allegations leveled in an upcoming episode of BBC One's program, Tonight's Panorama. According to the report, youth under the umbrella group, Saudi Students Clubs and Schools in the United Kingdom and Ireland, are being indoctrinated with a wide variety of hateful and extremist sentiments. The furor around the issue is being focused on the Saudi embassy, as the network of 40 private schools and other clubs is teaching directly from the Saudi Arabian national curriculum. The UK government is also scrambling to counter the radicalism despite its apparent poor oversight over the program.
The Telegraph notes the extent of the radical sentiment being taught to children and young adults. Kids as young as six are warned that disbelievers are condemned to "hellfire," while textbooks for 15 year-olds describe punishments for breaking Sharia law. These penalties include cutting off hands and feet of thieves, replete with diagrams of where to hack off the limbs. Stoning, burning, or throwing over a cliff were also presented as the punishments for sodomy.
Other texts revived classic anti-Semitic themes among extremist Muslims. One text noted how Jews had been transformed into pigs and apes. Another cited the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a viciously anti-Semitic forgery, as proof of s Jewish plot to dominate the world.
The Saudi embassy has protested the documentary stating that it was "dangerously deceptive and misleading" to take the texts out of their historic contexts. It also declared, "Any tutoring activities that may have taken place among any other group of Muslims in the United Kingdom are absolutely individual to that group and not affiliated to or endorsed by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia."
However, the British government has taken a strong stance against any perceived hatred coming out of the schools. The New York Times reports that UK Education Secretary Michael Gove has taken issue with the curriculum being taught in England. He stated, "We have no desire or wish to intervene in the decisions that the Saudi government makes in its own education system. But we are clear that we cannot have any anti-Semitic material of any kind being used in English schools."
However, questions still exist over how this could happen again, especially under the nose of Ofsted, the UK's education supervising group. Yet, despite claims by Gove that he demanded close supervision of part-time programs, independent think-tank The Policy Exchange has noted that any checks are "piecemeal, partial and lack in-depth expertise ."