The Trojan Horse Affair - Part 2 The Case of the Four Resignations

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Hams and I are sitting behind two children school desks, but we’re in the covert classroom at the front of Tyrell almshouse talking about the Trojan Horse letter.

Those four pages that painted to hear as the ringleader of an extremist plot to hear clearly have strong suspicions about who wrote it.

The motive was quite quite a an interesting one, even though the plot wasn’t real.

The Trojan Horse later still prompted authorities to investigate and ultimately dismantle the education movement to hear was leading.

A successful movement outcomes for Muslim students had improved dramatically.

The national government also beefed up counter extremism policy and tried to prevent Tehir and his colleagues from ever working or volunteering in schools again.

All in the aftermath of the letter.

To hear beliefs if they’d ever bothered just to investigate who wrote the thing, it would have been very difficult for the government to justify its actions.

Because he says it would have been obvious the letter had nothing to do with a conspiracy or with him.

He’s sparse on details with us this first day, but he does give us that tantalizing hint that the letter came from someone close to him.

But whoever wrote the letter, they they they, they knew.

You know they knew me I think, or possibly more than one person.

Were they from Birmingham?

Were they involved?

Yeah, from Birmingham.

They are well known to me.

I know them quite well and they know me quite well too.

I know them and I meet them often.

You know, in an educational kind of environment and setting, is there a reason we’re playing?

20 questions here.

Can we just ask you who it is?

Because I’m not able to.

Obviously I don’t want to name anyone because I can’t prove that.

I’ll give you a clue if you read the letter just from a literary POV, just read the letter and all you have to do is who is being defended.

Just read the letter with that in mind.

Who is the letter defending?

Is the question you have to answer and you will arrive at your own judgment.

From serial productions and the New York Times, I’m Brian Reed.

I’m Hamza Sayed.

Let’s see if we can figure out who wrote the Trojan Horse letter.

Alright, you wanna do this?

OK, so let’s move these drawers.

We’re gonna have to drag out.

We need a place to hunker down, a place to scrutinize the letter, A place to think.

A place to throw names on the wall.

We need a headquarters and for this purpose, Hamza has generously offered up his parents bedroom.

They killed the vibe.

Holmes has been crashing in his parents old flat here in Birmingham.

They live in Abu Dhabi these days and are planning to retire to Pakistan, so I guess they’re not here that much.

I hope not, because we’re completely rearranging their bedroom.

Oh my God, pushing the bed up against the closet, sliding the Bureau into the corner, packing away, hums mom’s jewelry at his insistence.

You want no reminder that this is your parents bedroom.

I’m serious about this.

It’s headquarters.

Do you have a tool box, yeah?

Clearly, being in England’s looking for the author of a mysterious letter alongside a doctor was having an effect on Brian.

He was going fully into Sherlock Holmes mode.

He detached the TV from the war and replaced it with whiteboards, a Cork board and multi colored note cards which are connected with string success.

I don’t have the heart to tell him that Sherlock didn’t really do the whole murderball thing.

What are you seriously going to do with your parents come?

Hot tell them sleeping in different rooms.

You know what I mean?

Like really no?

I mean less.

We’ll figure that out when they come in.

Should I get the Hoover?

HQ was ready.

Operation Trojan Horse had been very carefully thought through and it’s tried and tested within Birmingham Harmse sadness parents bed and read the letter aloud as I paced around scribbling names and schools on the whiteboards, circling some, crossing off others, HT Springfield, OK, keep moving to hear it told us.

Read the letter and think about who is it defending that word choice seemed deliberate defending.

Remember the whole conceit of the letter is that it’s written as if it’s from an accomplice of tears in Birmingham to a Co.

Conspirator in another city, describing how they can start implementing this plot, Tahira devised, called Operation Trojan Horse, the author of the letter, breaks the plan into five steps, all aimed at pushing out headteachers what they call principles in Britain, so you can bring in your own leadership.

Who will make the school more Islamic?

You’re supposed to get conservative Muslim parents to give the headteacher a hard time about classes such as sex Ed.

Install a sympathetic governor on the governing body to basically spy on the head.

From there, find staff to complain about the head teacher from within the school, but the author also explains what to hear and his Co conspirators are currently up two in Birmingham.

The author names 4 head teachers at 4 specific schools who the plotters are on the verge of successfully unseating and explains how they’re pulling it off.

At one school, they’d framed the head for doctoring test scores and now she was under investigation at another that instigated a nasty fight over one of the head teachers disciplinary decisions at another that accused the head teacher of fraud.

These schools and head teachers named in the letter were all real, by the way, and so were the scandals.

The letter described, or at least the gist of them.

Each of these had teachers had been an actual trouble in real life.

For doctoring test scores, facing allegations of fraud, etc.

What the letter claimed, though.

Was that these weren’t random incidents of supposed wrongdoing?

Instead, the letter claimed all these incidents were the result of the Trojan Horse conspiracy run by Tahir Alam and his cronies.

Therefore it was these headteachers who we think to hear meant when he told us to consider who the letter defends.

Because in real life these four teachers really had been at risk of losing their jobs.

And then the Trojan Horse letter showed up, suggesting they hadn’t actually done anything wrong that they were victims.

In fact, of Operation Trojan Horse.

Presumably one of them could have written the Trojan Horse letter to help themselves get out of trouble.

So I list these heads on our detected wall.

We have narrowed it down to.

Got the head teacher at Regents Park Community School.

