Forum Topics

Wahaca and our dysfunctional hygiene inspection system

The closure of Wahaca recently after an outbreak of sickness among staff and customers at their restaurants brought to mind a conversation I had a while back with a local restaurant owner.His family owned business had been inspected by H&F staff and been given a mediocre rating. There was no problem with hygiene per se but their record keeping was found to be inadequate and therefore they received a low score. This man is in the kitchen of his restaurant every night of the week and is obsessive about cleanliness. His staff are mainly relations and share his desire to see the restaurant do well.Although he speaks English well it is his second language he finds the form filling very onerous and really struggles to do what is required.At Wahaca they have a high turnover of staff who are all employees of company based somewhere else in the country. People come and go on a regular basis and, although they are probably professional enough in the main, they don't have the emotional commitment to the restaurant that you would see in a family owned business. They almost certainly have at least one employee in the firm whose sole responsibility is to ensure that the restaurant's paper work is uptodate for inspections. So naturally they sail through every time with 5 stars.Whether the sickness that led to the closure of Wahaca was bad luck or bad management, it seems to me that the current system of inspections doesn't actually do that much to protect customers from poor hygiene at restaurants. What it is tending to do is give a big and unfair advantage to chain restaurants over family owned independent ones. The latter are already under severe pressure in the local area and if we lose more we risk becoming a characterless chain town with no interesting places to eat.

Andy Jones ● 2774d0 Comments ● 2774d

Singers wanted for choirs!

SEEKING TENORS & BASSES!The West London based ADDISON CHAMBER CHOIR and the ADDISON JAZZ ENSEMBLE are each looking for a couple of extra Tenors and Basses for the 2015 season. Some sight reading skills are helpful and an informal audition is required.The CHAMBER CHOIR have a large repertoire but have become particularly known for their high quality performance of music by a wide range of contemporary composers, many of whom have written pieces especially for the choir. Concerts include our own and others e.g. the Brandenburg Festival and the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, and a performance at Kings Place later this year.  The Music Director is David Wordsworth.The JAZZ ENSEMBLE sing jazz standards, occasionally pop, and pieces written especially for the Ensemble by the talented Jill Jarman.  We perform in the Addison Jazz concerts and in the Brandenburg Festival.Bursary - a bursary to attract and retain young singers who demonstrate talent and wish to join may be available on application.  The bursary covers all fees and music for one year and is conditional on committing to singing at all performances during the year.Rehearsals are held at the Polish Centre in Hammersmith, London W6 0RF. Chamber Choir on Wednesday evenings 6.30pm-7.45pm, Jazz Ensemble on Monday evenings 6,30pm-8pm.  We’re a very sociable choir and there are plenty of opportunities for meeting like minded friends! There are also two Addison unauditioned larger choirs for people of all abilities: the Oratorio Choir and the Jazz Choir, should these be of interest.To arrange an informal audition or for more information, contact Julie Davies our Membership Coordinator on 07531 447960, or email us at , or see our website

Morna Wheatley ● 3450d0 Comments ● 3450d

Former Council Leader Wants to Be Mayor

The thought of Stephen Greenhalgh as Mayor of London is laughable.... and chilling! His "Team Greenhalgh" sign-up web page shows three continuing Tory councillors, including the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Lucy Ivimy, but why? I thought that they "kicked him upstairs" to be Deputy Mayor for Policing, in order to avoid further embarrassment in Hammersmith and Fulham. This is Stephen Greenhalgh the "bottom pincher", the developer's bosom friend, the demolisher of council estates, the scourge of the urban poor (author of the callous "Principles for Social Housing Reform" Localis pamphlet 2009 ( and "Ways out of London" video 2008 - no longer on You Tube!), this supporter of water cannons for the Metropolitan Police, etc...? The list shows that his every instinct is to oppress the weak and control dissent.But Greenhalgh's policies are now discredited. At the Council election in May 2014 the electorate rejected the "Conservatives" (more accurately American-style "neo-liberals") because they had by then hung themselves by the rope of their own policies. If moderate conservatives want to regain some credibility it is time that the "old guard" of the extreme right in Hammersmith was, quite simply, disbanded. Greg Hands MP, and councillors Charlie Dewhirst and Greg Smith would also do well to distance themselves from Greenhalgh.

