DS-LOGO4a-webFollowing my articles for The Conversation and the Birmingham Brief on Operation Trojan Horse, I was approached by Discover Society to write a short reflective piece for its July publication.

Titled, “Operation Trojan Horse: how a hoax problematised Muslims and Islam” it’s one of a number of different articles on the issue. To read my article, click here.

For those who don’t know, Discover Society is published by Social Research Publications, a not-for-profit collaboration between sociology and social policy academics and publishers at Policy Press to promote the publication of social research, commentary and policy analysis.

Pasted below are the first few paragraphs of my piece to whet your appetite.

Operation Trojan Horse: how a hoax problematised Muslims and Islam

There was always a distinct possibility that an anonymous letter leaked via the Sunday Telegraph alleging an Islamist ‘plot’ to take-over of Birmingham schools was a hoax. Dubbed ‘Operation Trojan Horse’, the letter set out a five-step guide alleged to have been written by Muslims on how to overthrow existing teachers and governors in non-faith state schools in order to replace them with more ‘Islam-friendly’ individuals prepared to run schools in accordance with conservative Islamic principles.

Whilst West Midlands Police continue to investigate the letter, few accept its authenticity. The recent investigations into 21 Birmingham schools undertaken by Ofsted that were prompted by the allegations also show no evidence whatsoever of a plot. Yet still the allegations linger, the investigations go on, and the politicians continue to intervene, resulting in the story remaining in the headlines and front pages of an ever insatiable media. What then is it that keeps Trojan Horse in the public and political spaces?

One of the worrying trends to have emerged out of my research into Islamophobia over the past decade or so is that, even when stories about Muslims and Islam are proved to be incorrect or just untrue, many in wider society continue to believe them arguing that there is ‘no smoke without fire’.

To read on, click here.

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