The British Office for Standards in Education launched an inquiry into 21 schools in the Birmingham area suspected of being part of an Islamist plot to take over those institutions. Six gave rise to what the office calls “serious concerns,” which include allegations that staff members were appointed on the basis of their religious beliefs and teachers were encouraging students to believe in the biblical account of creation and accept the separation of girls and boys in classrooms, swimming pools and on sporting fields. Birmingham is Britain’s second-largest city. A 2011 census showed there were 2.8 million Muslims in England and Wales, up from 1.6 million in 2001.
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