Una Hodgkins ● 3467d0 Comments ● 3467d

Help save 30-52 Goldhawk Road from demolition

It has come to my attention that Hammersmith and Fulham want to make "improvements" to Shepherds Bush market.   While some of the suggestions may be welcome the Planning Brief proposes the demolition of 30-52 Goldhawk Road.  (A full copy of the draft planning and regeneration brief can be viewed on the Local Plan pages of the council’s website) At the moment this row of shops does not look much. (This is in part due to the fact that late last century Hammersmith and Fulham enforced the removal of cornicing on "health and safety grounds".)  But the reality is this terrace was built in the early to mid nineteenth century and they are good examples of Victorian shops.    The fact that they have fallen on hard times is no reason to have them demolished.  Rather this should be seen as an opportunity to have them restored to their former charm. The Planning Brief suggests relocating the businesses to within the redeveloped market.  But this terrace of shops brings atmosphere and community to the Goldhawk Road.  Not one of these shops is part of a chain - many are family firms - and the Pie and Mash shop has been in that location since 1899.    It would not be the same to simply relocate them.   There is a real danger that we will be turning a vibrant and interesting (if somewhat rundown) part of Shepherds Bush into something bland and average.  The Planning Brief goes on to describe 30-53 Goldhawk Road as being of a 'scale that is no longer appropriate for this part of the Goldhawk Road townscape'.  But the height of this terrace is very much part of their charm.     We have lost much good architecture in the area, such as Shepherds Bush station,  in recent years. Lets stop the destruction of yet more good buildings.  Please register your objections by email at or call Jackie Simkins in the council’s planning department on 020 8753 3460.  The deadline for the council to receive responses is 5pm on Monday, October 11.

Mr Coll McDonnell ● 5021d44 Comments ● 3521d

Strike on Central line and Waterloo & City lines tomorrow

From TfL Press Office:20 August 2014Passenger advice during unnecessary ASLEF strike action on Central line• Central and Waterloo & City line services will be severely disrupted should  ASLEF strike action go ahead• Customers are urged to seek alternative routes and check before they travel at• All other Tube, DLR and London Overground routes will be operating normally but may be busier than usual• ASLEF union urged to join LU in continuing discussions rather than disrupting LondonersLondon Underground today issued advice to customers should strike action on the Central line, threatened by the leadership of the ASLEF union, go ahead this Friday.The ASLEF action is currently due to take place all day on Friday 22 August.  If it does go ahead there the Central and Waterloo & City lines will be severely affected.  Parts or all of both lines may be suspended, and if trains do run they will be at a reduced frequency. We do not expect any trains to run early morning/late at night.  Customers are advised to seek alternative routes, avoiding the Central and Waterloo & City lines.We do not expect Central line trains will run in central London.  TfL will deploy extra buses on key routes and TfL Ambassadors and volunteers will be deployed to key Underground and bus stations to provide customers with travel information and advice.Other Tube services, the DLR, London Overground and National Rail will operate normally. These services are likely to be busier than usual and journeys made outside traditional peak hours are likely to be easier.Nigel Holness, London Underground’s Operations Director, said:  “Should Friday’s strike go ahead there will be disruption on both the Central and Waterloo & City lines.  We will have staff and volunteers across the network to help customers with their journeys but I advise people to plan ahead and check before they travel. All other Tube, DLR and London Overground routes will be operating as normal.“We’re disappointed that ASLEF leadership is planning strike action while discussions are still ongoing.  Strike action is not necessary and we urge them to continue talks with us to understand and resolve their concerns rather than threatening strike action which will only disrupt Londoners and lose staff pay.  We have made good progress together and have resolved a number of issues and I would ask ASLEF to see sense and call off this unnecessary action whilst we continue talking and seek to resolve the outstanding issues.”Please plan ahead and check before you travel. For the latest information use the contact details below or follow @TfLTravelAlerts and @centralline on Twitter.ENDSTfL Press Office

Patrick Green ● 3590d1 Comments ● 3582d

Small cobbler/engravers by Greggs Bakery - Uxbridge Road

Hi AllI would like to warn you from using this shop - I took my best pair of heels to be repaired, which is a simple £5 job, just to replace the plastic bit of sole as it had worn down. I have had it done many times before at reputable shoe menders so didn't give it another thought when I dropped my shoes off. However, I wish I had never gone here. When I collected them I thought the guy who worked there was pulling my leg. He had cut the heels OFF! I was completely gobsmacked, and absolutely livid, not to mention very upset. The guy was totally blasé about the situation, showing me on his little tape measure that he'd only chopped off a couple of inches! I asked and asked again what the hell he thought he was playing at, and the whole time he was acting dumb saying 'I'm a professional.' I don't understand how he came to think that he could butcher my favourite, irreplaceable designer shoes that cost a fortune. I can only think that he somehow damaged the heel so thought that he'd just chop them in two to disguise his mistake. Suffice to say they are obviously completely un-wearable, what with half the heel missing - you would fall backwards. I'm most angry because he didn't apologise, didn't care and maintained that it was only 2 inches so what's the problem?! Plus he even had the cheek to ask for me to pay!So, sorry to rant here, but I'm still absolutely fuming. Please avoid this shop unless you want 'customised' footwear. The shop should be shut down if this is the level of customer service and skill that they provide.

