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Links to Islamic militants probed

A website launched as an education resource by British Muslim teachers has been condemned for links to militant Islamic groups.

Site creators say it was set up to allow Muslim teachers to meet and advise non-Muslim teachers of Muslim pupils, and "act as a gateway to websites which are useful to all teachers, students and parents".

However, the Board of Deputies of British Jews claims the site features links to Khilafah, an organisation banned in some countries for incitement to racial hatred.

Khilafah is an Islamic separatist organisation run by the controversial Islamic cleric Omar Bakri Muhammad. Its website carries a story about Qatari university dean Dr Abdul Hameed al-Ansari, who it claims should be "punished" after allegedly expressing pro-American views in a recent interview.

Surfers are also able to log on to sites belonging to fundamentalist Islamic groups.

Intifada.net takes its name from the Palestinian uprising, while Islamaphobia.org, condemns the west's "neo-facism" towards Islam.

The Muslimteachers.net website also contains cyberlinks to The TES, the BBC, the Office for Standards in Education, and the Department for Education and Skills websites.

Fiona Macauley, spokeswoman for the Board of Deputies, said: "We are particularly concerned about links to resources which include sites which have previously been been accused of of incitement to racial hatred. Khilafah, also known as Hizb-ut-Tahrir, is banned in most Middle Eastern countries, as well as by the National Union of Students in Britain."

Ms Macauley called for the immediate suspension of the website until police investigate allegations. Mr Tufal, the website's creator, who teaches at Notre Dame sixth- form college, Leeds, said: "We include links to sites which provide information and we leave it to the surfer to form their own opinions." He said he would investigate and remove website links if complaints were made.

Muslim Ofsted inspector Mohammad Akram Khan-Cheema, from Bingley, West Yorkshire, who registered with the site in order to network with other Muslim teachers told The TES he would be withdrawing his name from Muslimteachers.net's database, following the revelations about site content.

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