Sunday, January 10, 2016

UK: Fanatics' campaign of hate on campus is revealed: Islamic zealots who backed Jihadi John are poisoning the minds of students

The notorious organisation that backed Jihadi John is now targeting young Muslims at their universities in a sinister campaign, the Mail can reveal.

CAGE – the group that provoked horror after calling the Islamic State killer a ‘beautiful young man’ – was involved in at least 13 student events last term.

Its representatives are being given unchallenged platforms at campuses across the country.

They are using them to tell young Muslims to sabotage the Government’s anti-extremism policy Prevent, claiming it is an attempt by the State to spy on them.

The organisation’s outreach director Moazzam Begg has been given extraordinary access to students – speaking without being challenged on at least 11 separate occasions last term.

In a series of inflammatory lectures, he has told impressionable young Muslims that they are being treated in a similar way to Jews under the Nazis.

He also claimed Western reaction to the Paris terror attacks was disproportionate – because, he said there were ‘no children reported killed’ – and spoke dismissively of the deaths of only a ‘handful’ of Western hostages beheaded by IS.

Last night Home Secretary Theresa May said universities should not be allowing such ‘damaging, extremist rhetoric’ to go unchallenged.

And she said the investigation showed that ‘there is still more work to be done to challenge those who spread hatred and intolerance’.

It is thought that up to seven universities which held CAGE-linked events could now face an investigation by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Disturbingly, some of them told the Mail they’d had no idea that CAGE-linked events had even taken place on their campus.

Some events saw hostility and even abuse levelled at members of university staff who had been sent to monitor them.

In CAGE-linked university events last term, the Mail witnessed students being told:

    ‘As terrible as Paris was, there were no children reported killed’,

    The Paris attacks were simply IS ‘responding to what it sees as an assault on itself’,

    There ‘is no Islamic threat’ and ‘no evidence or proof’ that ‘so-called radicalisation is actually happening’,

    The Government are ‘white-supremacists’ who want to ‘isolate’ Muslims,

    There is nothing wrong with ‘being extreme’ and that the very notion of extremism is racist,

    They should support convicted terrorists, many of whom been ‘wrongly imprisoned’ due to ‘prejudice’ and ‘fabricated accounts’.

The revelations will horrify parents at a time of mounting concerns over radicalisation in schools and on campuses. 

Advocacy group CAGE provoked a public outcry in February after claiming the security services were to blame for the actions of knife-wielding Mohammad Emwazi, known as Jihadi John. Despite the outcry, it has been allowed to hold a string of events aimed at young people.

None of those attended by the Mail featured any opposing viewpoint.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: ‘This investigation highlights exactly the sort of damaging extremist rhetoric which none of us should allow to go unchallenged.

‘Our universities have a proud tradition of championing free speech – but this should never be at the expense of giving extremist views the oxygen they need to flourish.’

The ease with which CAGE is able to hold events on university campuses is all the more astonishing given that atheists, right-to-life groups, and those who support Israel are amomg those who have been prevented from addressing students.

Last night CAGE – which is not a proscribed organisation and denies any links to terrorism or support for violent extremism – said it was among hundreds of organisations which oppose Prevent.

A spokesman added: ‘CAGE has been invited to speak at a numerous public events including universities for several years. This has always been with the full awareness of the relevant institutions.’

Mr Begg said he had repeatedly condemned the actions of IS, including the Paris terror attack.


Prominent British Leftist branded a 'total sell-out' for sending her son to private school

The charmer herself -- a big wheel in Britain's Labour Party

Diane Abbott has been branded a 'total sell-out' for sending her son to private school as open warfare continued at the top of Labour today.

Miss Abbott, the shadow international secretary, caused fury when she wrongly dismissed MPs who quit the shadow cabinet as career politicians.

She used a Newsnight interview to attack Jonathan Reynolds and others who resigned yesterday, but he responded by saying: 'You’re a total sell-out for sending your own kids to private school'.

Miss Abbott was hitting out at MPs who quit Mr Corbyn's frontbench yesterday over Trident and security issues.

She said: ‘If you look at Jonathan Reynolds, if you look at Mr Dugher, if you look at some of these others, what do they have in common? They are all former special advisers.

‘What you are seeing is people that came up under a certain system - where you did politics at uni, you became a special adviser, you became an MP, you became a minister - who are rightfully upset because Jeremy has brought a whole lot of new energy and new people into politics’.

A furious Mr Reynolds hit back on Twitter: ‘At least Google us before slagging us off. For the record I was a trainee solicitor when elected, having gone to law school as a mature student and single parent. And I think you’re a total sell-out for sending your own kids to private school.’

Mr Dugher - who was a former special adviser - did not resign, he was sacked by Mr Corbyn as shadow culture secretary.

Although not mentioned by name Stephen Doughty, who quit as a shadow Foreign Office minister, told Miss Abbott he had worked for charities for seven years before moving into politics.

Miss Abbott has previously denied she is a hypocrite for sending her son to private school while being a Labour MP.

She has previously insisted her decision was the 'making' of her son James, who went to a £10,000 a year school before going to Cambridge. He is now working for the Foreign Office.

In 2012 his mother risked fury among her white colleagues in the party by saying they would 'never understand' the Afro-Caribbean culture of parents wanting to do the best for their children.

She said: 'I knew what could happen to my son if he was sent to the wrong school and got in with the wrong crowd. I realised they were subjected to peer pressure and when that happens it's very hard for a mother to save her son.

'Once a black boy is lost to the world of gangs it's very hard to get them back and I was genuinely very fearful of what could happen.' 


Australia: Future Federal education funding still uncertain

Jennifer Buckingham

When federal education minister Simon Birmingham confirmed last week he will not 'give a Gonski' and commit to the ultra-expensive final two years of the former Labor government's schools funding policy, he drew a line under one aspect of the debate but left open the more important question of what it will do instead.

Only one thing is certain. A new federal funding model will not be as generous. The federal government budget deficit is a problem and is likely to be for the foreseeable future. Large increases in federal spending on education are not on the cards, especially given the chequered relationship between funding and school performance.

There is ample research showing that not all education spending can be considered an investment in the sense that it leads to measurable benefits. This is not to say that school funding should not increase at all but that any funding increases must be carefully targeted and used in ways that are most likely to be effective.

The Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) in NSW, recently published an evaluation of the impact of the former federal Labor government's multi-billion dollar Smarter Schools National Partnerships over four years from 2009 to 2012.

The analyses of the results are highly detailed and compare NAPLAN scores, School Certificate and Higher School Certificate results, and attendance and retention rates of schools that received Low SES NP funding with similar schools that did not.

Although the impact on NAPLAN scores was reported to be statistically significant, this is partly a function of the very large sample size. In real educational terms, the effects of the funding were small. Over the four years of Low SES NP funding, NAPLAN scores in participating schools increased by a total of 5.04 points on average compared to non-participating schools, after controlling for student characteristics and school location. To put this in context, Year 3 NAPLAN reading scores are out of 700 scaled score points. It is difficult to see this as a strong result given the amount of the funding involved.

Any new federal funding agreement is likely to have an impact factor, with proven effective practices and programs, or accountability for results as conditions. Wanting to see the benefits of increased funding is understandable but getting the right balance of autonomy and accountability, both for individual schools and for states, will be a challenge.


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