Jessica McCrow ● 3611d0 Comments ● 3611d

A Future for Muslim Schools

Muslim children not only need halal meat or Eid Holidays but they need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their development period also. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. The schools must satisfy the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural needs of Muslim pupils. State schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers are not in a position to satisfy their needs. A good school is not just a knowledge factory or a conveyor belt for churning out exam passes - it is a community, a family. A community is held together by common values and principles. It is a common saying that British schooling is upholding British values of integration, respect, tolerance and equality. But all minority groups find British schooling is the home of institutional racism and British teachers are chicken racist. This is one of the many reason why they would like to see their children attending their own schools with their own teachers. Muslim community started setting up school in the 80s and I set up the first Muslim school in 1981 and now there are 180 Muslim schools and only 12 are state funded. Sikh and Hindu communities have set up their own schools. Now Black community is thinking of setting up schools with their own teachers.Western media and politicians have been trying their best to propagate against Muslim schools. Muslim schools are even called Osama bin Laden Academies by a Teaching Union. Only less than 5% of Muslim children attend Muslim schools while more than 95% are in state schools to be mis-educated and de-educated by non-Muslim monolingual teachers. The demand for state funded Muslim schools is in accordance with the law of the land. Muslim community is not asking for any favour. Muslim community pays all sorts of taxes and is less burden on social services. Church leaders say it is no longer "appropriate" for them to run Sacred Heart RC Primary School which has just six Christian pupils. The school in Blackburn, Lancs, could be handed to the nearby Masjid-e-Tauheedul mosque.The Muslim community has been passing through a phase of fourth Crusades. The battleground is the field of education, where the young generation will be educated properly with the Holly Quran in one hand and Sciences in other hand to serve the British society and the world at large. A true Muslim is a citizen of the world, which has become a small global village. We are going to prepare our youth to achieve that objective in the long run. A true Muslim believes in Prophet Moses and the Prophet Jesus and without them one cannot be a Muslim. My suggestion is that in all state, independent and Christian based school special attention should be given to the teaching of Comparative Religion and Islam should be taught by qualified Muslim Teachers to make the children aware the closeness of Islam to Christianity and Judaism which will help them to think about Islam, as “A Pragmatic and Modern Way of Life,” during their life time.Muslim schooling is on the rise in the West. Anti-Muslim attitudes in state schools contribute to its growth. there are 240 to 250 private Islamic schools in the U.S and 188 Muslim schools in the United Kingdom and out of that 12 are state funded. The increasing enrolment in these schools reflects the religion’s growing number of Muslims and the desire of parents to shelter young Muslims from discrimination and discomfort they might encounter at state schools. But Islamic schools, like mosques and other Islamic institutions, can be viewed with distrust and even hostility. Jewish Schools in Israel teach Children about Evolution. They have a curious way of teaching it. They said the Jews were made by god and the Palestinians evolved from apes. On the other hand, Muslim schools teach children that human beings are from Adam and Eve(peace be upon them)The demand for Muslim schools comes from parents who want their children a safe environment with an Islamic ethos. Parents see Muslim schools where children can develop their Islamic Identity where they won't feel stigmatised for being Muslims and they can feel confident about their faith. Muslim schools are working to try to create a bridge between communities. There is a belief among ethnic minority parents that the British schooling does not adequately address their cultural needs. Failing to meet this need could result in feeling resentment among a group who already feel excluded. Setting up Muslim school is a defensive response. State schools with monolingual teachers are not capable to teach English to bilingual Muslim children. Bilingual teachers are needed to teach English to such children along with their mother tongue. According to a number of studies, a child will not learn a second language if his first language is ignored. “A good grasp of one’s mother tongue is an essential base for a child who then has to get to grips with the language of their host country,” reckons Amelia Lambelet of the Fribourg Institute of Multilingualism. Therese Salzmann, an expert in multilingualism at the Swiss Institute of Youth and Media, agrees. “The teaching of mother