IHRC is appalled at the news that a London school has backtracked on a promise that it would not make primary pupils complete an “Orwellian” questionnaire aimed at identifying signs of radicalisation.
Following the exercise, Greenleaf Primary School in the east London borough of Waltham Forest has now released the names of seven pupils it feared to be at risk of radicalisation.
The names were released to a parent who had made a Freedom of Information request.
Leaving aside the obvious safeguarding implications of releasing the children’s names, it is highly disturbing that the school went ahead with a questionnaire that was widely condemned as Islamophobic for trying to peek into the minds of mainly Muslim children for signs of extremism.
Greenleaf Primary School’s new questionnaire follows the Buxton Primary School survey released recently this year. Those questionnaires asked pupils aged between 9-11 if they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements such as ‘It is better to be a dead hero than live impassively’, ‘If a student was making fun of my race or religion I would try to make them stop even if it meant hurting them’ and ‘God has a purpose for me’. They were also asked to tick three boxes with which they identify, choosing from British, Muslim, student, artist, athlete, Christian and young.
After the public outcry last May the school promised not to go ahead with the questionnaire which was part of the government’s anti-radicalisation Prevent programme. It said at the time: “The local authority has confirmed their intention was to anonymise and then destroy the questionnaires. Despite this we will not be taking part in this method of evaluation now or in the future.”
The actions of Greenleaf school confirm our longstanding position that the Prevent programme is in fact a cradle to grave social engineering exercise designed to strip Muslims of their religious identity.
IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh said: “This episode detroys the little confidence the Muslim community retains in this country’s institutions to safeguard their civil liberties and protect their children.”
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EDITED at 11am due to incorrect information on the BBC website that implied Greenleaf Primary School was using the same questionnaire as Buxton Primary School
IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
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Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222