Dr. Muhammad Mashuq Ally, Chair of Governors, Bordesley Green Girls’ School and Sixth Form
The Trojan Horse affair in Birmingham, as it is popularly referred to, was a watershed moment for the way educationalists, community leaders and politicians, both locally and nationally, perceived the local Muslim communities in this great city. In the three decades from the end of the 1950s to the end of the 1980s, Muslims from the predominately rural areas of Kashmir, Pakistan and Bangladesh came and settled in the highly urbanised city of Birmingham. Uppermost in their minds is to live a better quality of life than that which they came from; one route in achieving this is through the education of their children. This book of essays is a must-read for those wishing to understand the important underlying dynamic between Muslims considering the education of their children, and the educational establishment’s quest for a quality education based on British values. The Trojan Horse affair provides the fertile context for drawing those issues. The contributors provide serious and authentic perspectives on the systemic issues of structural racism, Islamophobia, class and cultural imperialism that gave rise to the hysterical response to an unsubstantiated letter. This is excellently achieved by many of the authors giving candid biographical accounts of their own personal experience growing up in Birmingham schools and then of their professional experience as educators. This is balanced by well-researched evidence-based contributions on future policy and lessons for contemporary urban school leadership. The book is the first opportunity for those in the mix of the Trojan Horse affair to give a sober and thoughtful appreciation of the events and of the lessons learnt.