tongues reinforces self-confidence and gives the child a feeling of security.” She adds that “taking account of a child’s double cultures is a determining factor in their social integration and professional success.”It is absurd to believe that Muslim schools, Imams and Masajid teach Muslim children anti-Semitic, homophobic and anti-western views. It is dangerously deceptive and misleading to address text books and discuss them out of their historical, cultural and linguistic context. It is not wrong to teach children that Jews are committing the same cruelty in Palestine what German did to them before or during Second World War. It is not wrong to teach children that anti-social behaviour, drinking, drugs, homosexuality, sex before marriage, teenage pregnancies and abortions are western values and Islam is against all such sins. This does not mean that Muslim schools teach children to hate westerners, Jews and homosexuals.British society must learn to respect and tolerate those who are different. God has created diverse human beings to live in this tiny global village of one family. Creation by its very nature is diverse with different species, different communities, different cultures and languages. These differences represent the beauty and wonder but diversity is sometimes not fully appreciated, resulting in all sorts of clashes. The British society and Establishment must learn to respect and accommodate others, as if in a family. A report by the Institute for Community Cohesion found that native parents were deserting some schools after finding their children out numbered by pupils from ethnic minorities. Schools in parts of England are becoming increasingly segregated. The study focused on 13 local authorities. Many of the schools and colleges are segregated and this was generally worsening over recent years. This is RACISM because British society is the home of institutional racism. A study by Bristol University reveals that a high level of racial segregation in Oldham schools and tension between communities resulted in recent riots in 2001. The solution is that those schools where Muslim children are majority, may be designated as Muslim community schools. The native parents do not want their children to be educated along with migrant children. As soon as they find that the number of other children are on the increase, they remove their children to those schools where native children are in majority.During colonial days, British did not follow local customs or culture. They didn't exactly "go native". They even forced the native Americans and native Australian to adopt all the evils of their culture and customs. They are still the underdogs of American and Australian societies. At least Australian Prime Minister apologised to the natives for their evil deeds. Brits living in Spain and France don't even bother learning the language of the new adopted country. Frankly suggesting that people don't want to become "British" they should move elsewhere is extremely irritating. Immigrants are in UK because they are needed, it was never an act of charity. Without migration, British economy and society will bleed to death. British culture and customs will undoubtedly change as it has for millennium due to immigration. I am not quite sure why Brits would be worried about that. You better teach your children in your own schools and let migrant communities teach their children according to their needs and demands. British Establishment and society should concentrate on the evils of their own society and stop trying to change the way of life of Muslims. Muslim community does not want to integrate with the British society, indulging in incivility, anti-social behaviour, drug and knife culture, binge drinking, teenage pregnancies and abortion. Prince Charles, while visiting the first grant maintained Muslim school in north London, said that the pupils would be the future ambassadors of Islam. But what about thousands of others, who attend state schools deemed to be "sink schools"? In education, there should be a choice and at present it is denied to the Muslim community. In the late 80s and early 90s, when I floated the idea of Muslim community schools, I was declared a "school hijacker" by an editorial in the Newham Recorder newspaper in east London. This clearly shows that the British media does not believe in choice and diversity in the field of education and has no respect for those who are different. Muslim schools, in spite of meager resources, have excelled to a further extent this year, with couple of schools achieving 100% A-C grades for five or more GCSEs. They beat well resourced state and independent schools in Birmingham and Hackney. Muslim schools are doing better because a majority of the teachers are Muslim. The pupils are not exposed to the pressures of racism, multiculturalism and bullying. There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This mean the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam’s teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline, structure and boundaries. Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their needs and demands.IALondon School of Islamics Trust

