View from the House: Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 August 2017


The ringleader of the London Bridge terrorists, Khuram Butt, taught Koranic classes at the private Eton Community School.

But in April Ofsted inspectors said the school had improved and fulfilled all requirements, including the duty to prevent radicalisation in pupils.

This raises serious questions about the quality and rigour of inspections and safeguarding of children at private schools.

Butt also worked as a trainer and met his terror cell at the Ummah Fitness Centre, Ilford Lane.

He was a member of the banned Al-Muhajiroun group.

The Birmingham “Three Musketeers” trial heard that two of them travelled to Ilford to see its founder Anjem Choudary last year, while he was on strict bail conditions awaiting his own trial. Choudhary operated in Ilford for over 10 years.

Local mosques often ban these extremists. But on the streets outside and in various meeting places and homes, extremist activity continues. Local Muslims have been demanding action against people like Choudary for years.

It is good news that he is now, at last, in a maximum security prison serving a five and a half year sentence.

However, his poisonous legacy continues in this country, and in Syria and Iraq where hundreds of misguided or deluded followers of the Daesh caliphate cult have gone to die. We cannot deal with this by changing our behaviour.

Our modern society is engaged in an ideological struggle. We must take policing and security measures, but we must also win the battle of ideas.

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