Islamic Tarbiyah Academy responds to Sky News allegations

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A private school has responded to allegations that it was promoting “an extreme form of Islam”.

The Islamic Tarbiyah Academy in Dewsbury has posted a statement on its website after the Department for Education confirmed it was investigating claims made by Sky News.

The said: “We thank the press for their keen interest in our school and in particular Sky News’ coverage.

“Islamic Tarbiyah Academy (ITA) has a wide range of publications which include topics on denouncing terrorism, crime and drug abuse as well as living in peaceful co-existence with others.

“Many of these publications have not been published recently but have been on our website for a number of years now.

“ITA has strived to educate the community with good morals and discipline which includes the rights and wellbeing of all, irrespective of their colour, creed or religion.

“Many of our publications reflect this too as well as many in the neighbourhood who have seen the positive impact ITA has had for community relations. ITA fully believes in the importance and need for integration whilst allowing Muslims to able to practice their faith.

“ITA is committed to promoting teachings of Islam and is just as committed to comply with the law of the land.”

Following the Sky News allegations, a Department for Education spokesperson said: “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.

“Where evidence of extremist practice is found we will take swift and direct action, working in conjunction with the police.

“To improve our ability to tackle extremism at its root, we are taking steps to strengthen the regulation of out-of-school settings to ensure that children are properly protected.

“We also run a counter-extremism helpline which teachers, parents and other members of the public can use to raise concerns about young people at risk of radicalisation, or about institutions which may be putting young people at risk.

“These concerns are then immediately investigated.

“At the same time, it is vital that all schools provide young people with the high quality education they deserve and where schools are not doing this and are focusing on ideological indoctrination instead we do not hesitate to take regulatory action, which includes closing the schools.”