Iftikhar Ahmad ● 3691d3 Comments ● 3640d

Trojan Horse

Trojan Horse Tahir Alam is allegedly the man behind a blueprint for the ‘Trojan Horse’ plot for the radical ‘Islamisation’ of secular state schools. An alleged plot to takeover some of Britain’s schools by Islamist extremists has been reportedly masterminded by a ringleader who had drafted a guide document on the process, a media report has said. Tahir Alam, chairman of governors at Park View school in Birmingham, is allegedly the man behind a blueprint for the so-called “Trojan Horse” plot for the radical “Islamisation” of secular state schools. He called for “girls [to] be covered except for their hands and faces”, advocated gender segregation in some school activities, and attacked a “multicultural approach” to collective worship, the Sunday Telegraph' reported. In his 72-page document, published by the Muslim Council of Britain in 2007, Tahir Alam and co-author Muhammad Abdul Bari categorically attacked many state schools for not being “receptive of legitimate and reasonable requests made by some Muslim parents and pupils in relation to their faith-based aspirations and concerns”. They described how Muslim governors could be activated to press the “views and aspirations of Muslim parents and the local community” on reluctant schools. Birmingham has a large Muslim population, nearly 22 per cent, according to the 2011 census. The “Trojan Horse” plot had come to light recently and involves the alleged takeover of secular state schools and the removal of secular head teachers in Birmingham by radical Muslim staff and governors. There are more Methodist schools than Muslim schools in England and 33% of English state schools are Christian. There’s been a big kerfuffle over a supposed Muslim influence on six schools in Birmingham, with outlets like the BBC and Telegraph alleging a “Trojan horse” takeover by Muslim parents. But whether you agree with religion in schools or not, the faith that is most clearly represented in Britain’s education system is Christianity. There are more Methodist schools (26 or 0.13%) than Muslim schools in England. Out of the total number of state-funded schools (primary and secondary) in England this is what percentage were Muslim in 2012. Some 0.06% or 12 schools are Muslim faith schools.  Out of all UK state-funded schools, 33.61% or 6751 schools are Christian. School segregation: 12% of state schools are split into boys and girls. Charges against the six schools in Birmingham include not teaching the curriculum, inviting radical speakers to talk to the children and gender segregating classrooms – to the detriment of girls. A small, but significant number of traditional British schools are split by gender too. The man accused of being at the centre of the plot, Faisal Khan, has denied the allegations, saying his sole motive was to improve the standards at schools and that he had no wish to “Islamize” British schools. British authorities are now investigating the alleged plot. UK Education Secretary Michael Gove appointed Peter Clarke, former head of Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command, to lead the probe. The appointment of Clarke has faced criticism, with critics saying the move has resulted in rising fears over a possible government crackdown on Muslim communities in the UK. There are concerns that the plan could prevent ordinary Muslims from getting involved in their children’s schooling affairs for fear of being branded extremist. “The idea that MCB document was a Communist or Trotskyite-type plot to takeover all Birmingham/UK schools is laughable. This feeds into a wider 'counter-jihadist' (Breivik, EDL, etc) narrative that Muslims want to "take over". To describe the handbook as 'a document on manipulating teachers and curriculum' or 'a detailed blueprint for the radical "Islamisation" of secular state schools', as Sunday Telegraph says, is an insult to the many thousands of professionals and lay people who have been involved over the last ten years in the massive improvements in the educational achievement of young Muslim people. There is a level of hysteria building which is not justified, we need to take the temperature down and politicians must not play with these issues or else face a potential backlash, possibly in community cohesion." Abdul BariThe whole saga is outrageous, beyond belief and frankly if it was not so serious, it would be comical. The documents on which this whole action is perused is false and as there is no proof of extremism in schools, Mr Gove has made it illegal for Muslims to have conservative views (coming from a minister of conservative government, its comical really). Feel like we are back in the fifties in the USA again. Michael Gove is an avowed Zionist which is not the best way to approach issues like this! Because it can lead greater attacks on Islam. It amazes me that on the basis of an anonymous letter the whole country has been lead to believe that there is an organised plot to somehow take over schools, now allegedly across the length and breadth of Britain! Furthermore the amount of coverage that this has received from the media as being a credible story, to me, suggests the level of Islamophobia in our society has reached alarming and dangerous heights. I would suggest that for the sake of fairness, equality and justice all schools are subject to the same level of scrutiny. For example Christian, C-of-E, Jewish and Hindu, Sikh schools. I believe that this not only a witch hunt but a move to tarnish and undermine the credibility of Muslims in general and the noble teachings of a widely practiced and rapidly growing religion which a people devotedly choose to follow. Islamophobia should be stopped - especially when the racist is a government minister or department. you must share this island with many people, why does it belong to one people? Grammar schools regularly carry out gender segregation, shall we remove those Head teachers too.  