The head teacher at early.

The head teacher at Saltley School.

And the head teacher from Springfield School.

We take a step back and stare at the board pensively.

Beard stroking Lee as the cogs turn in my partner’s brain.

As my partner swallows his first meditative sip of a British copper.

And after about, I don’t know what was it.

5 minutes.

We had ourselves a theory about where the Trojan Horse letter came from.

The letter came from a deadly primary school.

That’s the most plausible theory.

I told Brian this before he came to Birmingham, but he was new to the story.

He reminded me I was new to journalism and he insisted we should stop by idolizing the letter with an open mind, which we did.

And then we ended up early primary school.

In three years, we’ve added almost nothing new to the murder war.

Sorry for the trouble Doctor, Mrs Syed.

It’s not really that sophisticated if you read the Trojan Horse letter.

Sure, the author goes on about a grand citywide plot.

But there’s one school that the author seems to be obsessed with.

Oddly, primary school.

In the middle of the all the girls on this long tangent about bizarre employment dispute between the headteacher Adley Primary School and for teaching assistants there four classroom aides.

The author says this employment dispute is part of the plot and describes it in excruciating detail.

None of the other schools get more than a few sentences divulged to them relaying information you could have read in the news or online, but oddly oddly gets paragraph stuffed with particulars that at the time were not public, including a bunch of different characters and events.

We’re going to wait to read this part of the letter to you because it’s so in the weeds it’s going to make a lot better sense once you know more, but for now, just know that yeah, there’s no mistake, and whoever wrote the Trojan horse that I had deep insider information about this utterly case.

And we’re not the first to notice this, by the way.

More than a year after the Trojan horse that was made public, this employment dispute went in front of a judge, and in his decision the judge said undoubtedly, whoever wrote the letter had intimate knowledge of the allegations.

Going through the heart of this case.

What are your thoughts regarding that quote?

In our first interview, I actually read the hear this line from the church because even though he wouldn’t come out and say explicitly where he thought the letter came from, I suspected he was talking about Adderly.

The quote is very insightful and.

Very accurate.

OK, I think the judge there has made a good observation.


OK, utterly to here’s pointing there.

This judge independently of to here is pointing there when you just read the letter as a layperson, your head goes there.

But who at early?

And why?

Well, let us tell you the perplexing story of what happened at that school.

It begins not too differently from the story of Parkview, with a troubled school in East Birmingham and an ambitious new leader who comes in determined to turn the school around.

Elderly primary schools.

About a mile from Parkview on an industrial edge of the same neighborhood, Alum Rock it’s a red brick Victorian building inside a spiky blue fence.

It’s a big school, almost 600 students, twice the size of an average state primary school, and for a long time it had a reputation for having a volatile staff difficult to manage.

In seven years it had been through 9 headteachers, which wasn’t good for the students Ofsted, the agency that inspects Britain schools had labeled that early inadequate failing.

In 2008 the Birmingham City Council turned to, among others, to hear for help.

By then, to hear how to reputation for revitalizing schools and the Council asked him to apply the Parkview Formula at Adderly.

He joined the utterly governing body, which went searching for a new head teacher for the primary school, and they found someone they were excited about.

A Muslim woman who’d been a deputy head teacher at another East Birmingham Majority Muslim Primary school, which under her team’s leadership had vastly improved her name was Rose Van A.

Dar to here says she was a standout candidate.

She was very ambitious.

He’s very passionate as a person.

She came across as being very child centric as well.

In other words, children interest comes first rather than.

Let’s keep some teachers happy and keep the unions happy, which is part of the dynamics in schools.

But she came across as being somebody who would put the children interest first that came across very strongly to me.

You won’t be hearing from Miss Van Adar.

She’s declined to talk to us, but we’re able to tell you what went down between Mrs.

Dar and the teaching assistants because they ultimately ended up in a knock down drag out legal fight over this in an employment tribunal, which means we’ve been able to read pages and pages of exhibits and witness statements and legal briefs, and the resulting judgment, all of which sets out there competing versions of what happened.

The people we have spoken to who know or have worked with responded are nearly every one of them says she was super impressive.

She, you know, has a genius mind.

There’s no question about it.

Ros, One Ferraz is one of the locals to hear recruited into teaching.

He lost his job after the government accused him of wrongdoing in the Trojan horse affair.

Raswan worked under Rivanna Daratt Adderly as an assistant head before they had a falling out and was one moved on to another school.

He and Rose wanted or were close.

It wasn’t that she was really good at.

One thing she was really good at.

Everything she did.

She was really good at training teachers.

She was really good at monitoring.

She was really good at planning.

She’s really good at assessing curriculum development.

I’ve learned more from her in the career of teaching than anybody else.

Rosanna Dar RPZ as lots of people call her was a big part of the reason Rizwan took a position to that early.

She was exciting to work for.

She was tireless, Raswan says.

Sometimes she show up at 5:00 or 5:30 in the morning and leave at 10 at night, and she implemented many of the same kinds of changes that to here’s recruits had at Parkview High academic standards, inspiring lackadaisical staff getting parents involved making religious accommodations.

And it was working.

Within just a few years Ofsted, the school inspectors raised at early from its lowest ranking to the second highest.

They credited Mrs Dar as a headteacher of quote great vision and energy.

But this is where the story Adderly takes a turn for the unusual, because a very peculiar series of events began developing at the school, the details of which would become an important part of the Trojan Horse letter.

