Up to 5,000 pupils attending weekend schools across Britain are being exposed to textbooks claiming that some Jews were transformed into pigs and apes, and that some offences could be punished with stoning. One book for six year-olds warns that those who do not believe in Islam will be condemned to 'hellfire' in death.
Another text for 15 year-olds teaches that thieves who break Sharia law should have their hands cut off for a first offence and their feet amputated for a subsequent crime. Teenagers are presented with diagrams showing where the cuts should be made.
Tonight’s Panorama on BBC One will claim that the books were discovered at a network of 40 private schools teaching the Saudi Arabian national curriculum. The programme claims to have uncovered evidence apparently linking the schools to the Saudi embassy. Officials at the embassy deny any link.
Panorama also found examples of private Muslim schools using extremist sentiments on their websites.
Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, said last night that extremism, homophobia and anti-Semitism would not be tolerated in schools.
However, researchers claimed in a separate report that the education system was 'not equipped' to deal with the threats posed by extremist organisations. The Policy Exchange think-tank said the Coalition’s new free schools, run by parents, teachers and charities, could be exploited by organisations seeking to indoctrinate young people. It also claimed that checks on groups running private schools were 'piecemeal, partial and lack depth'. Mr Gove said Ofsted had been ordered to monitor part-time education providers closely.
The schools featured on Panorama were apparently organised under an umbrella group called Saudi Students Clubs and Schools in the UK and Ireland. They give Muslim children aged six to 18 a grounding the Islamic faith.
According to the BBC, a book for 15 year-olds teaches about Sharia law and its punishments. 'For thieves their hands will be cut off for a first offence, and their foot for a subsequent offence,' it says. Two diagrams show where cuts should be made.
For acts of sodomy, children are told that the penalty is death. A textbook says there are different views on whether this should be done by stoning, or burning with fire, or throwing over a cliff. Textbooks for 15 year-olds revive the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' which teach that Jews want world domination.
In a statement, the Saudi embassy said: '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.' The Saudi Ambassador told the BBC it was 'dangerously deceptive and misleading' to discuss some of the texts outside of context." (source)