Lee Rigby
Teachers in Birmingham schools wanted to promote their conspiracy theories about the murder of Lee RigbyMoD

Teachers at Birmingham schools at the centre of the 'Trojan Horse' allegations believed the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby was a hoax and wanted to promote this view, according to a report.

The report adds teachers also exchanged social media messages that show an "intolerant Islamist approach" including a "constant undercurrent" of "anti-Western, anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiment".

While the Department of Education report found no evidence of evidence of terrorism, radicalisation or violent extremism at the Birmingham schools, there is evidence a group of individuals sought to introduce an "intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos" by appointing like-minded individuals and removing headteachers from their post who did not comply, according to former head of the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Unit Peter Clarke.

Clarke said there is "clear evidence" there are a number of people in positions of influence in Birmingham schools and governing bodies who "espouse, endorse or fail to challenge extremist views".

The reports states how a group of teachers at the Park View School, who refer to themselves as the "Park View Brotherhood", exchanged thousands of messages via mobile phone app WhatsApp that showed the group promoted or failed to challenge views which are "grossly intolerant of beliefs and practices other than their own".

The conversations, initiated by Monzoor Hussain, acting principal of Park View Academy, include "explicit homophobia; highly offensive comments about British service personnel; a stated ambition to increase segregation in the school [and] disparagement of strands of Islam."

The report adds: "There are also a number of postings in the discussion group giving links to conspiracy theorist videos about the murder of Lee Rigby and the Boston bombings".

While there are some messages that clearly state the Woolwich murder "has no place in Islam", Clarke adds: "It remains of concern that members of Park View School staff, judging from their own comments, believed that the murder of Lee Rigby was some kind of staged event or hoax, and exhorted their colleagues to spread the conspiracy videos promulgating this view to 'all your contacts.'"

The Department of Education report follows from concerns about allegations over an Islamic takeover plot by hardline Muslims at Birmingham schools.

The allegations stem from an anonymous letter sent to Birmingham City Council in 2013, which described Operation Trojan Horse as a "long-term plan" to ensure the schools are run on "strict Islamic principles".

Elsewhere, Clarke also says he is concerned that some students maybe more susceptible to radicalisation in the future as there is evidence children are being encouraged to "accept unquestioningly" a hardline strand of Sunni Islam in the schools.

The reports also says students at Golden Hillock school were reportedly shown images of jihad, involving a battlefield and rocket launches, in a classroom setting.

"I have heard evidence to the effect that there are real fears that their current experiences will make it harder for them to question or challenge radical influences," Clarke added.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan described the findings of the report as "disturbing".

She told the House of Commons: "There has been no evidence of direct radicalisation or violent extremism.

"But there is a clear account in the report of people in positions of influence in these schools, with a restricted and narrow interpretation of their faith, who have not promoted fundamental British values and who have failed to challenge the extremist views of others."