One day in December 2012, about a year before the letter surfaced, Mrs.

Dar calls a teaching assistant named Hillary Owens into her office.

We’ve heard some people involved in schools, described teaching assistants as quite frankly, a nuisance resistant to reforms and a drain on resources, and there are strong unions in the UK, so it’s hard to just up and fire someone because you don’t get along.

But according to Mrs Darr, her experience with Hillary Owens was on another level in a witness statement.

Mrs Darr describes Miss Owens.

As rebellious and emotional, an employee who would take to quote throwing her arms in the air, crying, lying on the floor, or spreading herself across a table when she didn’t get her way.

One big disagreement between Mrs.

Dar and Hillary Owens was over the classroom.

Miss Owens had been assigned to.

There were specific grades and teachers.

Hillary Owens felt comfortable with and she’d gotten a health assessment saying would be better if the school could accommodate those preferences.

When Mrs.

Dart didn’t accommodate that by Miss Owens own account, she started weeping in the staff room which led to her taking a leave of absence, which meant the school had to pay her even when she wasn’t coming in and then came that day.

In December, Hillary Owens was back at work and according to Mrs Doors telling Mrs.

Darr finds an envelope in her mail Cubby.

It’s a letter from Hillary Owens tendering her resignation.

Yeah, Miss Owens still coming to work like everything is normal.

So Mrs Dark calls Miss Owens into her office.

Hillary Owen sits down and Mrs Darces I received your letter of resignation.

I accept it.

Can I have your key fob please?

You’re free to go to which Hillary Owens responds.

What letter of resignation?

I didn’t write a letter of resignation.

I haven’t resigned.

Hillary Owens also declined to do an interview with US, but we have a recording of her describing this moment to the police.

Yes, the police would eventually get involved, I said, but I haven’t written a letter of resignation, and she said you’re now on garden leave.

I need your security fob.

Garden leave is administrative leave.

Basically, when you’re on your way out from a job and I thought, did she hear what I said?

She clearly didn’t because she carried on talking.

And I kept saying to her, but I haven’t written a letter of resignation.

I haven’t signed a letter of resignation.

I haven’t given you a letter of resignation.

May I see the letter she said I don’t have it and said I need your security fault, which I was wearing my my neck.

I said you may have this fob if I can see my signature on that letter and she said this meeting is over and with that Miss Owen says Mrs Dar got up and stood by the door.

It’s pretty strange in it.

Get this done.

Just a few days before this meeting with Hillary wins.

This is also laid out in the court records.

Mrs Dyer says she’d received three other resignation letters from three other teaching assistants.

Oddly, primary school.

They were employees.

Mrs Dow also had a difficult run with.

There were three Muslim women who lived near the school and had worked there a long time.

Likely ruins there weren’t keno, Mrs, Darr and the change issues may come to the school.

They too had been fighting with the head teacher for many months, and by this time in December 2012 we’re all unpaid leave due to work related stress.

When Mr Dale received resignation letters from these 3T, as she quickly wrote back to them at their home, saying, I’m accepting your resignation.

Best of luck with your future.

It is a treaty as replied.

What are you talking about?

We haven’t resigned.

Hate to be a broken record here.

We’d love to hand this story off those tears, but they’ve also declined to talk to us.

So to the court files, these T as were named Regina Canam Shahnaz Bibi and Yasmin after they were close to them with sisters.

When I sent the kids to Adderly and Hillary, Owen was friendly with them, sometimes to give one or the other left home.

When they learned they were honest, similar predicament.

Their boss claiming their resigned.

They started coordinating the tears asked for a copy of the resignation letters.

They were supposed to have sent.

I want Mrs Dow provided them.

They said someone had fabricated these letters and forged their signatures.

Miss Owens is forensic about this in her interview with the police, a cop shows that the letters, supposedly signed by her that was not my signature first thing I said that’s not my signature.

Is it similar to yourself?

No, no, not at all.

The 80s wrong?

The C is wrong is wrong.

The S is completely wrong, so it’s no N is wrong.

It’s not even close, right?

OK, that’s why I don’t understand.

04 overs monitors.

Employees were insisting someone had forged their resignation letters, but Mrs DA, as she later explained in a witness statement, still believe the letters were authentic despite what her employees were saying.

She refused to let them come back to work.

At which point the TAS came to the conclusion that Mrs.

DA must have been behind this.

What did you make of that story?

Well, I mean, I was completely amazed because it seemed quite farfetched really.

The notion that a headteacher forges resignation letters, you couldn’t imagine a headteacher going to those lengths.

Jackie Hughes used to be assistant director for school improvement for the Burning City Council.

When his resignation fracas happened, she’d left that job, but oddly was a school she knew well and Hillary wins came to see her for advice.

She was just so adamant, over and over again.

Restart has lied.

She has treated us very, very badly.

We did not write those letters.

And the head teacher didn’t want them in the school that they were part of.

The old guard from the previous head, and that she was making up stuff solely to get rid of them so she could have her own people.

And I thought that was quite plausible, because that’s, you know, does happen, doesn’t it?

But how about faking resignation letters?

Well, that is that less plausible.

That is just the bit that is completely bizarre.

Have you come up with an explanation?

For the bizarre T.


It strikes me risk likes to write the script for everybody.

Is the I like trees very much as a person?

However, she was quite ruthless in getting her own way and making sure that her school and it would be hers got the outcome she wanted.

Some of the same people who told us that Mrs Don was brilliant who ordered what she’d accomplished lifting utterly out of its academic abyss.

