A recent audit reveals that the Jamiatul Ummah School in East London does not meet independent school standards due to a number of issues, including the possession of books that promote stoning one to death.
The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) in the U.K. has recently released a report detailing the inspection conducted in the all boys Jamiatul Ummah School last November 24, 2015. The report says that the library inspectors expressed concerned about the school after finding three books in its possession. The said materials promote inequality against women as well as harsh punishments, such as stoning to death. This, according to Ofsted, “undermine the active promotion of the rule of British law and respect for other people.” Furthermore, the said library is also used for meetings, therefore participants to such meetings are also exposed to the offensive materials.
For the moment, the library in the Jamiatul Ummah School remains closed current students in the school do not have any access to the said inappropriate books at the moment. In the past, however, the books in contest have been accessible to the school’s previous students. In addition, the report also expressed concern that the materials will become accessible again should the library reopen.
Aside from concerns regarding the three inappropriate materials, the report also revealed that the Jamiatul Ummah School also did not put enough security measures in place to safeguard its students. The school’s gates have not always been secured and visitors had managed to gain entry to the school without anyone noticing. Moreover, the school’s visitor book did not record full details of visitors to the school, including the nature of their visit and the time when they had left the premises.
Nonetheless, the report by Ofsted also emphasizes that both students and staff at the Jamiatul Ummah School well-informed and positive views about the role of British Muslims and their responsibilities within the local community. However, there remains a great deal of concern that the presence of the inappropriate text in the school’s library may undermine “fundamental British values and tolerance of different cultures and beliefs.”
In response to the report and recent media attention, the school issued a statement, saying, “We condemn all forms of extremism unequivocally and this is recognised by Ofsted.” Meanwhile, 2014, former Jamiatul Ummah student Harun Asif wrote an opinion piece about the school following a report that deemed the institution vulnerable to “extremist influences and radicalisation.” In response to this, Asif said, ” On the contrary, my school prepared me to navigate the world with a level head. I got seven A*s and four As at GCSE, and two As and an A* at A-level.”