Agam's Gecko
Saturday, September 02, 2006

ore terrorism-related arrests in London, but what jumped out of the story, was the name of the school. Jemaah Islamiyah is the name of Southeast Asia's principal al Qaeda-inspired terrorist network, a kind of umbrella network of cooperating sub-nets. Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, Hambali, Amrozi and Imam Samudra and the Bali bomber gang(s), Doctor Azahari -- only a few of the better known Jemaah Islamiyah figures, and all but the first (who recently completed a prison sentence) are either in US custody, on death row, or dead.

Now obviously this school in East Sussex is something different, but the name -- one of probably dozens of ways to spell the same two Arabic words -- is one that resonates with violence in my part of the world. And it's a shame that this is the case, because it simply means the "Islamic Congregation", roughly. This form does seem to be favoured by jihad-oriented groups, as I've heard of others in (if I recall) Kashmir and Pakistan.

The BBC report at the link above, gets something wrong:
The Jameah Islameah property, on Catt's Hill near Crowborough, East Sussex, is an Islamic teaching facility for boys aged between 11 and 16.

According to its website the 54-acre premises also encourages Islamic groups to "appoint a person from your centre who wishes to serve the community and send them to us to be trained".

It also says these individuals will then become "qualified enough to teach in local Masajeds and Madares".
I went to the website, and it certainly does say most of those things, but I don't see where they got the "boys school" thing from. In the Education section of the page are some criteria:

The standard uniform at Jameah is a plain Kafni. Students who wish to keep fit must have adequate sporting equipment.


We only admit students aged between 16-65.

Alima Classes

Jameah has Alima classes running in various parts of London in the evenings. These classes are for girls aged 11 + and are taught by qualified Alimas during the weekdays between 5-7 in the evenings.
So what we have is a school which provides no sporting equipment at all (although "sports facilities" are elsewhere given as tennis courts and camping), and admits males (special girls-only classes are in London) between 16 - 65. It isn't a "boys' school" but better described as a mens' Islamic college. Just look at the pictures of the place.

I wonder why the BBC reported it like this, when the writer looked at the same website I did. All the information sections are on the same page, really the only page apart from some photos of the school. Interesting that there isn't a single human being in any of them, just empty buildings and scenery.

Wai to AllahPundit, who jumped on the story of the strange SWAT-style impoundment of an entire restaurant full of diners on Friday night, an Iranian - Chinese establishment. Those 14 arrests led to the raid on Jameah Islameah school earlier today.

UPDATE: If you follow that BBC link today, it reads a little differently than it did on Saturday when I copied the quote. Now it says,
The Jameah Islameah property, on Catt's Hill near Crowborough, East Sussex, was set up in 2003 as an Islamic teaching facility for boys aged between 11 and 16, according to Ofsted inspectors.
But still nothing about the school's own criteria giving the age group of eligible males as being between 16 - 65, but merely adding the hint of possible deception in the school's original mission, and without explanation of "Ofsted inspectors." Office of Some Thing Education or other, I suppose.

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