They also serve flipside to her ambition.

His former assistant head rose one for us again, every single classroom had to look the same.

The board had to look the same.

Every single book had to look the same.

You know there was a level of control down to that detail.

Control freak slave driver.

These are some of the words people who know responded are have used to describe it to us.

Response says she would monitor the most menial her employees tasks the way workbooks needed to be.

Color coded by subject.

The margin size staff was supposed to be printing with, she would say Yep, pencils need to be altogether.

They cannot be mixed with pens and.

This is a real example.

Yeah, absolutely absolutely.

It would be very very.

Dictatorial that would she even be aware of this like she would scrutinize and she would like March around the school inspect 100% yeah and and expect the leadership team to do the same.

You go into some headteachers offices and that you can tell they belong to a particular headteacher, but they’re obviously places of work.

Dave Hughes was a member of the oddly governing body that hired Mrs Darr.

He’s an experienced governor who served for decades under governing bodies of schools throughout Birmingham, including a Parkview with the hair.

There’s also married to Jackie Hughes, who sit next to him, eyeglasses hanging around her neck, nodding her head.

It was just a family photograph or something, but you tell it supplies to work, professional place risk.

His office was like an extension of her home.

Lots of personal belongings in there as well as professional stuff pinned on the wall.

The whole school had the feeling of not being a an independent institution, which she was leading, but her fiefdom was how it felt to me.

No, I died endorsed.

Do you think that’s right exactly exactly right?

Yeah, which is why I think.

She could be capable of doing whatever is necessary to protect that fiefdom.

Mrs Darsch saw the fortiers as a threat to her job.

That’s clear from the court files and her witness statements.

She said they were miserable during the work day, constantly fighting her.

Responded are also started getting a lot of grief from parents about how she was running the school, in particular.

More orthodox parents.

People Mrs.

Door referred to in the litigation as Salafi Muslims.

Salafism is a conservative interpretation of Islam.

Groups of parents started sending in complaints or showing up at school to raise a stink.

Efforts to which Mrs Dar seemed coordinated.

She knew the Muslim tieza connections in the nearby Salafi community and thought they were riling up these parents on purpose.

She also blamed Salafi parents for spreading rumors about her personal life, weaponizing the fact that she wasn’t married at the time and didn’t wear hijab.

Mrs Doe writes about this in her witness statements.

I regularly stand in the playground, welcoming the children in the morning, or waving them off in the afternoon as I do so, I receive a high level of insults from parents in response to my good morning.

They call me bitch and slag and tell me I am not a good Muslim.

Not a good enough role model for their children.

Do not covering my head that I should be married, that my clothes were inappropriate and I was too modern and too Western.

We haven’t talked to anyone from Adderly who observed this abusive behavior directly, but in witness statements, members of Mrs Dars leadership team say they saw behavior like this and that the T as were behind the bullying, but the TSA that Mrs Darr was the real bully.

They along with a few other colleagues, lodged formal grievances against her through their union for bullying, intimidation and harassment that EA’s claimed that they were quote constantly undermined and belittled by Mrs Dar.

And that some of them had to seek medical help and go on medication.

These grievances were significant and serious.

They had the potential to cost Mrs.

Darker job, and notably it was shortly after the TAS had filed these grievances that Mrs.

Darn informed them that they had resigned, that she had received resignation letters from them.

According to that, as it was these official grievances.

That’s why Mrs.

Dar was so desperate to get rid of them.

That as tried everything make it think of to get their jobs back.

They contacted the Birmingham City Council.

They contacted their representatives in Parliament.

They made a declaration in front of a magistrate, asserting that they did not write the letters.

They filed a report with the police.

None of it was working.

They asked for advice around the neighborhood.

They say they wanted their job back.

They want us to ugly.

They didn’t want to leave and they’re being forced to resign.

So John Akram used to be a teacher at early, and he’d also been involved with hiring Mrs.


He lives around the corner from one of the days where they upset.

Were they mad or they’re upset?

They’re up.

Very upset, concerned actually.

‘cause that they felt that they were on their last legs and they had no ground to to retain their jobs.

They’re losing their job, so I said the best advice I can give you is going see to here.

To here was the guy you went to when there was a problem with the school in East Birmingham.

Plus he helped recruit was Vanna Dart Adderly.

I said look, speak to to him.

He will be able to help you ‘cause he’s obviously in the know about legislation and.

‘cause I didn’t know the truth, but suspect what they were saying was true.

But I said look if anybody got some influence over is one.

I wish to hear ‘cause I respect him.

The women approached to hear, though to hear, tells us he doesn’t really remember much about it.

He says he bumped into one of the tabs at the grocery store, and she explained a bit about the situation, but he says he doesn’t recall it going any further than that.

One organization did intervene for that as their union their Rep was firing off emails to Birmingham City Council, which is responders employer saying that Mrs Darr had quote fabricated the charade and that in all her years the representative had never seen someone more drunk on power.

That’s a quote then responded are until finally the Birmingham City Council stepped in and instructed Mrs Darr, that she should not terminate the TAS employment.

The Council warned her in a letter.

That if you treat these resignations as valid and the employees sue the school for wrongful termination, we won’t defend out early.

We will not pay for your lawyers or any damages you’re liable for, like the Council normally would for one of its schools.

You’ll be on your own.

And Mrs dar.

She ended the women’s employment anyway.