The horse in question, it is alleged, contained Muslim extremism – brought to state schools by stealth, by governor bodies launching subtle pincer movements, to remove the kind of pesky teachers who might object to the segregation of pupils by sex, or a refusal to stick to the syllabus. How incredibly extremist. Schools where segregation of pupils by sex occur. How different from boy's only Grammar schools and High schools for Girls that exist in predominately Conservative areas. And that exist predominately in the private school sector. It does though surely produce better exam results, as pupils are less influenced by the idea of 'girl's subjects' and 'boy's subjects', and are less likely to be distracted by sex. Allegations of an Islamic takeover plot of Birmingham schools are just the latest in a string of slurs against Muslims. It is not clear what is meant by an "Islamic plot takeover", and whether that is the same thing as saying or hinting that some Muslims might want to get some schools to adopt their particular version of Islamic religious values, behaviours and life-styles. If it is the latter, that would not necessarily be an indication of "terrorism", so I struggle to see the need for 'counter-terrorism' input. It is not terrorism in any way shape or form. It is important to remember this is not about Islam as such but yet another chance to bash people perceived as foreigners. To many Muslim is another word for immigrant and coloured person, two terrible bugbears. Why should an unnamed, undated, unspecific source has effected students, teachers, governors, parents in one swoop. It has serious implications on unfounded accusations for hundreds of people. In no way shape or form is this right, nor should have it EVER happened. Just by a anonymous letter how can you judge the schools and it is bringing such bad vibe to Birmingham schools and local Muslim community we feel like we're targets no matter how hard we try we will never please and move forward from the terrorist labelling. I am disgusted at the way these particular schools and governors were targeted for no reason other than being Muslim. No solid evidence wa available to substantiate these accusations which arose and yet such great weight and focus was attached to them. Morally unjust and utterly unacceptable. The Trojan Horse document was clearly written by someone who knows little about Birmingham and even less about Islam. It has chimed, however, with widespread Islamophobic fantasies and fears amongst non-Muslims, and as a result of unethical reporting in the media has done much damage. On the one hand we get told we are not integrating enough and we should engage more in civic society. On the other, when we do, we get accused of having sinister agendas. Since when do concerns by religiously conservative parents about teaching on homosexuality, girls and boys mixing, and the reciting of prayers, require anti-terrorist experts to get involved? Allegations of an Islamic takeover plot in Birmingham schools aren't justified by the evidence – and the government response is way out of proportion. Perhaps its best to let the Muslim community sort these issues out. These are in effect Muslim schools now. It is up to the Muslim community to see off hard liners (if there are any) otherwise it is their own children's' education that will suffer. I think it would be very difficult for non Muslims to get involved either as governors or management so perhaps that it is one of the reasons for the conflicts that have arisen. It may be best for the Government to but out providing the record of the school is O.K. from an exam point of view. I am so disgusted that even after it was proved there is no factual evidence or basis for that racist and hate filled document, schools in Birmingham are being subjected to this horrific ordeal and the name of many good reputable teachers is being tarnished... Why? Clearly viewable that this accusation has been purposely placed on these schools which surprisingly consists of majority Muslim children. Clearly the school policies are being contradicted by Mr Gove as they clearly state that it is the schools priority and job to meet the needs of the local community and of the students within the school. So if a school is doing that then what is the issue? What is happening feels like the persecution of a religious group. This is important because the wit hunt feeds Islamophobia. As we can see from the bombings and arson attacks on mosques in the UK, Islamophobia is a very dangerous and divisive form of racism. I'm sick of this hatred of Islam and Muslims. Haters, ignorant scum, look for any means to target Muslims, now even in our schools. It's a joke and this has to stop. How hypocritical does a country have to be to illegally invade Muslim countries and then accuse Muslims of terrorism? I am a Muslim. I am an anti-terrorist.   I never realised how racist and anti-Islamic this country is until I moved here. These people are here legally and have the right to live how they want to. Just because there are terrorists who use Islam as a doctrine to justify their hateful acts, does NOT mean that every Islam wants to change Britain to Sharia Law, kill the gays and put all women in burkas! These people are being judged and punished for the actions of others that have nothing to do with them, simply because they are of the same religion. Do you judge Germans in the same way because their country committed genocide? Or the Irish if they are from an area where religious conflict was particularly violent? No. Seems like thinly veiled racism to me, not the 'staunch upholding of British rights against religious extremists' as you all seem to espouse. What do people mean when they talk about 'multiculturalism'? If a lot of people come from a foreign country and settle in a particular area they will bring the culture of that country with them. Of course they will want their schools to promote their values. Gender segregation is everywhere in the Muslim world including in EU applicant, Turkey, so either we believe in Britain as multicultural or we don't. You don't get to pick and choose the bits you want. Why not sit down with parents and listen to their concerns, instead of ordering an investigation? Shocked at this terrifying witch hunt against Muslims who are simply trying to raise standards. Its totally unacceptable to create a furore in the country over anonymous accusations with no proof. Because it is a divisive move and will affect community relations. This is the very reason why society does not function properly, this is a deliberate attempt to spread fear amongst communities, as the best way to control a nation is through fear itself. because this is NOT ,,I repeat is NOT an Islamic plot to take over Birmingham, so DO NOT put false information in the media to put Muslims down!!!!! What next.....Muslims taking over hospitals, banks, pubs....come on... Tomorrow, a Pakistani MP would become the PM of GB and this does not mean that the country has become a colony of Pakistan.  What's taking place is an absolute disgrace. This whole witch hunt is putting Muslims off from becoming governors at a time when it is need the most. Why should Muslim parents be targeted when all they want at the end of the day is a good all round education for their children. Before Muslims governors came on to the scene all the inner city schools were doing poorly and failing all the children of the school. Muslim parents were criticised for their lack of involvement in their children's schools. Now they are being vilified. It is an absolute disgrace that an ex anti terrorist police office has been brought in to investigate the situation. It stinks of racism and the desire to label all Muslims into the category of extremist and jihadist. What a disgrace by the national and the local government. It's wrong for Gove to be deliberately politicising our Education system. All our children deserve respect and not to be scapegoated. What a total waste of tax payers money and tactical manoeuvre by Michael Gove to divert attention away from the real issues. Gove’s war is designed to destabilise governing bodies where Muslims form a majority. Don't want us to be part of 'big society'?  