A British school attended by the children of Islamic fanatics was forced to shred 2,000 textbooks used to poison pupils’ minds with lessons of hate, an ex-teacher has claimed.
Colin Cook, who taught English at the King Fahad Academy for 18 years, told a tribunal that pupils as young as five were being taught from Arabic textbooks describing Jews as “monkeys” and Christians as “pigs”.
And he says when he exposed the racist Saudi curriculum, the school’s headteacher Dr Sumaya Alyusuf lied on national television that hateful passages had never been taught.
Under public pressure the Academy eventually agreed to destroy 2,000 books – but photocopied them first for future use, Watford Employment Tribunal heard.
The hearing was told that pupils at the private Muslim faith school in Acton, west London, included the five children of jailed cleric Abu Hamza and those of Abu Qatada, who was said to be Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe.
Mr Cook, 58, said that when he queried how the pair of preachers could be paying school fees when they were said to be on state benefits, he was told to mind his own business.
The tribunal heard that some pupils made “inappropriate” remarks about killing Americans and praised Al Qaeda leader Bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks.
And a school party was thrown out of Arsenal Football Club’s museum when Saudi children chanted “Saudi, Saudi, Saudi” and fought with non-Saudi pupils.
Married British father-of-three Mr Cook, from south London, is claiming unfair dismissal, race discrimination and victimisation, which the school denies.
He was earning £35,000-a-year and is seeking £135,000 in compensation for lost earnings, injury to feelings and aggravated damages.
The school, which opened in 1985 for the children of Saudi diplomats and is funded and controlled by the Saudi government, has vigorously denied ever teaching any form of racial hatred.
It insists that the offending passages in the books were “misinterpreted” and that they were never taught.
Giving evidence to the tribunal, Mr Cook claimed the school was seen as an extension of the Saudi embassy rather than part of the UK with Saudi teachers even enjoying diplomatic immunity.
He said that the Ofsted inspection in March 2006 failed to identify major issues at the school including parental complaints, unqualified or poor teachers and pupil indiscipline and truancy.
“The Ofsted report was very inadequate,” he said.
“This is partly due to what the Academy did not tell the inspectors and partly due to, at best, incompetence by Ofsted.”
He alleges that he was sacked on trumped up grounds in December 2006 after he blew the whistle on the school for covering up cheating by children in a GCSE exam.
Mr Cook said that when he questioned the cover up, a senior colleague told him: “This is not England. It is Saudi Arabia.”
Mr Cook told the tribunal: “I discovered that race hate was being taught in textbooks at the Academy.
“The race hate included test questions asking pupils to list the reprehensible qualities of Jews and described Christians as ‘pigs’. It was appalling.”
After Mr Cook’s revelations in February last year, head Dr Sumaya Alyusuf went on BBC 2’s Newsnight to defend the school.
She told interviewer Jeremy Paxman that she was aware of the books but refused to withdraw them because they had “good chapters that can be used by the teachers”.
Mr Cook told the tribunal: “The Academy denied that race hate was being taught.
“However, eventually under public pressure but still denying any wrong-doing, the Academy agreed to shred 2,000 books.
“I now know that these textbooks had been taught for years to the knowledge of the current dean Dr Alyusuf and her predecessor.”
Mr Cook said that misbehaviour by Saudi pupils was overlooked with one escaping punishment for calling a non-Saudi teacher an infidel.
“There had been incidents in which Saudi curriculum children had made inappropriate remarks about killing Americans and had praised the 9/11 incident and Osama bin Laden,” he said.
Mr Cook was sacked in December 2006 for gross misconduct over his cheating allegations.
The hearing continues.
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