To no one’s surprise, the TAS brought a case against utterly primary school for unfair dismissal.

And the Birmingham City Council did exactly as it said it would.

It left the school on the hook to pay for its own defense and for any potential damages if the TAS won their case.

Mrs Dar plowed ahead.

And the defense Adderly Primary School submitted ahead of the hearing was certainly novel.

Daniels Ackiss a solicitor who represented one of that as Hillary Owens, remembers when he read out of these arguments.

Now he said that case was that all four of the claimants had engaged in a course of conduct over a period of years to undermine the head teacher.

And that their resignations were part of a a plot.

These four people, including Hillary, were part of a plot to undermine.

Responded are to convert the school to one basin.

Strict Muslim Salafi teachings.

Salafi being that more conservative interpretation of Islam, the interpretation Mrs Darr, said the parents whom the Tas were whipping up against her subscribe to.

Daniel Zachos thought that’s an odd accusation to make about classroom aides at a primary school, and especially about his client.

Hillary, who attended Anglican church every Sunday.

Adderleys defense filing doesn’t use the word plot, but that is what it describes.

The school’s lawyers wrote that the resignation letters quote have been used as a contrived and malicious means of falsely creating a scenario which would bring into question the head teacher’s reputation.

In other words, that is it schemed together to all submit resignations and then pretend that Mrs.

Dard forged them to get her in trouble to say that they will resign genuine resignations day.

Then all denied that they’ve resigned.


That would then ‘cause that rule is not the you know greatest plot.

Bear in mind everything we’ve been talking about up to this point, this whole resignation dispute.

It all happened before the Trojan horse had existed, so when Adelise legal team filed his defense in spring 2013, this was the first Hillary Owen solicitor was hearing about an Islamic plot in a Birmingham school to undermine a head teacher.

As a hearing date approached, a handwriting expert was brought in to analyze the signatures on the disputed resignation letters and the expert concluded that the TA signatures were in fact not authentic.

They had been forged by the month of the hearing November 2013.

Adelise defense was looking pretty strained.

Mrs Darr was facing the real prospect of the school losing the case, and it was that month that someone claiming to be an anonymous whistleblower.

Forwarded the Trojan Horse letter to the Birmingham City Council.

A letter apparently written from one shadowy conspirator to another, describing a plot to oust headteachers and majority Muslim schools.

The letter outlined the process of taking down a head teacher and five steps.

Step one identify a poor performing school based on the Muslim area of town.

Step 2 quote.

Select a group of Salafi parents.

The letter is very specific about this.

The parents should be Salafis.

The goal is to get these Salafi parents quote fired up and ready to give the headteacher a very difficult time on a daily basis.

If you can get them to be very vocal on the playground as they drop off or pick up their children, that will stir up by the parents End Quote.

Step three, put your own governor on the governing body.

Step four, identify key staff to disrupt the school from within, here to the letter is very specific.

The best people for this job RTA’s.

Because they are less educated and from the local community, so are much more easily influenced.

The letter continues quote.

It is also important, where possible, to ensure you have an English face amongst the group End Quote.

It’s clear from the context the letter doesn’t mean my type of English face.

It means a white person, because according to the letter this person can give cover to the fact the Muslim Tas a part of religious conspiracy and finally step five Star campaign where he complained to authorities about the headteacher, including the City Council and your local MP.

If you’re hearing those five steps and thinking Adderly you’re not the only one.

And that’s not even the part of the Trojan horse ladder that’s directly above Adderly.

The early part is a good half a page and it’s about this specific resignation case.

The author includes it as one of the main examples of how the plot is maneuvering against headteachers.

Listen to how closely it mirrors adelise defense in the case.

Mrs Dar it begins.

Is not a good Muslim and was not open to our suggestions of adhering to strict Muslim guidelines.

She’s very procedurally strong, and so we had to find a reason for her to be sacked, linked to procedures.

Three of our Muslim sisters and the governor have been disrupting the school and causing issues in my sister since she took over the school.

These sisters are a great example of what can be achieved by only three people.

They, along with an English woman who is their close friend, have raised an allegation of fraudulent resignation letters against the head.

Even though they did actually write the letters themselves.

From there, the Trojan Horse letter goes on to give a meticulous account of what happened.

With the resignations how and where that as drafted them, how they arranged to have them delivered.

This account lines up exactly with the claims made in the employment case.

It ends with an explanation of Hilary Owen’s unique role in the side effect plot quote.

As the English woman dropped her letter off in the head stuffed box, it adds another angle of fraud against the head.

And because she’s English, it will take the focus off the other Muslim sisters.

If all goes wrong, everyone is briefed and will blame the Englishwoman for planning and implementing the whole campaign to cause disruption amongst the Muslim staff and the Muslim headteacher.

That’s how the Trojan Horse letter describes what was going on at Adderly that support staff at a primary school 3 aunties from East Birmingham and a Christian lady from the verbs were in reality, secret agents conspiring with extremists as part of a broader Salafi conspiracy to takedown Risperdal.

It’s incredible reading the Trojan horse that was just the evidence responded are needed to support her version of the resignations.

Up to the point when it appeared in November 2013, hers had been a singular and unconvincing claim that she was the victim of a Salafi plot by four of her teaching assistants.

But now here was proof of that plot.

One of the conspirators had conveniently written all down.


Canada was accused of fabricating letters and another letter materialized to come to her rescue.

And rescue her.

It did.