We totally reject the idea that there is Muslim plot to take over Birmingham schools. We abhor the scapegoating of the Muslim community being whipped up by the media. We call for the removal of Peter Clarke as we believe this is a provocative appointment, designed to divide our community. I don't believe that there is an Islamic Plot to take over Birmingham schools. It's a set-up. Anonymous complaints have been used in the past to hound good head teachers of community schools out of their jobs in order to facilitate the creation of academies. This whole story smells of falsification and corruption. I suspect that the people wishing to take over schools are not Islamic extremists, but Academy Chains with business interests. A shamefully irresponsible and sensationalised inquiry whose adverse impact on community relations locally and nationally will sadly be lingering long and far. If British authorities are so concerned about their education institutions being infiltrated by ``extremists'' then I suggest they stop Tony Blair, architect in chief of the illegal and violent 2003 Iraq invasion from speaking at colleges and universities across the UK and the world. His lies and fabrications caused the deaths, directly and indirectly, of thousands of Iraqis, British and Americans. While the survivors of his wars suffer in silence, this former British Prime Minister makes millions through his speaking engagements at educational institutions across the world with little or no sign of remorse for the suffering he caused. Nothing I see in the above articles suggests the British Muslim educators in question did anything illegal, let alone anywhere as remotely destructive as the twice elected British Prime Minister. Britain's interests would be served better if they questioned their own domestic and overseas policies instead of perennially whining on about ``extremist'' from their (mostly) law abiding immigrant communities. There are a total of 21300 Primary and 3900 Secondary schools in the UK. Finding that 6 out of these 25200 had board members who wanted to push their extremist views over the governance of those school is not a Islamic Plot or Trojan Horse to Islamises UK. This is a massive overreaction and the Islamophobia on display in the comments is more terrifying than the actual case itself. Stop the racist witch hunt in Birmingham schools. We Muslims have a right to our religion. I decry everything which denigrates Muslims in this country. The media and governmental attitudes and actions, inflame prejudice and ignorance. We want the best for our children and such baseless witch hunt of school governors does not help the cause of better education. Stop this hate against Muslims. It is not them who are terrorists , but all those who imply they are with the help of media you try bringing others to your side giving false details - twin towers wasn't Muslim either - that was the Americans - you will not win as Islam Will forever grow and prove it is peaceful through the will of God (Allah SWT)... amen. This is undermining confidence in the Muslim community and increasing Islamophobia. This is another example of the media whipping up hysteria against the UK Muslim community.  The way our Govt treating British Muslims is as if all Muslims are terrorists unless they prove otherwise. Govt should focus on its job. Governors of this school worked hard to help a failing school achieve outstanding rating from Ofsted. Please fix Ofsted and stop demonising Muslims. Nick Clegg on LBC radio indicated that the DFE is full of right wing ideologues and extremist loons. Islamic schools protect Muslim children from the onslaught of Euro centrism, homosexuality, racism, and secular traditions. All education systems appear to be indoctrination systems. I went to a good private school. Guess how we were 'encouraged' to think about politics! Having a Muslim name in UK is a crime. All UK job application forms have sections ask your race and religions. Most UK employers simply reject your applications just by looking at this section. Native Brits must learn to respect and tolerate those who are different. The needs and demands of the Muslim community are different from those of natives. Muslims are in Britain not to give up their cultural heritage. They must integrate in their new home country, learn new languages and apply for political representation -- without forgetting their cultural heritage. It is important to learn Standard English, but their  languages should not be neglected. They need Masajid and grave yards. Muslim children not only need halal meat or Eid Holidays but they need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their development period also. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. A Muslim is a citizen of this tiny global village. He/she does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit. The whole world belongs to Muslims. He/she must learn and be well versed in Standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. At the same time, he/she must learn and be well versed in Arabic, Urdu and other community languages to keep in touch with their cultural heritage and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. For a Muslim English is an economic language and Arabic is a religious while Urdu and other community languages are their social and emotional languages.Muslim children not only need halal meat or Eid Holidays but they need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their development period also. There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This means the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islamic teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline, structure and boundaries. Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their needs and demands. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. Legally, the state has an obligation to respect the rights of parents to ensure that 'education and teaching(of their children) is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.' The schools must satisfy the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural needs of Muslim pupils. State schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers are not in a position to satisfy their needs. A good school is not just a knowledge factory or a conveyor belt for churning out exam passes - it is a community, a family. A community is held together by common values and principles.IALondon School of Islamics Trust

