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Islamic school investigated after promoting antisemitic leaflet

1 April 2016

A Yorkshire school is being investigated by the Government after promoting the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews are engaged in a global plot to take over the world and for distributing leaflets quoting the antisemitic forgery, the Elders of Zion.

Sky News investigated the Islamic Tarbiyah Academy in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, and uncovered the handout. The madrassa is an after-school and weekend institution and privately educates 140 primary school aged children and also hosts adult education classes. The school is run by Mufti Zubair Dudha, a member of the Deobandi Islamic sect, which is primarily found in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. In 2007, The Times exposed that half of British mosques at the time were under the control of the Deobandi sect, and a leading Deobandi preacher, Riyadh ul Haq, allegedly supported “armed jihad and preaches contempt for Jews, Christians and Hindus” and he detested “Western values and has called on Muslims to shed blood for Allah.

Other literature discovered at the school claimed that “mixed-sex institutions are evil, warn Muslims not to adopt British customs, ban the watching of TV, and tell women not to go out to work and to be fully covered before leaving the house.”

Mufti Dudha, the cleric who runs the school, responded to the allegations:

“It saddens me greatly that certain extracts from our publications have been taken and misrepresented to link the Academy with extremism…We fully believe in the importance and need of integration whilst being able to practise our faith."

This is, however, not the first time that Mufti Dudha has been accused of antisemitism or extremism. In September 2005, the Yorkshire Post reported that several anti-West and antisemitic articles were posted on the Tarbiyah Academy’s website, which were consequently removed after they were exposed (Yorkshire Post, ‘Extreme Views challenge hope of close integration’, 1/9/2005, no longer online). One antisemitic article written by Mufti Dudha stated that there were "evil distractions” facing young Muslims such as actors, poetry, magazines for women, sportsmen and “movies and films which the agents of the Jews produce to destroy the good character of people so that it could become easy for them to rule the world."

Mufti Dudha responded to the allegations of antisemitism for the comments claiming that Jews are trying to rule the world by affirming that:

“it is not antisemitic. We are not against the Jewish faith or culture or Jews in general. Racism and antisemitism are not allowed in Islam. We don’t have any problem with people of the Jewish faith at all."

Also in 2005, The Times reported that Dudha had advocated for physical jihad and believed that British foreign policy “led directly to the 7/7 atrocities”. Despite signing an Islamic legal ruling condemning the bombings, earlier in 1996 Mufti Dudha had written:

“Today many of us are misled into believing that in our times jihad of the sword is not warranted. Most definitely physical jihad is, and will be needed to a large extent…Besides the jihad of the pen and tongue, the Muslim ummah [nation] cannot be exempted from physical jihad. No learned person and no true Muslim can deny the benefits, fruits and blessings of physical jihad for the course of Allah.”

Mufti Dudha also claimed that the culture of the non-believers is “deplorable”:

"It is due to the inconsistency of moral preaching we have plunged headlong into the bosom of the deplorable kufr [non-believer] culture. As a result Muslim youths have drowned into the cauldron of vice, drugs, alcoholism and immorality of all sorts. Along with its crushed moral values, the West has handed down its recipe for moral and spiritual destruction."

The Department for Education responded to the most recent claims of antisemitism and extremism:

"These serious allegations are under investigation. While it would be inappropriate to comment on the specific investigations of these institutions, we are clear that extremism has no place in our society and we are determined to protect children from it."

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