Rezvani Dar would go on to use the Trojan Horse letter to clear her name in the wake of the letter.

The Birmingham City Council reversed course and paid for utterly primary schools legal case.

The police raided the teaching assistants houses at dawned and arrested them for conspiracy to commit fraud.

The cops didn’t end up bringing any charges, but all of this delayed the T’s case against Adderly for years.

Once the hearing began and Mrs Dark finally did go in front of a judge, Adderly’s legal team used the Trojan Horse letter.

As evidence to support the schools case that the TAS had conspired to unseat Mrs.

Dar in the end, the judge concluded that Mrs.

Dar did not fabricate the resignation.

Letters responded are is the Headteacher Valley Primary school to this day.


After the break.

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com/trojan horse I’m Anna Martin, the host of the Modern Love podcast.

In every episode, we peek into an intimate corner of someones life and learn about what love means to them.

35 years with another person, I’ve never spent that much time with anyone else, so we both kind of said I love you pretty fast as long as they keep the dance up, I’ll keep the dance up and she felt the same way an instant connection.

It’s a window into how real people navigate all kinds of love.

I mean romantic, family, friendship, dog based.

They are stories of life, changing moments, small joys, big revelations.

My advice is that it’s OK if it’s hard, a lot of the way that you manifest your love for your children is through cooking, and I remember just looking at them in or almost like wow, you know so much that I couldn’t even dream of knowing about my brother.

New episodes air every Wednesday.

Listen wherever you get your podcasts.

What’s the Trojan horse?

Let’s start floating around East Birmingham in early 2014.

For people close to the schools involved, people who knew and workers wanted are.

It didn’t take too many reads for their minds to wander over.

The spiky blue fence and their head teacher inside.

What I remember distinctly coming to mind was seems to be a lot of information about a delay here in the Trojan was later a lot of it relates to Adley and things that wasn’t in the public domain.

Who else would know this?

Who else at the time would know this other than risda, which is so so obvious?

I just found it very strange that a lot of those things were in the letter.

The architect of this letter was somebody clearly out there to safeguard.

He’s written this to cover our ass.

We’ve seen no direct evidence that respondent ordered the letter.

Nor court has ever found that she did, and the Burning City Council sent us a letter in which they said any suggestions that Mrs.

Dahl was involved in altering the Trojan horse at her and the teaching assistants, resignation letters is false.

But the content of the Trojan Horse starter, it’s timing and the circumstances surrounding it, point towards Mrs.

Dar or someone who supported Mrs.

Dar or maybe some combination of the two as the likely authors.

And if it was Mrs.

Darr who wrote the Trojan Horse letter.

The bit that might surprise you is that a Muslim could have done this that a Muslim could write a letter trafficking in Islamophobic tropes, with the potential to do untold damage to Muslims.

It is messed up, but it happens.

I remember another case in the same area of East Birmingham actually where Muslim cop had a personal beef with the guy who ran a prayer center and the cop called 911.

Well 999 pretending to be a civilian.

Reporting that people the press enter were planning to kidnap and kill cops in the name of ISIS County.

Terra detectives looked into him, Ray light.

It was a hoax.

The crooked cop got 7 year sentence.

I think of this phenomenon, kind of like judo.

When you learn that you can use your opponent strength as a weapon against him.

Here, Mrs.

Doyle was up against the City Council, which had abandoned her and the Employment Tribunal, which is about to sit in judgment of her.

Maybe she could manipulate those institutions by using the latent credulous Islamophobia within them to her advantage, tell them that easr Islamist plotters.

Racist judo?

It’s a depressingly well known move that was brown snow we can make.

But it’s not an easy thing to accept.

When a friend first suggested it to hear that the letter probably came from Mrs.

Dahl, I just missed it all.

Not only was responded DA, a fellow Muslim in Birmingham working in schools with a similar goal of helping Muslim children.

This is someone that here do.

He’d helped hire Mrs Doll for the oddly head teacher position.

On top of that, he was close to Mrs Das husband, a guy named Kedir.

RF is hard to hear to imagine that someone close to him might have created a letter maligning him as an extremist kingpin.

But as they hear, read and reread the Trojan horse that.

You couldn’t shake the impression that it did seem designed to help responded Aw.

And then when the letter leaked to the press, the story started running by him being a dangerous extremist.

The hair waiting for a call from Qadir or is Varna.

Because you knew them well enough for them to check in.

If something like that happened absolutely, they would have phoned me same day.

Or following day.

Nora diddly squat it is now.

Five years and not one of them has contacted me.

Any lingering doubts they hear had about who wrote the letter?

This silence quashed them.

If the purpose of the Trojan Horse letter was to help Mrs Darr out of a very specific mess, she’d gotten herself into with a handful of Tas at her school, why would Mrs.

Dar or whoever wrote it, take pains to smear to hear as a dangerous mastermind to hear himself struggle to find an explanation?

The best he could come up with is that Mrs Darr got the idea he was helping the T as in some way with their unfair dismissal case, though he insists he wasn’t.

We also talked to someone who was on the Adderly governing body with responded are around this time.

Who said Mrs Dar was really angry at the educational trust to hear ran for poaching?

Some of adderleys teachers.

In any case, as the Trojan Horse letter took off in the press to hear, tried to push back, he drafted statements which he sent to various agencies and reporters and posted online imploring people to look into the origins of the letter.

And he publicly pointed to Adderly and the T’s resignation case as it’s likely source.