Iftikhar Ahmad ● 3677d0 Comments ● 3677d

'Heartbleed' Bug: Change ALL Of Your Passwords Warn Security Experts

'Heartbleed bug' exposes encryption keys; How to test your favourite sites for safetyNot much consumers can do to fix the problem.Published 09 April 2014  |  Brownie MarieEmail Print Text Size Larger SmallerMore Sharing Services ShareCodenomiconA flaw in the popular OpenSSL software has left millions of people vulnerable to having their banking information, tax files, emails, and other online data exposed. And there's no way to know if someone has accessed your information.Nicknamed "Heartbleed," the "bug" is actually a weakness in OpenSSL's cryptographic software that makes SSL/TLS encryption backfire on computer users. The "https" protocol that is supposed to identify a secure website is actually a signal to hackers that the site is vulnerable to cyber attack. The hackers can then trick a computer's server into sending data stored in its memory.Google security researcher Neel Mehta was the first to discover Heartbleed, and the weakness was confirmed by internet security firm Codenomicon. Alarmingly, researchers found that the Heartbleed flaw has been in OpenSSL for two years. It is unknown if attacks have been carried out, because exploiting the software loophole leaves no trace.In addition to exposing users' passwords, personal files, and credit card information, hackers can also steal encryption keys-- the code that translates computer-generated nonsense into usable information."It may even be able to use the secret key to impersonate the server, tricking users into divulging their password and other sensitive information," Vox Media wrote.Codenomicon states that because of the wide-spread use of OpenSSL and the untraceability of Heartbleed, consider your accounts compromised."You are likely to be affected either directly or indirectly," their website, states. "OpenSSL is the most popular open source cryptographic library and TLS (transport layer security) implementation used to encrypt traffic on the Internet. Your popular social site, your company's site, commercial site, hobby site, sites you install software from or even sites run by your government might be using vulnerable OpenSSL."To end Heartbleed's hold on the server, vendors and service providers must adopt the Fixed OpenSSL, which was released Monday."Operating system vendors and distribution, appliance vendors, independent software vendors have to adopt the fix and notify their users," Codenomicon instructs. "Service providers and users have to install the fix as it becomes available for the operating systems, networked appliances and software they use."Changing your passwords before the server has adopted Fixed OpenSSL is useless. As of today, most of the major websites, including Yahoo, Google, and Facebook, have fixed the problem. To check if a website has installed the updated OpenSSL software, visit,,...................................................................................................................................................................................................................Yahoo Among Millions of Websites Vulnerable to 'Heartbleed' OpenSSL Security BugA new security bug has been found in OpenSSL, the cryptographic library that secures most of the internet's websites, and Yahoo is one of the of the most well-known domains known to have been compromised.Security researchers are very concerned as the bug - dubbed Heartbleed - has been around for two years and affects encryption of data sent over the internet, meaning users' passwords and other sensitive data are open to being spied on.Other websites featured on the top 1,000 websites list compiled by Mustafa Al-Bassam (a former member of the LulzSec hacker collective who is now a computer science student) include popular websites like Imgur, Flickr, OKCupid, WeTransfer, Eventbrite,, Outbrain, Stackexchange and Kickass Torrents.It will be difficult to discover if or when you have been compromised as attackers are able to exploit the flaw without leaving any trace of their presence.    What is OpenSSL?    OpenSSL is the software library used in servers, operating systems, email and instant messaging systems to protect internet traffic as it travels back and forth. More than 53% of the web servers which host more than 500 million websites use the software which relies on OpenSSL    (Source: NetCraft)DiscoveredThe bug was first brought to light by security firm Codenomicon, who attempted to attack their own servers:"We have tested some of our own services from attacker's perspective. We attacked ourselves from outside, without leaving a trace. Without using any privileged information or credentials we were able steal from ourselves the secret keys used for our X.509 certificates, user names and passwords, instant messages, emails and business critical documents and communication," they wrote on an in-depth information page.Codenomicon adds that anyone on the internet exploiting the flaw will be able to read the memory of a machine that's protected by a vulnerable version of the OpenSSL library.Security researcher Filippo Valsorda has developed an online test that allows anyone to find out whether a server is vulnerable to being attacked, simply by entering the server's hostname.Not an TLS/SSL flawA new version of OpenSSL, version 1.0.1g is now available to download to patch the flaw, which was caused by an implementation problem in the OpenSSL cryptography library, not a design flaw in SSL/TLS - the protocols used to provide secure communication online."There is no flaw in the TLS protocol or the way it is designed, it's simply an implementation bug that has a catastrophic failure mode. The error is the code equivalent of a typo. But some typos are worse than others," explains Paco Hope, Principal Consultant, at Cigital, a consulting firm which helps organisations to develop secure software."The vulnerabilities in the software you use matter just as much as vulnerabilities in code you write. Finding and fixing such bugs requires applying security throughout the software lifecycle and on all the relevant code, not exclusively at the end and not just exclusively on code you write. And if you acquire software from third parties, you care about what they integrate into the product as much as what they write for you."Fox IT has published a list of indicators that can help companies to identify if their servers may be vulnerable.According to Fox IT, attackers can retrieve the source code of the website, usernames and passwords, as well as private SSL keys.

Nikki Howard ● 3723d0 Comments ● 3723d