An Islamic boarding school for girls in the UK has been ordered to close its doors after a former student claimed pupils were being taught extremist beliefs there.
Aliyah Saleem blew the whistle on Jamia al Hudaa Residential College in Nottingham two years ago, claiming students were being taught strict sharia-style rules.
Speaking to RT, Saleem said she was told “homosexuality was diseased,” gay men should be executed, music was the voice of the devil and men should be allowed to beat their wives.
She says she was expelled from the school in 2011 for owning a disposable camera.
Her claims took the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) two years to investigate.
In its recently released report, Ofsted says pupils lacked “opportunity to learn and make progress and receive effective preparation for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in British society.”
It added that the school “does not promote balanced views” and that “pupils did not understand what is meant by the term ‘British values.’”
Although it has not issued a closure notice, the Department for Education has ordered the school, which charges up to £3,500 (US$4,250) a year, to shut down its residential operation.
Since boarders account for about 85 percent of the school’s students, it’s likely this will mean its effective closure.
Parents are being told to collect their daughters by October 18.
The school denies the claims against it, saying the decision is “completely biased and unfair.”
“The school has policies and extensive risk assessments in place to promote British values. The school feels this is a very unfair judgment,” a spokesperson said.
Ellis Cashmore, a sociology professor at Aston University, says it took an “unbearably long time” for the school to be investigated.
“The investigating organization did not want to invite the criticism that it was in any way being less than neutral and objective in its examinations.
“It’s too long, having said that. I think it could have conducted its investigations with due diligence in less time because what this particular school was preaching was nothing short of hatred.”