The only outlet we’ve seen that picked up this line of inquiry with some seriousness was the Guardian.

A couple weeks after the Trojan Horse letter went public, a reporter there published an article raising the possibility that the Trojan horse plot might have been manufactured to support Adderleys defense in the Employment Tribunal.

But Adderley wasn’t having it.

The school sent an aggressive statement to the newspaper saying the Operation Trojan Horse plot was real and suggesting to here was the one who should be scrutinized, not them.

The school also contacted to hear directly.

I received a legal letter from the school’s lawyers saying his insinuations that the Trojan Horse letter came from Adderly were quote wholly baseless.

And that if I made those inferences again and so on, that I will be, you know, taken to court.

Can you explain to me something?

I know we’ve had this conversation before and I’m just I don’t know.

I’m just I’m still struggling to understand it.

If I knew.

That my friends essentially had written a document that was threatening to ruin my life.

I don’t know why you’ve made no effort to go and speak to them.

There’s one thing to publicly infer about something.

There’s another thing to pick up the phone, call Kadir RF and said what’s going on here?

I thought about that many, many times actually, and.

Perhaps there’s as a conversation that you know you know, perhaps I should have had actually.

But I didn’t think it was going to be unraveled by a chit chat or a cup of tea.

Obviously I didn’t believe that.

Otherwise I would have done that.

It would just be a no.

And I didn’t want to.

Kind of.

You know, sort of maybe embarrass myself.

So for me to have a nice little Alec dear, how you doing?

It’s not easy thing for me to do.

You have to appreciate that.

You know I’m saying it’s not an easy thing for me to do.

Take a second to consider how the story of the Trojan Horse letter changes if you begin it with the infighting at early primary school.

If this theory of the letter is true, if it was created by Razvan Adar or someone near her to strengthen the defense in the Adderly resignation case.

Think about the implications for Britain’s understanding of operation.

Trojan horse.

Instead of news reports starting like this, a leaked letter outlining a plot by hardline nations to take other plot by hardline Muslims to take a hard line, Muslims radical Muslims in Birmingham have got together to take control.

They would have had to begin with.

Someone appears to have fabricated a plot in an attempt to defend a head teacher who’s being sued for wrongful dismissal by 4 employees at a primary school who claims she forged resignation letters on their behalf.

But the head teacher says the employees did submit resignation letters, but that they were pretending otherwise.

As part of a plot to insider.

Assuming you could even twist your brain around that headline, that story might make news of the weird or an obscure employment law journal, but it’s not going to dominate the national media for months.

It’s not going to command the attention of Parliament, the Prime Minister, the country’s ex counterterror chief.

It’s not going to change counter extremism policy.

It’s hard to fathom how this happened.

We’re not dealing with deep throat here.

You’ve seen how easy it is to lay the Adderly case alongside the Trojan horse litter and see how one could lead to the other.

You can do it without much trouble from the comfort of your colleagues parents bedroom.

The government had so many professional eyes on this letter, multiple independent teams of investigators.

They must have looked into this theory and ruled it out for some reason.

I draw no conclusion about the letter.

Apparently not.

This is an education consultant and former head teacher named Ian Kershaw.

He’s the man.

The Birmingham City Council hired to conduct a thorough investigation of the Trojan Horse letter.

His resulting report was titled Investigation Report, Trojan Horse Letter and yet he proudly proclaimed to Hamza and me.

I draw no conclusion about who possibly wrote it, why they wrote it.

I didn’t write it.

I don’t know who wrote it, but my job to find out who wrote it.

He in Kershaw says he didn’t spend a single minute looking into that in his 141 page report.

He only mentions the case of Adderly in one bullet point, or at least he appears to it splattered with redaction, writing that he didn’t have time to pursue that incident in any detail.

Former counterterror chief Peter Clarke, the other main investigator who looked into the Trojan horse affair for the national government.

Does a similar pivot he does acknowledge in his report that whoever authored the Trojan Horse letter had detailed knowledge of what was going on with the resignation case at early primary school, but then he never discusses the case again.

Both investigators, Kershaw and Clark, make clear that the letter itself, its origins, its authenticity, whether it was truly correspondence between two conspirators that didn’t matter to them or to the government agencies they were working for.

Which made total sense, D and Kershaw, whoever wrote the letter.

Whatever their motive was was not really the point from the Council’s point of view that their questions got to be.

Is there something going on in our schools that we should know about?

So the source of the letter in a sense became irrelevant.

I cannot overstate how crucial this choice was.

The choice to respond to the Trojan Horse letter this way to not worry so much about its text, all its details, or even whether it was real and to instead look at its overarching theme.

The notion that Muslims were colluding with each other to take over schools and potentially harm children.

It’s not clear where this peculiar and frankly, Islamophobic logic first emerged.

But once it did, nearly everyone from Westminster on down to the local media in Birmingham followed suit.

Parkview and Adderly teacher Raswan Ferraz remembers giving interviews to reporters and investigators where he says he pushed them to look into the source of the letter and being frustrated.

The feeling I got was that they weren’t interested in the letter they were interested in.

What’s going on?

The inquiry was more like you Muslims are getting up to bad stuff aren’t you?

Tell me why you’re not getting up to bad things as opposed to.

We’ve heard that there’s this letter.

What can you tell us about it?

And once that narrative solidified, it was insurmountable.

So that even years later, when hams and I started trying to talk to people about what happened in Birmingham schools, lots of people didn’t trust us that we were after something different, just spoke to Hebron.

Man, it is a hard no from him.

The wariness seemed especially stark among people connected to utterly.

There were stretches when I was back home in New York, and Hamza was soldiering on in Birmingham by himself, knocking on doors in between classes and assignments at journalism school.

And I would get these voice memos on WhatsApp from him throughout the day.

Hubby Braman was a former chair of governors from Adderly would previously agreed to get coffee with us.

He doesn’t think there’s any value in the story.

Communities moved on, he’s moved on, and eventually he just put the phone down.

So he’s a hard no.

Come on, I just knocked on freer suffolks door again, a former finance assistant for Matterley.

She answered, and she just immediately started saying I’m busy.

I’m busy.

They started trying to shut the door on me and I said aren’t you?

I just have one question to ask.

Can you please just give Me 2 minutes and she just shut the door in my face?

Ask even tried to plead with her through the post box.

So eventually I just felt ridiculous and I’ve just come back to the car not to show what else to do.

Ah, mate.

Hamza was like a tire that was slowly losing air.

Hey, wait, so here’s the update of the evening first doctor Rohina Hoomes house.

Regina was one of the four teaching assistants in the resignation case and her husband answered.

He wasn’t pleased to see me there.

He had an issue with his foot, so he had a walking stick with him.

He’s hobbling around.

I immediately felt guilty being there for my wrist.

It became quite apparent quite quickly.

He was never gonna let me speak to her.

She was upstairs, supposedly busy.

He also threw in there a few times at home, said told me as we shot the shit driving around Birmingham that the reason he went into journalism was to take on stories like this one in which Muslims felt burned by the press.

Hamza used it as part of the pitch he’d make to people when we called them or met them at their front doors.

I get it.

I’m a Muslim Pakistani guy from Birmingham.

He thought this would be his calling card would give him access to sources and stories that other journalists might not get.

Instead he found himself sitting alone in his car on a side street of Alum Rock.

Talking into his phone.

God, I’m just looking.

The message is already a minutes long so this is I’m sorry about this man.

Listen, I think some people tie to the elderly.

Case had stuff to hide.

I will get to some of them.

But regardless, I have to say this is exactly how I would react to a British journalist coming to knock on my door.

This is the same press that’s been called out for systemic Islamophobia by its own media watchdog.

The same press as admitted that editors asked reporters to find Muslim stories because they sell papers.

And when these stories were analyzed, the majority were negative with the most common theme being terrorism.

The same press that when pleaded with by the head of a Muslim organization for more evenhanded reporting about us because he feared people being poisoned like they were against Jewish people in the 1930s, responded with 21 articles ridiculing his argument, attacking him and asking for his arrest.

So yeah, I had hoped that being a local Muslim guy would mean that people in Birmingham would treat me differently, that they trust me, but instead me walking around Alum Rock, introducing myself as a journalist.

I only meant that after seeing all those headlines designed to hurt us are going to join this industry.

That I wasn’t something different.

I was also a sick person.

I was also apparently an idiot.

This is it.

You solve this one question that rest does not matter.

The rest just kind of falls waywards anyway, is it not back in the beginning?

And ramble on to Brian about our mission.

Sure, the people I thought I was helping weren’t into me.

But I still believe our goal was straightforward.

All you had to do was focus everyone on the question of who wrote the letter.

Turn everybody’s head back to Italy.

If you could substantiate that it was indeed written by responder or someone close to her for that resignation case.

If this was a hoax and intended by someone for a different purpose and completely made up, and you get that as proof.

Everything that comes after it doesn’t matter.

For me, solving who wrote this letter.

Is more powerful than just like this little case here in Birmingham.

I feel like this becomes, you know, the flag that everyone can wave then to be like.

Well, let’s be skeptical about any accusations from here on because look, look what happened with this one spiraled out of control for no reason.

This story.

This letter then becomes bigger than this one series.

It becomes like a little reference point.

A reference point to be like just be skeptical.


There was a problem with my premise though.

When I first got interested in Operation Trojan Horse, I thought the government impress had made a mistake in overlooking who wrote the letter.

A bigoted mistake, but an honest one.

I assumed that this provocative document had surfaced and the media had gotten into his usual frenzy.

Words like extremism and jihad were being thrown around and in a rush to act, the government lost itself in hysteria and instead of taking the rational approach of just looking into the oddly case, it end up embarking on a thoughtless adventure.

I figured what I was trying to correct was an oversight, but now I know it wasn’t an oversight at all.

That’s next on the Trojan horse affair.

So Robert and the missing H.

The children horse affair is produced by Brian Reed and me along with Recollects.

The show is edited by Sarah Koenig.

Additional editing by Eric Glass and by contributing editor Aisha.

Manager Siddiqui.

Fact checking in research by Mary Connolly and Ben Flynn.

Original school by Thomas Miller with additional music by Matt McGinley.

And Stephen Jackson sound design mixing in music supervision by Stephen Jackson and fill them off ski at the audio non visual company.

Julie Snyder is our executive editor.

Neil drumming is managing editor, supervising producers and they Chubu executive assistant is Alberto Delay on some Donick is an assistant managing editor of the New York Times.

Special thanks to hams, parents, Syed and Attia Utter also, Alvin Meleth, Aviva Kornfeld, Rasmus Bitsch, Brum radio, media dog and Victoria Macavity.

The Trojan Horse affair is made by serial productions and the New York Times.

The Trojan Horse affair is supported by better help online therapy.

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